Capitalism and Water…a scary thought?

We all know that water is unevenly distributed throughout the world. With only 1% of the world’s freshwater (2.5%) being easily accessible and about 650 million people in the world “not having access to safe water” (WaterAid America, 2016), we all should be taking water sustainability and the whole idea of ensuring water for all very seriously.

I recently read a post in the Water Efficiency Magazine entitled “Supply and Demand: Does Water Capitalism Offer a Solution?” by Laura Sanchez which looked at the whole idea of water capitalism and the assertion by some that water should be allocated according to modern economic priorities i.e. urban and industrial usage rather than agricultural purposes.

At the end of the article though, the author asked persons to give their thoughts on such an idea. In my opinion, I think by placing such a valuable resource, as water, in the same arena as wealth and finance, there could be detrimental impacts to those in the poorer economical bracket. I mean hasn’t anyone been paying attention to the scale of things: the major reason why some countries don’t have proper water resources and even sanitation is due to the fact that they don’t have the financial means to do so.

World Distribution of Wealth (World Economic Forum, 2015)

However, I’m curious to see where such an idea could lead, and I’m sure many other persons are curious as well, however, I do hope that the old adage “curiosity killed the cat” doesn’t hold true…(you know since water is life and if we can’t afford it we would be doomed)

What do you guys think…should water capitalism be seen as a scary thought or a very welcome solution?