Manny Hernandez suggested we post this article from the Christian Science Monitor.

owater_p12Not enough: Girls in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, waited on March 6 for free fresh water provided by a charity group. The city doesn’t have enough water to meet demand.

With fresh water resources becoming scarcer worldwide due to population growth and climate change, a growing movement is working to make access to clean water a basic universal human right.

But it’s a contentious issue, experts say. Especially difficult is how to safely mesh public-sector interests with public ownership of resources – and determine the legal and economic ramifications of enshrining the right to water by law.

“It’s an issue that is snowballing,” says Tobias Schmitz, a water-resources expert with Both Ends, a Dutch environmental and development organization. Some 30 countries have a constitutional or legal provision ensuring individuals’ access to water, up from a handful a few years ago, he says.

“Everybody is grappling with the issue, knowing that we need to secure this right. But the question now is over the practical application of this right,” Dr. Schmitz says.

Government officials and leaders of numerous nongovernmental organizations and companies working on the water issue are meeting this week in Istanbul as part of the World Water Forum, which takes place every three years in a bid to shape global water policy.

To read the rest of the article, go to http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0319/p06s01-woeu.html

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