Essay on Why Water Should Be Treated As Human Right Or Not

767 Words Apr 28th, 2015 4 Pages
Everybody needs water. But this resource is scarce (UN, 2014). However, there is a controversy about whether water should be treated as human right or not. In the human rights discussion, the term “public good” is important because resources of this kind must be made accessible to everyone in sufficient quantity and quality (basic supply). Moreover, it is essential to human life and health. But according to the economic definition, this scarce resource does not meet all of the economic criteria of a public good (in which no one could be excluded from its consumption) (Arce, C., & Maume, A. 2005). Traditionally, water has been considered a free good, and charges for its use have been related to the costs of treatment prior to use, distribution and pollution abatement. In reviewing the literature from the 1970 's and the 1980 's, the scholars identified two ideas of efficiency and externalities to support the argument that the value of water needs to be increased. Regarding efficiency, Environment Canada (1983) noted from the angle of economic principles that when a good is undervalued it tends to be overused. The best example of the implications of this for natural resource management was described by Hardin (1968) regarding the 'tragedy of the commons". Hardin noted that in Britain, a common pasture was overgrazed because each herdsman thought about his interest and gradually increased the number of grazing animals. As a result the common pasture was…

Related Documents