Water as a Human Right

Water as a Human Right

Water is an essential commodity in the life of people. There is simply no life without water. For obvious reasons, water is a commodity that any living organism cannot survive without for days. This makes the claims that, “water is not a right for all human and; therefore, can become the property of a business, “an outrageous claim. This is a claim that only people who do not value life and nature can make. This was the case for Nestle where the CEO was positive that the company could privatize the water in Oregon and go ahead and charge people for using it. The CEO is adamant that the water resources should be owned by companies and that people need to stop feeling entitled to water. According to reports from people in places like Pakistan, Nestle has continuously made good of its claims that people do not have a right of water where their activities of packaging bottled water have left the locals without clean drinking water (Samson, 2017). This is a company that cannot be trusted with managing the water resources which they already claim is not a right for people. The company is likely to bottle all the water and leave locals with severe water shortages, a situation in which people cannot survive in good health. Depriving people of their right to water is equivalent to denying people a right to live.

Nestlé’s current chairman has pushed the company’s limits too far by claiming that people do not have a right to water, he comes across as an individual who is not conscious about the lives of people. He only cares about the growth and profits the company generates. The company has gone as far as producing baby formulas with questionable chemical compounds (Samson, 2017). A chairman that can overlook such a practice is one who is only keen on the money they generate now and have no concern about tomorrow. The chairman may have no value for human life but the government overlooking the company’s practices is further encouraging this behavior. The government should be first in line in stopping the company’s illegal practices of harming the public knowingly. The Pakistani village is most likely ridden with diseases caused by lack of clean water and yet the chairman still feels that water is not a right for people. Money in this instance has led to the Pakistani people being left in deplorable conditions because piping water to their homes would cost nestle their source of income in terms of billions. It is clear that this company values money over human life at any given time. The chairman of this company may only be vocal about things many other companies consider in silence. This is clear indication that the corporate systems today only value revenue regardless of how many people get hurt in the process.

The company has so far come out to claim that the statement was taken out of context. However, looking at how Nestle really operates leaves no room for them to convince the general public that the chairman was expressing something he believed was true. The statement was part of his speeches one time. The whole idea as the company came to clarify was that there was too much water being wasted and privatization would ensure equitability in the distribution. (McGraw, 2013) Had the company had better reviews on their practices, then the general public may have been able to understand their explanation and allowed for their privatization projects to take off. However, Nestle has been accused of manipulating the information that gets to their target markets for so long that people no longer know what is wrong and right in the retail chains. There is the instances where the company has been a champion against the distinction of the Genetically Modified Products being labelled as such so that consumers do not know what they are consuming. With this in mind, the idea of privatization coming from Nestle sounds and feels like a raw deal. The company also faces strings of accusations on causing shortages. This is in addition to the atrocities being committed in Pakistan. In the United States, the company has been accused of creating shortages so that the revenue they generate is more every year.

Water is a basic human right first, meaning that water may have other uses but primarily, people should have access water at all times. However, the issue of uneven distribution is high with more than two billion people suffering from acute shortages of water. This is the sight that may have triggered Brubeck to say that it is not a human right. This is given the fact that there are people who have access to too much water that they end up wasting it. (Shaffer, 2015)Conservation of water is an important thing to embark on, however, the role of Nestles in this case should be scrutinized more closely. The company’s practices Amy have been undermined by the government for a long time and may be once the company has control over water, the effects will be seen. This is especially scary because the people who live close to the processing plants suffer with water shortages due to the company’s practice of digging wells too dip. All the water that people would have access to drains into the company’s wells for bottling. The company is already creating a crisis situation yet they have not be granted the rights to privatize the water resources. The chairman has further expressed the need for immediate attention towards the conservation of water. This is a contradiction to the statement that water is not human right. This is especially bed given the fact that the company clearly participates in questionable market practices.

A general take away from the conversation on water conservation as advocated for by Nestle may be questionable. This is because, there is no guarantee that privatization is going to create equitable distribution of water. This is because companies have been known to go against the market policies when they found chance to generate more profits at the expense of the wellbeing of people inclusive of their employees. It is a sad conversation to have because Nestle seemingly treats human life as something that can be controlled by a company. The company has also failed to give a hint of how the privatization will ensure equitable distribution of water to the people. The companies have already shown signs of failing to honor their responsibilities to take of the environment on the carbon emission agreements. How then can people trust the same companies with water management? This are the questions Nestlé should respond to before trying to convince people of their vision on equitability. The society is set to lose more when companies like Nestle start taking control of things as basic as water in the pretext of ensuring equitability. Nestle is also acting hypocritically because, with the access they have to clean water, there are parts in California where there are always acute shortages of water and yet the company had done nothing significant about it. 

To conclude, people need water to survive. According to the United Nation’s recommendation people need at least 25 liters of water daily to maintain proper hygiene and basic survival. This should never had been an issue in Pakistan if Nestle was not bottling all the clean water for sale and the locals are left using dirty and toxic water. There are reasons for the company to want control over water but the ambitions of the company should also be challenged by human rights groups. Bracbeck has a point that water conservation is an urgent need for the survival of humanity. (Confino, 2013)However, just like the governments and the companies have been slow on taking action to correct the situation, Nestle has also failed. The company may need to turn around the practices that they have been accused of in the past and lead the change in the water conservation practices. The ability by the company to maintain good practices should be the first things that come into mind when Nestle is mentioned. This will ensure that people in the society can trust the company’s intentions about water conservation. It is important for Nestle to ensure that the society is confident in their products. The company should invest more in best practices rather than dedicating finances to hiding their ill motives. Water is a fundamental human right and this is a fact that cannot change. There is no existence for human life without water. This is seen in areas where drought spells are experienced and people die for lack of water. Without water there is no way food will be produced. Water is at the very base of the existence of all life on earth. It is for this reason that the statement, “water is not a human right and can be made private property,” remains unfounded and wrong.


Confino, J. (2013, February 4). Nestle’s Peter Brabeck: Our Attitude Towards Water Needs to Change. Retrieved from The Guardian: www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/nestle-peter-brabeck-attitude-water-change-stewardship

McGraw, G. (2013, June 24). Nestele Chairman Peter Brabeck Says We Don’t Have a Right to Water and Everyon’s Confused. Retrieved from HUFFPOST: m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3150150

Samson, K. (2017, August 23). The Privatization of Water: Nestle Denies that water is a Fundamental Human Right. Retrieved from Global Research: www.globalsresearch.ca/the-privatisation-of-water-nestle-denies-that-water-is-a-fundamental-human-right/5332238

Shaffer, L. (2015, March 24). Nestle Chairman: Time to Turn off the Water Taps. Retrieved from CBC News: www.cnbc.com/2015/03/24/nestle-chairman-time-to-turn-off-the-water-taps.html

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