chapter  9
22 Pages

Water commoditization: An ethical perspective for a sustainable use and management of water resources, with special reference to the Arab Region

ByMagdy A. Hefny

ABSTRACT: The theme of the chapter is controversial since there is no clear cut argument to advocate whether water could be treated as a marketable commodity, or as a common good and a fundamental human right “Re-thinking water and food security” presents a good opportunity to review and reflect on this question and what could be a balanced integrated approach. The chapter has chosen to investigate and analyze the current trend ofwater commoditization in theArabRegion from an ethical perspective. The main objective is to call for awater strategy, that emphasizes basic ethical principles, and help improve on the design of the water and food security system. Water shortage and scarcity is becoming a major problem the world will face in the coming decade, and especially in relation to theArabRegion.Theproblemhas been exacerbated bynatural andmanmade factors such as aridity, high population growth, degradation inwater quality, institutional and policy aspects, public involvement and awareness, and other socio-economic complicating factors. There are many negative and positive effects due to the shift to neo-liberal market-led economies, which have surfaced in the past decade and a half throughout the Arab Region and the developing world at large. The question is turning towards how it will possible to mitigate the negative effects of increased levels of poverty and worsening environmental degradation.