Demand for fair sharing of water resources

Date

13 Oct 2008

Sections

Climate & Environment

With the prospect of some 3.2 billion people worldwide facing water shortages in the future and one-third of EU citizens already living in areas where demand for water exceeds supply, the European Parliament tackled the issue of water scarcity and drought in a debate and vote in Brussels this week.
Following the vote, Dutch GUE/NGL MEP Kartika Liotard stressed that access to clean drinking water is a civil right. “Sharing drinking water fairly is a core issue for my group and now that the nationalisation of banks is no longer taboo, it must be possible to protect publicly-owned water companies from the market," she said. "Unfortunately, an amendment tabled by my group in this sense was rejected this morning," she said, regretting that only a few more votes would have been necessary for its adoption. "In developing countries which have been forced to sell off their water companies, this has led to major problems,” she warned.

But MEP Liotard maintained that policies on water must be mainstreamed into all other EU policy areas. "In intensive livestock farming, for instance, 2,400 litres of water (almost 530 gallons) are needed to produce 100 grams of beef. We need to eliminate the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides and clean up defective sewerage systems, all of which present a threat to water purity.”