The Water Dossier: Shortage, Pollution, Corruption

Marc Laimé,
396p, Threshold, 2003.

water shortage

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, our societies are paradoxically confronted with the same problem as at the end of the nineteenth century: to ensure that every human being has access to drinking water. More than 1,4 billion people around the world do not have clean water. More than 15 millions of human beings die each year. Shortage kills. But this shortage is aggravated by disturbing behavior. Of "common good", water has become a commodity for the benefit of conglomerates who want to make profitable their colossal investments. France has a particular responsibility here, since our country is home to the world's two largest companies. A vigorous protest movement is fighting to ensure that access to clean water is recognized as a fundamental human right. In France itself, in addition to the catastrophic pollution caused by intensive agriculture, the exorbitant prerogatives of an overpowering industry and their opaque financial practices that affect the consumer and the taxpayer are debated. But reform projects turn into legislative sea snakes. In the same way as food security and industrial risks, water is today a major issue in terms of the environment, public health and democracy. No government will be able to continue without a realistic and generous policy.

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