All things are interconnected. Everything goes somewhere. There is no such thing as a free lunch, nature bats last. These are the four laws of ecology.
These come to mind when you think of the three scenarios that are emerging on water across India and the rest of the developing world that is seeing much of the damage.
Scenario 1: The world is seriously running out of fresh water. It is not a question of money needed to reach out to people living in water-stressed regions of our world. We are polluting, diverting, and depleting the earth’s limited water resources at a dangerous and steadily increasing rate. The abuse and displacement of water is the ground-level equivalent of green house gas emissions. It is likely to be as great a cause of climate change as carbon emission is.
Scenario 2: Daily more and more people are living without access to clean water. As the crisis of ecology deepens, the human crisis is also deepening. More children are killed by dirty water than by war or malaria or HIV and traffic accidents combined. The global water crisis is the most powerful symbol of the growing inequality in the world. While the wealthy enjoy boutique water any time, millions of poor have access only to contaminated water from local rivers and wells.
Scenario 3: A powerful corporate water cartel is emerging. They are seizing control of every aspect of water for their own profit. Companies deliver drinking water and take away waste water. They put massive amounts of water in plastic bottles and sell it to us at exorbitant prices that we are willing to pay. Companies are building sophisticated technologies to recycle our dirty water and sell it back to us. Companies extract and move water in huge pipelines from rich aquifers and watersheds to sell to big cities and industries.
Companies buy, store, and trade water on the open market like selling candies. Companies want governments to deregulate water sector and allow the market to set water policy. Every day they get closer to this goal, the worse the human crises will get on water.