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Reflection Essay #2

I am A Water Warrior

Reading Maude Barlow’s book Blue Covenant was probably my favorite reading for environmental justice. It did a great job laying out the water problems the world is facing and the troubles that lay ahead if the current water system is not changed. From the beginning of the book I immediately connected to what she was trying to say.  Water is the most precious resource on this planet, but yet it is one of the most widely exploited. When everyone first learns about the Hydrologic cycle it seems almost pointless to even study such a topic because everyone knows the earth can never run out of water. Then again grade school never taught urbanization, land use change, and the virtual water trade either. My eyes have been opened very wide by the Blue Covenant, I always knew deep down that water would be a problem in the future, but I never realized how global the problem would be or that it would happen in my lifetime.

Knowing that there is a global water crisis on our hands the first response to the problem is not to privatize water. The only “good” that will come from privatizing water in the global south are fatter wallets for the companies taking advantage of the already poor people of the world. Is that really the best choice for the people that need water in order to survive? The answer to that question is no, but big rich corporate companies obviously do not care about the well being of the people they are “serving”.  Then I came across this quote, “The ultimate goal of private companies is to make a profit, not to fulfill socially responsible objectives such as universal access to water”. If this was going to be the ultimate outcome from privatizing water, then it should not have been done in the first place I feel like the World Bank could have seen this coming. Why couldn’t have the private companies use some of their wealth to help third world countries for the greater good, instead of being greedy?

The worst part of the global water crisis is the environmental justice issues that engulf the crisis. Distributive justice is the most obvious in the case for water because people in the global south plain and simply do not have access to water. The distributive issues from water stem from the participatory injustice. Once water became privatized citizens no longer had the opportunity to voice their opinions about their water. Decisions were made by the private corporations for the lives of people that they do not actually care about.

There are overwhelming amounts of environmental injustice surrounding the global water crisis. From reading the Blue Covenant it has motivated me to want be a water warrior and stand up for water conservation and water justice so that the world truly will not run out of clean drinking water. If people don’t change their view that the earth will never run out of water, then it just might.

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