Improving water utilities in poor countries

Essay by goowakjai8University, Master'sA+, June 2006

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Water is a resource believe to be unlimited but only recently people recognize it

as a finite resource. There are many countries that have water shortages such as

Mexico, Chile, and South Africa. In West Africa, people drink the same pond water

where mothers launder clothes and thirsty cattle drink. The water are contaminated with

guinea worm larvae and other deadly parasites. Children are dying of typhoid, cholera,

and dysentery. They are going blind from trachoma. According to John Peet, Europe

editor for The Economist, states, "the two main reasons why so many people in poor

countries do not have clean water are, first, that most of it is wasted in subsidized

irrigation by farmers, who use over 75% of all water in developing countries; and second,

that water utilities tend to be corrupt, inefficient and to charge too little" (Peet).

The Johannesburg Summit 2002 is an organization that focuses on achieving on

sustainable development.

The Summit was at Johannesburg, South Africa from August

26 to September 4, 2002. Their focus on sustainable development includes; economic

growth and equity, conserving natural resources and environment, and social

development. One of the organization's main goal is to improve access to clean water.

At the same time, human demand is rising and competing usage for water are rapidly

increasing pressure on water sources. Solving these problems will require more financial

investment and advance technological solutions from the public and private sectors.

One out of every five human beings lacks access to safe drinking water, the most basic of

human needs. "About 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water.

Contaminated drinking water and an inadequate supply of water account for 10 percent of

all diseases in developing countries" (Johannesburg ).

In poor countries, paying less for water does not help the...