The water crisis is called the most important crisis of our time.
Because of a good reason: all over the world more children die because of the lack of clean water than of all other causes of death combined. The discussions about this topic often bring up the same question: Is water a commodity or a human right? And who does it belong to?
The access to clean water should be a human right because of its vital importance just as oxygen. It should belong to the state for equal contribution. But the state should not charge money for a life essential amount of water per person and should help people in rural areas to get clean water from wells, lakes and rivers.
Firstly, polluted water promotes the spread of diseases. Drinking water full of germs from a young age prevents the immune system to function to its fullest. Children die of a young age or are more likely to die and less healthy as grown ups. Clean drinking water prevents diseases like pneumonia and epidemics. Exactly this happened in Pakistan when Nestlé began to pump the groundwater. Before it was clean and everyone had access to it. Later it got polluted and poor Pakistanis can not afford to pay for the bottled water and have to drink the polluted one.
Additionally, states already govern the land and sell it to landowners. So why should they not also maintain the distribution of water? Of cause there are states that have other systems of landowning. But in the end the land always belongs to the inhabitants who live on it. The same should be the case for water. Inhabitants should be able to use the water around their house to live. They should not be forced to share it with big companies like Nestlé and people in far away countries.
Another argument why the access to clean water should be a human right is the financial aspect. Companies usually think capitalistic. It is their interest to earn as much money as possible. Social events and “donations” are often made for publicity. This excessive capitalistic logic results in odd occurrences: in Nigeria people pay half of their daily income on clean water while Nestlé buys thousands of liters of water for less money in the US and sells it again for a huge amount. This way Nestlé makes a lot of money without really helping anyone but the managers or CEOs. According to their website, Nestlé does help a refuge camp with clean water, but when a reporter travelled there, the people told him Nestlé has not done anything since 2007. It is once again charity for publicity.
Lastly there is the major aspect of the destruction of the environment. The problem are again the companies. They deport a lot of water from a spring, a lake or river to a factory and from there to cities and villages. The water brought to another place is missing at the original spot. Around these there are often forests and a green countryside. If there is not enough water left for the plants and animals, flora and fauna start to die. Moreover, the trucks carrying the water pollute the air with fumes and need a lot of gasoline. Furthermore, the water is filled into plastic bottles. The oceans are already polluted with plastic, all those bottles that often are not reused and disposed the right way make it even worse. Microplastics in the ocean are not only eaten by fish we eat but also toxic for algae which produce most of the oxygen we breath. If everyone drank water from the tub, humanity would probably live a little longer.
In conclusion water should be a human right and therefore belong to the inhabitants and nature of a country. The state should help them to have access to the clean water and should not sell it to companies. It would not only be an advantage for the population but also for the nature and environment itself. A beginning for this better life would be to stop buying bottled water and start drinking from the tub while helping poor states to aid their inhabitants to gain access to clean water too.