Quest 6: To pay or not to pay?
Start your Quest 6
investigation using this worksheet.
here if you need to download a programme to read pdf files.
Water: a human right
Water is crucial to human health, food production and economic development.
It’s considered a basic human right (something a person is entitled to) and
sustainable development is impossible without it.
Access to safe
water is a fundamental human need and, therefore, a basic human right.
Contaminated water jeopardises both the physical and social health of all
people. It is an affront to human dignity.
Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General
The Water for Life Decade was launched in March 2005 to encourage
countries to meet the United Nations Millenium Development Goal for water and
sanitation. This goal aims to improve people’s access to water and sanitation.
|Goal: to reduce by half the number of people that do not have access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015.
Water: a commodity
Many profit-motivated corporations see water in economic terms and consider it a
commodity (something a person should pay to get). Selling water for profit
provides business opportunities but risks making access to water more readily
available to those who can afford it rather than available to all.
Water is one of
the world’s greatest business opportunities. It promises to be to the 21st
century what oil was to the 20th century.
Installing water systems and supplying water costs money. So water isn’t usually
free and the user is expected to pay for what they use. When people pay for
what they use, it can encourage them to be efficient water users.
Unfortunately, those who can afford to pay may not be motivated to use water
more efficiently. Those who can’t afford to pay must either use less than they
need or risk having their supply cut.
Water service prices per cubic metre (m3 = 1000 litres)
(in US dollars)
Find out more
The World Health Organisation's report on
The Right to Water.
Go to: Related links "The right to water" > Chapter One - Water as a Human
Check progress on Goal 7
in the most recent Millenium Development Goals Progress Report.
See what's happening for the Water
for Life Decade.
Find out the price of water by contacting your
City Council or District Council.
Learn how New Zealand's water resources are managed, owned and used.
Ministry for the Environment - Water.
for the future - Information sheet.