The present Chairman and former CEO of Nestlé, the leading producer of edible products in the world, deems that the appropriate response to our international water concerns is privatization and market domination. In a recent interview, he denotes that “access to water is not a public right”.
While water is not the rarest of elements, it is the most crucial to our survival. Approximately one-sixth of the worldwide population does not have adequate access to clean drinking water. Even though the global water supply is sustainable for the time being, its equitability is quickly declining because of misuse and privatization ploys similar to Coca-Cola and Nestle. Scientists have confirmed that by the year 2025 two-thirds of the world’s population will inhabit water-stressed areas.
While Peter Brabeck believes that water should only be distributed at “market value”, the United Nations has an opposing take on the matter; confirming that clean water is, in fact, a basic human right.
Such controversies are not new to the Nestle franchise, as they currently maintain the principle privatization of water spanning from India, Poland, and Canada. Since gaining explosive negativity from the internet, Nestle has added a conflicting message to their corporate policies signifying,” all people to have access to clean water to meet their basic human needs.” However, they continue to actively pursue privatization of the Guarani Aquifer, the second largest aquifer system in the world.
The obliteration of water sources, joint with discriminatory access, has left most Latin Americans “water poor.”Millions live without admittance to hygienic water at all. While the region’s obtainable resources could provide each person with close to 110,500 cubic feet of water every year, the standard inhabitant has access to only 1,010 cubic feet per year. This compares to North America’s yearly average of 4,160 cubic feet and Europe’s 2,255.6. With such water deprivation there is simply no room for Nestle’s unethical corporate priorities.
Over the last decade, there has been an influx of private corporations, such as Nestle, who have exacerbated the water scarcity and inequality. Private water companies, determined to take advantage of Latin America’s water crisis, are operating or planning to operate in most countries of the region, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.
Unfortunately, Nestle has proven in previous years that privatization is not a sustainable target for the majority of countries. Their track record with bottling operations in countries such as India, speaks for itself resulting in water shortages and the creation of unnecessary pollution. Their inability to maintain a healthy environment for the people while developing their business has become a common topic of discussion within university curriculum to clearly outline the effects of element degradation.
Human rights are a vital priority, meaning that all water is primarily a human right, and secondly a resource for development in line with our obligation to live sustainably. It is without a doubt our responsibility as a human race to provide all with sufficient water before considering the selfish wants of multi-billion dollar corporations.