The United States of America’s position on access to clean drinking water as a basic human right is that every American should have access to drinking water from the taps in their homes, of which should be healthy and safe for human consumption. Too much money is being wasted on bottled water, and the plastics involved in bottled water production, as well as the water wasted on the production processes. With the money saved from buying bottled water, consumers have more money for the basics. And, the landfills benefit from fewer plastics that take centuries to decompose. A big push is on for the government to sway people away from buying bottled water, and to rely upon their municipal water works for their water supplies.
From making sure that water sources are clean, factories and farms no longer leak contaminated waste into water sources (or risk major fines and possible jail terms), to limiting the use and contamination of safe aquifers and other clean groundwaters, the United States government has made lofty promises to provide clean drinking water to all Americans. However, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, in the actions. It is one thing to promise major water protection, reclamation and cleansing, and a totally other thing to provide it to every tap in the country. It is, however, a start when bottled water machines are being banned from eductaional institutions.
Positions on access to clean drinking water does not necessarily mean that the countries with those positions actually do anything about it. Many third-world countries, mostly run by dictators or ruled by clan leaders, take the monies offered to them by the more prosperous countries and organizations, and keep most, if not all, of the money for their own flamboyant lifestyles. Many countries would rather arm their soldiers, many of them children, than to initiate irrigation projects to move clean drinking water to remote areas. Policies based on maintaining control of a country have little to do with human rights.
As far as human rights go, the access to clean drinking water in the United States is one hot topic, especially with the pollution, invasive species introduction and level droppages of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes provide drinking water to millions of Americans, and is a priority to clean up. However, that is a daunting task at best, with the amount of water transportation, mainly tankers carrying oil, metals and finished goods that pollute the waters, along with factory, farm and human waste pollution that is destroying the Great Lakes. The entire lakes would need to be drudged, and the water cleansed, which is not about to happen, especially since it would cost more than the entire American military budget for the past two decades.
With the cost of running the military at the rate that they are deployed, paying Pakistan to “rent” their armed forces, and payingexorbitant amounts of money to governments and organizations that fleece the aid and reconstruction money for themselves. Pakistan, Afghanistan , Iraq, Iran, India, Kenya and South Africa, along with many other regions, suffer from major water shortages, and rely upon dirty water for their needs. Policies of many of these countries, with regards to clean drinking water as a basic human right, insist that the International community come in and spend the money, and do the work for them.
The United States of America has a very sound policy on access to clean drinking water as a basic human right, but the problem is the cost of replacing the existing water and sewer pipes. Any and all cities, towns and villages that were built more than 30 to 50 years ago, or more, most likely need their water and sewage systems upgraded, and most pipes replaced. It would be cheaper to buy every man and woman a new car. A more likely scenario would be the government providing water provisioning sites, maybe 10 to 20 per State, where people would be able to fill apredetermined number of large water containers. The more wealthy would be able to have water trucked to their homes, at greater cost to themselves, and stored in large, decontaminated storage tanks.
With a strong and sensible position on drinking water, especially with the new water protection and cleansing provisions, the United States is on the right path to providing every citizen with clean, safe drinking water. With Canada as a country to look to for help in clean water provisions, some friendly neighbourhood bilateral work, laws to eliminate pollution on and in the waters, including all gasoline or diesel run motors, farm and factory runoff, and rerouting sewage system overflow regulators so that they feed into large, covered tanks instead of into our precious waters.
Canada, Great Britain, France and England all have strong positions on access to clean drinking water as a basic human right. Many others, probably most of the countries in the world, also have strong positions on access to drinking water as a basic human right, however a strong position and actually doing something about it are two completely different things. Even Canada, with over 23% of the world’s available freshwater within it’s borders, has constant sewage overflow problems into major rivers, including the Ottawa river and the Mackenzie river.
Until countries start replacing aged water and sewage infrastructure, and leaving natural water sources out of the solutions for their problems. The storage and runoff of manufacturing pollution, human and mecical waste, presciption medications of every make and strength, and anything else that fits down a toilet or sewage inlet must be kept away from natural water sources. Having a strong policy on access to clean drinking water as a basic human right is about as good as buying carbon offsets to negate their factory’s foul emissions. A spin-doctor way out of being ecologically responsible.
Will clean drinking water be declared a basic human right? Of course, it already has in many countries. What’s being done to protect the water that is at such dire risk? The Saint Lawrence River, bordering Canada and the USA, is at an all-time low for health and sustainability. This river is the drainage of Great Lakes waters, and the source of all water-born transportation super-tankers that ply the Great Lakes. Studies, meetings with locals and a few newspaper articles have been the result. Action? Maybe a few years after a few miltiary actions are ended, and the countries can carry on with re-building themselves.