Water is something that almost all life as we know it requires for survival. It is essential to human life. Yet by 2025, it is believed that nearly 70% of the world will run short of fresh drinking water. The privatization of water offers a possible solution to this issue, but there are several pros and cons that must be considered.
What Are the Pros of Water Privatization?
1. It encourages innovation and creativity.
Because there is a need for profit to stay in business, an organization controlling the water supply would be forced to find a solution to the lack of fresh water in the future to stay in business.
2. It increases overall access to the water supply.
When water is the primary product that is being consumed, then more of it will become necessary over time to satisfy a growing population. This means it may increase local supplies by looking at filtering and other efficiencies that can be added to the local water table.
3. It would upgrade the current system.
Some of the water distribution systems in the United States are over 100 years old. Privatization would encourage infrastructure upgrades without requiring as much taxpayer support.
What Are the Cons of Water Privatization?
1. The costs are typically higher.
The privatized water supply in the UK costs 2x more than the public water supply in Sweden. This is because the company is responsible not to the general public, but to shareholders, and so profit becomes a top priority.
2. It reduces or eliminates local control.
Many water services are controlled by local government officials, which allows the general public to have a say in how access to the water supply is achieved. When this system is privatized, that control can quickly evaporate.
3. It may create new classes in society.
If water is all about profit, then what happens to those who cannot pay for that water? Do they get none at all? Or do they get the unclean leftovers of the richer classes?
Water privatization may solve some problems, by as the pros and cons indicate, it may also create some new problems as well. By evaluating this subject completely, each community can decide if being public or being private is the right choice to make.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.