The Water Manifesto: Arguments for a World Water Contract

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Zed Books, 2001 - Science - 135 pages
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One and a half billion people across the world lack drinking water and another two lack clean water generally. In 20 years time these numbers will have doubled. Agricultural and industrial pollution is degrading the quality of fresh water supplies everywhere. And we lack a body of international law regulating the right to fresh water supplies. Should access to water be a universal human right? Should the provision of water be left in the hands of privatized corporations?Riccardo Petrella analyses the obstacles in the way of an adequate response to these issues and sets out a cogent critique of a market-oriented system that sees water as a commodity rather than a precious community resource and fundamental human right.This book calls for a world water contract enshrining fresh water as an essential good to which all people have a right. It should be controlled by communities in the public interest, and with international rules for its equitable management and distribution. He also calls on citizens, NGOs and parliamentarians all over the world to mobilize around these demands, as well as for an immediate programme of fresh water provision for the rural and urban poor.

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About the author (2001)

Riccardo Petrella is perhaps best known in the English-speaking world for his path-breaking book, The Limits to Competition. This book, widely seen as the 1990s counterpart to the Club of Rome's Limits to Growth report of the 1970s, was first published in 1995 while Riccardo Petrella was President of the Group of Lisbon. It soon became an intellectual bestseller in the United States and has been now translated and published in ten languages.Born in 1941, a social scientist by background, Riccardo Petrella became a leading member of Jacques Delors' team at the European Union when it was trying to deepen the social content of the EU as a political project to which the ordinary man -- and woman -- in the street could relate. Committed to a vision in which humanbeings rather than the market become the centrepiece for a new global social contract which can provide renewed hope and optimism for the future.Riccardo Petrella's new book is an important development of certain ideas first outlined in The Limits to Competition. He is currently teaching at the Catholic University of Louvain.

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