allAfrica.com covers the recent UN conference on water with these results and recommendations:
In Cape Town yesterday the United Nations Development Programme launched a pioneering study that debunks many of the myths of the worldwide water crisis – among them the inevitability of cross-border conflict – and suggests many practical solutions.
The central argument of the newly released 2006 Human Development Report (‘Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis’) is that access to a safe and affordable water supply should be considered a basic human right.
Governments can and should recognise this right by ensuring that all citizens have access to a minimum of 20 litres of clean water per day, and that those who cannot afford to pay get it for free.
Unquestionably, many parts of the planet are faced with acute water shortages, a problem which is being exacerbated by global warming.
Whether it is water or the broader problem of global warming, the challenge is fundamentally not one of aggregate resources, but rather one of the priorities of political leaders, nationally and internationally.