From: Jan Lee, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published March 6, 2013 06:15 AM

International Year of Water Cooperation

As organizations around the world search for ways to ensure that impoverished communities have dependable access to drinking water, a new concern has surfaced: Just who will own the rights to managing that water access in the years to come?

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In 2010, in what seemed at the time to be an awesome example of prescience, the United Nations labeled 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC). Of course, the branding wasn't intended to recognize accomplishments the world has made in sharing its water resources, but to spur countries and communities around the globe to acknowledge that the potential for a global water crisis is real and that according to the UN, challenges such as "water diplomacy, transboundary water management, financing cooperation, national/international legal frameworks" need to be addressed.

Authorities on water management, like Canadian author Maude Barlow, point out that the problem may not necessarily be related to a lack of interest in water rights in the private sector, but in fact a struggle by private companies to grasp control of world water resources.

Barlow, who co-founded the Blue Planet Project to highlight the vulnerability of people who don’t have access to safe drinking water throughout the world, has contested the UN’s statement.

"We don't need the United Nations to promote private sector participation under the guise of greater 'cooperation,'" she said, “when these same companies force their way into communities and make huge profits from the basic right to water and sanitation."

Unidentified man collects drinking water from street side water tap on January 19, 2013 in Patna, Bihar, India. Such source of potable water cause health problems. Image via Shutterstock.

Read more at ENN Affiliate, TriplePundit.

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