A recent article in the Asia & The Pacific Policy Society policy forum, “Implementing the human right to water: Turning the taps on better global water policy,” highlights the urgent need to solve the lack of access to safe drinking water.
The authors call attention to a discussion launched by the Pontifical Academy of the Vatican, which asserts that “Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.” The authors compare this very clear declaration to less precise language calling for “Improved sources of water,” a catchphrase used for decades by international water organizations, including the World Health Organization, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund and United Nations Environment Program, as well as by multilateral development banks such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
As a result, the world believes that having improved sources of water means safe water, but this is clearly not true.
Conservatively, 663 million people do not have access to safe water, as claimed by WHO and UNICEF. Many water practitioners believe this figure is understated, in part because about 4 billion people live in water-scarce and water-stressed regions of the world.
Business as usual, the same stakeholders with the same set of solutions, will not achieve universal access to safe drinking water.
The company’s team asked the question, “You own the air you breathe by simply taking a breath; why not own the water you drink?” Then, it came up with a solution – using air moisture capture technology and solar power to supply individuals with safe drinking water off the grid.
There is no reason for us to tolerate the appalling lack of access to safe drinking water.