I have been thinking about this for a long time. Of course just 40 years ago, if you were to say you were going to sell water, everyone in Malaysia will think you are mad. Why would anyone want to buy a bottle of water when they can get clean water off the tap or just from a stream somewhere? That was how water was taken for granted before we became "civilized" and "developed". In today's Malaysia, water is no longer safe to be drunk straight from the tap. (I suspect this is the same in most parts of the developed world).
Have you ever wondered why the water from the tap suddenly seemed to be dirty with the advent of water filters being sold by private companies? Or was it just a coincidence? The mineral water industry has grown and become big - all over the world.
We all know that life cannot exist without water. He who controls water, controls life. In this sense therefore water is a security and essential industry in any country.
Have you ever been concerned with the commercialization and privatization of this very vital component of life? Who controls it here or in the world? Did you know that billions of people in the world do not have access to water?
The issue with water is very complex, and has ironic issues. If human beings were to assimilate into their environment naturally, the it is possible that natural "clean" water may be more readily available. However, humans like to "develop", re-engineer the geography of the nature and hence, "artificial" water sources need to be developed. As I said, there are various complex issues concerning water today.
In 1995, Ismail Serageldin, the Vice-President of the World Bank predicted about the future of world wars saying: "If the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water". Obviously, the war strategists and capitalists will sniff out this future much earlier than the citizens of the world living in their comfort zones (Never mind Malaysians!).
Water is a human right. Why is it that we do not hear clearly of International Treaties, laws and seminars on this issue? I am sure there are politics involved in this issue too - maybe someone wants to research this and enlighten us? The following is interesting (and frightening reading):
"We are on the verge of a water crisis.
By 2025, more than half of the nations in the world will face freshwater stress or shortages and, by 2050, as much as 75 percent of the world’s population could face freshwater scarcity. International Alert has identified 46 countries, home to 2.7 billion people, where climate change and water-related crises create a high risk of violent conflict. A further 56 countries, representing another 1.2 billion people, are at high risk of political instability. That’s more than half the world.
And we are becoming a much thirstier world. Growing populations spur demand for more industries and farmland, draining water resources more quickly than ever. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the problem as it alters rainfall patterns. And, unlike carbon reduction, there is no alternative, no substitute to promote".
I am getting nervous and that makes me thirsty...gonna grab and appreciate my mineral water.