Friday, October 15, 2010
Water it is not longer a free good
When it comes to keep our health in good conditions, most of us count on food quality, but very few of us realize, how hard this is going to be in the future. Very much of what we need for our health, comes from clean water. Our body is 70% water, which means that the first condition for good health is good quality water. This a well known fact by physicians , but what about its implications when water is scarce?
The problem arise because clean water for human consumption unfortunately has already become a scarce resource. It will require tough competition among its different users, to get what they need. Let check the list(www.treehugger.com)
a.- Every average person need around 200 hundred liter of water for daily consumption.
b.-To produce an hamburger requires 24 liters of water
c.- To produce lettuce 60 liters of water
d.- To produce tomatoes 88 liters of water
e.- To produce apples 332 liter of water
f.- To produce wheat bread 616 liters of water
g.- To produce chocolate 11388 liters of water !
g.- To produce rice 1612 liters of water
The list goes on and the issue is clear enough to look for ACTION. Check this web page out :(www.blogactionday.change.org), for more .
Less than 1% of all water available on earth is suitable for human consumption. 42000 people die each week, because lack of clean water. Underground source of water are not huge such as to count on them. Productive activities such as agricultural and mining ( whose productive process is highly water intensive )will have to compete between each other for water. Thus, it is a real possibility that severe conflicts might arise because of lack of water.-
The Blog action day deal with a responsible call to make water preservation a duty.-
From the economics point of view , water scarcity means it has an higher price , which we are not paying . In fact in real terms we are consuming free water ,(those people who die because of lack of water are part of the price!), and it seems feasible that sometime in the future, we will have to assume an higher share of water cost in our budgets.
While in the last 40 years we have been worried about oil prices, in the next 50 years or so, we will have to be worried about water prices.-
Besides , water is considered a common good (The tragedy of commons), which mean that there is no restriction about its use, and the risk of over exploitation is real. The solution, include to assign property right ,and this rights might be sell to other customer. As long as to protect water has a price , users get more cautious about the way they use this resource.
But water preservation is not judt a market issue. Government regulations also are important. At the same time,it is also a Government responsibility. Some regular activities concern with such responsibility : Car wash, garden maintenance, laundry requirements are increasingly luxuries goods, but at a very cheap price!. Something is wrong when a distortion like this one is not solved. It is the well know market failure issue, for common property good, which requires efficient government intervention.-