Clean Water For All Argumentative Essay

Published: 2021-06-22 00:27:45
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Category: Management, Law, Government, Politics, Discipline, Community, United States

Type of paper: Essay

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Water is an important issue. Most people do not understand that water is a very important issue. Climate change has made people more aware of the problem. This year many droughts and wildfires in the United States and in other parts of the world have been discussed on the news. Climate change has been shown to have a negative impact on the quality of life of people everywhere. Dry weather caused the bad droughts and the wildfires. When people have enough water they do not think about water. But when people do not have water they suffer. When people do not have water they do not have a good life. In some countries business is in charge of water. Privatization is when a business is in charge of the water in a community. Public water management is when the government has control of the water in a community. Some communities have a combination of business and government in charge of water management. Governments cannot control climate change but they should manage water because then water will not be too expensive, it will be easy for people to find, and people will be healthier.
Research was carried out using the Libra database, the LexisNexis database, and the EBSCO green files database. The purpose of the research was to understand the role of government in water management. The research was initiated after viewing the documentary “A World without Water.” The topic of public versus privatized water was discussed in the movie. Families who were living without water in their homes were shown in the movie. The impacts on families who lived without water were made clear in the documentary.
Walter Lynch is the president and chief operating officer of Regulated Operations at American Water. His company is located in Voorhees, New Jersey. He explained how there are three major parts of a water management system and all them are very expensive. The first part is the pumping station. The pumping station needs electricity 24 hours a day to run. The costs to keep the pumping station maintained and modern are high. The second part of the water management process is the treatment facility. This part treats the water so that it will meet the water quality regulations. The third part is the distribution system. The distribution system is the part which sends the water into homes and businesses. Lynch explained that “The distribution system (is) 700,000 miles of pipes that deliver water across vast expanses to homes, businesses, farms, industrial plants, and a multitude of other destinations” (26). He explained that paying for the distribution system also includes fixing it when it breaks down, testing it and keeping it modern. These are all very expensive tasks.
Pumping, treating and maintaining the distribution system are the three parts of the water management system. Each part needs expenses paid. The pumping station must have a good energy source like electricity. The treatment of water requires special chemicals and special facilities. The pipes that make up the distribution system must not have any leaks. There must be enough pressure in the pipes to make the water reach its destination. Here is what Lynch had to say about the burden of cost on the public system.
With 85 percent of the nation’s water serviced by the public sector, the burden of the nation’s water serviced by the public sector, the burden to finance upgrades rests mainly on municipalities, local communities, and, ultimately, state and local governments. The United States Conference of Mayors reports that local governments will spend around $100,000,000,000 this year (2012) on water and wastewater systems – and according to the National League of Cities, there will still be a gap of about $19,000,000,000 between what we need to invest and what we actually do invest to replace aging facilities that are approaching the end of their useful lives and to comply with existing and future Federal water regulations. (Lynch 23)
Lynch has pointed out the main challenge is cost. The cost includes updating old pipes, pumping stations and treating facilities. The cost also includes fixing treating facilities so that all government regulations can be met. He also said something very interesting. The high costs he has talked about do not include adding more customers to the water systems. This is very important to think about. As populations grow in cities because people immigrate to the cities - how will they be able to receive their water?
The Federal government can help pay some of the costs but the help they give to the state and city water systems is in the form of loans. Lynch discussed the need for private and public companies to cooperate with each other to help American communities continue to have good water. It turns out that private companies have been part of America’s water management for 200 years. Lynch reported that 15 percent of the water management has “been a steward” for America’s water supply (27).
Lynch shared many examples of the types of collaborations that take place in the United States. For example the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act of 2011 was introduced in the Congress. If the Act passes then the public water management systems will be able to use private money that had not been available in the past. Lynch also talks about a collaboration that has many groups involved. The Johnson Foundation has called for United States businesses, farmers, environmental not-for-profits, and government agencies to work together to solve the water management problems. Robert Tamblyn had a very interesting idea that would combine air cooling and water supply into one project. The Toronto Star said that he had a very good idea and that it would “enhance the (water) supply” (A15). His idea would require public money and “partial privatization” of the City of Hamilton’s Utility Company (Robert A15).
