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Alix Taylor
English 101
Dr. Cassel
December 1, 2016

Water for All

Look all around, look at all the industrial dumping, pesticides being sprayed, leaky
storage tanks and the list goes on. All that run-off goes into the drains and to our water systems
and eventually inside us. On July 10th 2010, The United Nations General Assembly passed the
resolution on the human right to water and sanitation for all. The United Nations also
acknowledged the importance of clean water and that essential clean drinking water and
sanitation should be available to everyone. This human right was just passed almost six years
ago, just imagine what toxic chemicals the average person ingests. However, to this day our
water filtration is not what the United Nations promise; some of the daily toxins found under
your faucet is fluoride, chlorine, lead and so much more. Globally, 2.5 billion people live without
access to adequate sanitized water. This then leads to an increase rate of death and various
diseases. To prevent such tragedy, its important to be knowledgeable of water issues to help
provoke change in the government.
One of the earliest influential human rights conventions called Intern ational Convention
on Economic Social and Culture Rights took place in 1966. Sadly, during the conventions, they

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failed to mention the right to water and sanitation. However, at the convention, they looked at
possible rights for Article 11, which was supposed to be broad. It said, everyone should have the
right to transportation, clothing, food and housing. Back then, the right to clean water and
sanitation was automatically assumed and known as an essential to life. It was something that
every human should have access to and not an issue to worry about. Since clean water and
sanitation is a crucial part to everyday living, it seemed redundant for it to be recognized in the
issue of Article 11.
As history progressed, water and sanitation issues became more evident globally. The
right to access clean water and sanitation was finally recognized at the International Conference
on Water and Environment in Dublin in 1992. At that conference the four key Dublin Principles
were created. Which are:
(1) Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and the
environment; (2) Water development and management should be based on a participating
approach, involving users, planners and policy-makers at all levels; (3) Women play a central
part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water; and, (4) Water has an economic
value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good. (Murthy)
The Dublin Principles were created to sympathize the connection to appropriate water
pricing with environmental sustainability for water usage. The idea of the Dublin Principle was
supposed to manage the water treatment and to bring economic good. However, this right ended
up paving the way for an even more corrupted hand of government where it gave them power to
heighten the cost on water just out of greed for money.

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In 2016, the access to water and sanitation issues have worsen. Instead of equality and
water being an essential, water has more than ever been contaminated with toxins. Just recently,
in October, in Flint, Michigan, there was an issue with tainted drinking water with lead and other
dangerous toxins that civilians are consuming daily. Mayor Karen Weber said she made a
fateful mistake on switching the citys water source to save money. Mayer Weber also says
Our infrastructure is broken, leaking, and rusting away. Our local economy, struggles to
rebound. And there are many more Flints across the country where environmental issues are
hurting our kids and families." The political pressure to save money cause people to make
decisions which endangers the right to water. Its a direct contradiction of threated justification to
water policy and the need for water to survive.
In terms of the visual analyst, the picture shows a man pouring two different types of
liquid into a cup. One container the man is pouring has a skull and poison on the label while the
other is a regular glass of water, the cup says NYS water supply. The man says Some people
only see the glass as half polluted. I see it as half protected. This picture is saying that the
government is skewing the view of the public, making civilians think that the government is
doing their job rather than not doing anything to fix the situation. The government is making it
seem as if they are making a change to help the polluted water issue. However, it is beyond far
from the truth. The government is corrupted and power hungry. They are only worried about
putting money in their own pockets while letting people suffer.
The chemicals an average person can find in their water is chlorine, lead, Giardia, E.
coli, and Cryptosporidium. When someone ingests these harmful chemicals anything from
respiratory to digestive issues can accrue. Also, there has been related reports on cancer,
bronchitis, diarrhea, server abdominal pain and cramps. Not only are there harmful chemicals,

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parasites can be found. An estimated 801,000 children younger than 5 years of age perish from
diarrhea each year, mostly in developing countries. This amounts to 11% of the 7.6 million
deaths of children under the age of five and means that about 2,200 children are dying every day
because of diarrheal diseases 4 (CDC). Unsafe drinking water, inadequate availability of water
for hygiene, and lack of access to sanitation together contribute to about 88% of deaths from
diarrheal diseases. Water related deaths are tragic. People are dying every day in developing
countries and in the United Sates. Not only is drinking contaminated water bad to ingest, bathing
in it is worse. Immersing yourself in contaminated water can be more hazardous than consuming
it. The chemicals are absorbed through your skin and go straight to your bloodstream.
From a recent study at Harvard, they examined all fifty states to find that 13 of them
including Ohio, has over 70 percent of Perfluorooctanesulfonic acids (PFASs) in the water
systems and under anyones facet. PFASs is a highly toxic chemical that is used in food
wrappers, clothing, pots and pans, anything commercial or industrial products. This chemical has
n been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, high cholesterol, and obesity. Although many major
manufactures have discontinued to use PFASs, this chemical continues to linger in people and
wildlife. Drinking water is one of the main sources it can be found in. Researchers have initiate
six different types of PFASs in drinking water supplies.
The Food and Drug Association (FDA) does regulate clean water and sanitation in the
United States. In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed by congress making all water to
be filtrated to ensure and protect the quality of Americas water. Also, the United States
Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to set the standards for the overall quality of
drinking water and oversees states, areas, and water suppliers who implement those values.
However, Paul Pestano, a research analyst for the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has

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discovered that the legal limits of chemicals allowed in water may be too hazardous for safe
consumption. For many years now, the EWG has reasoned that the federal government needed to
perform a nationwide assessment of drinking water quality, and invest more to protect against
water pollution in the first place. As of now, the federal government has done neither, which led
the EWG to create its own drinking water quality database. Even though the Environmental
Protection Agency regulates tap water in the U.S., there are legal limits on many of the
contaminants allowed in public water supplies. More than half of the 300 plus chemicals
detected in U.S. drinking water are not regulated at all.
Only 2.5 percent of the Earths water is fresh and less than one percent is readily
available. Currently, there are 844 million people in the world that do not have access to a safe
water supply. Each year 3.575 million people die from water-related diseases. Also, from a
recent article The United Nations has estimated that 2.8 billion people will face freshwater
insufficiency by 2025. In fact, Western Asia and Northern Africa have already effectively used
up their sustainable water resources. (Thor)
Many people do not know the risk or the seriousness about what they are ingesting. Water
is essential to life and no human being should be deprived from it or given toxic water. Without
water and good sanitation, people will die. It is important to have clean, safe and non-toxic water
to ingest and bathe in. There should not have to be an issue about this subject. Water is an
essential to life. Without it we are nothing. Water is more than these so called laws and all the
money in the world. If we can prevail people from dying, we are o2bligated to do so. Water
makes this world go around. Without water, no life.

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Work Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10
Apr. 2009. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
Gibbons, Laura. "Mayor Karen Weaver Brings Flint Water Crisis to 2016 DNC." MLive.com.
N.p., 27 July 2016. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
Roy, Siddhartha. Flint Water Study Updates. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
United Nations. "Hrw, Decade, Water for Life, 2015, UN-Water, United Nations, MDG, Water,
Sanitation, Financing, Gender, IWRM, Human Right, Transboundary, Cities, Quality,
Food Security, General Comment, BKM, Albuquerque." United Nations, n.d. Web. 08
Dec. 2016.
Thor, Emily M. "The Human Right To Water In The United States: Why So Dangerous?." Pacific
Mcgeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal 26.1 (2013): 315-341. