Journal article Open Access
Dowbor, Ladislau; Rodrigues, Arlindo M. Esteves
WATERLAT-GOBACIT Working Papers (ISSN 2056-4864 - online) Vol. 4 No 2., pp. 144-159 (www.waterlat.org)
Water is the fundamental source that allows the reproduction of life on the planet, including human life. Because it is one of the common goods that are vital to humanity, everyone must be allowed access to it in sufficient quantity and quality for their well-being. But this definition is not hegemonic and is rather subject to dispute: on the one hand, the appropriation of water governance by corporations that treat Water as a commodity and, on the other hand, the empowerment of civil society that treats Water as a common good. Knowing the water cycle and the consequences of its disruption is a fundamental step to understand the risks involved in this antagonism. The aggravating factor of this struggle is the inelastic profile of Water as a commodity, since there is no substitute for it, everyone needs their access to meet vital needs. This “market”, because of its profitability, is very attractive to transnational corporations, which are driven by the ethics of profit. Then again, the appropriation of water as a common good places organized civil society at the center of its governance, with responsibility for the perenniality of water, including for future generations, as an ethical precept. The result of this dispute will define the availability of water for society and, consequently, the conditions for dignified social reproduction.