The hypothesis used for the research was that ‘although governments cannot control climate change, they can manage the water in a community.’ The arguments are based on three main assumptions. (a) People can afford water if government is in charge of water management. (b) People can have running water in their homes when government supplies the water. People will not have to travel far and carry water back to their house. (c) People can have better health if government is in charge of the water management because the government must follow strict regulations. The regulations are laws that that the government must follow about public health.
1. The first argument is that if the government manages the water, the water will be public. The federal and state governments make regulations to keep water safe and affordable. The part of the government that manages the water must follow the regulations. Businesses that support privatization argue that people need a business to manage water. Businesses need to follow the same regulations. In Canada this debate is taking place between the Blue Communities and Environment Probe. Blue Communities is an organization started by Robyn Hamlyn, the Council of Canadians, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Robyn Hamlyn is thirteen years old. She has traveled in Ontario to many city councils to say “Help me save our water” (Solomon FP11). Solomon, an intern at Environment Probe, argues that private water systems follow regulations better than public water systems. She gives the example of Moncton’s public water system. Moncton’s water was not a good color and it did not taste good. The city wanted to build a water filtration plant but the city did not have enough money. Solomon reported that the city used a private system and saved millions of dollars. (FP11)
2. The second argument for public water management is that water will be easy for people to find if government manages water. Businesses say they have more money to run water pipes everywhere. For example businesses say that people should pay to keep the water pipes new. On the other hand if the water is too expensive then people will not be able to pay. They have to go far to find water, pipes or no pipes. On October 29, 2012 Stephen Dineen interviewed the Commission for Energy Regulations’ Generation Manager John O’Connell. O’Connell (from Ireland) said that there were two important challenges. The first big challenge for water management is to know exactly what the customers need. The second big challenge is to make sure water management is efficient. He discussed both clean water and wastewater management. O'Connell stated that regulation “drives efficiency in monopoly utility companies. We want to make sure that those efficiencies are given to customers, that it's not squirreled away for the company's benefit or anything like that" (Dineen 2012). O’Connell stated also that customers should only pay for efficient water services.
3. The third argument is that government management of water will be healthier for people. Some businesses say a business is better at making sure water is clean. But some people say that the government is better at making sure that the water is clean. It is the government’s job to make sure people have good public health. Having good health is part of the role of water when it is considered a human right. The principle that water is a human right must be accepted in order to join the Blue Communities in Ontario. The reason they say water should not be privatized is because human rights are not “commodities” (Solomon F11). Essie Solomon from Environment Probe does not agree. Solomon said that putting water into the category of human rights “stretches the definition” (F11). Solomon agrees that human rights are inalienable rights; but she says that inalienable rights do not come from a government. She said that the government has the job of protecting inalienable rights. Solomon also said that water costs money whether it is managed by the government or privatized.
In conclusion two types of funding, public and private, for America’s water management system has been researched and presented in this essay. The hypothesis was that although governments cannot control climate change, they can manage the water in a community.’ After doing this research the hypothesis has been found to be incorrect. The government (public funding) needs to have cooperation from businesses (private funding) so America can have a good water management system.
Works Cited
A World without Water. Documentary. Brian Woods, Director. Released April 26, 2009. n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2012.
Dineen, Stephen. “John O'Connell interview: Efficient water services,” Eolas Magazine, 29 Oct. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
Lynch, Walter. “A Crisis at the Tap.” USA Today Magazine, 140(2800), 26-27. Jan. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
“Robert Tamblyn's great idea” The Toronto Star. 22 Oct. 2012 Web. 5 Nov. 2012. Section: Opinion, pg. A15.
Solomon, Essie. “Don't bottle 13-year-old's water wisdom” National Post (f/k/a The Financial Post, Canada), 23, Aug. 2012 Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

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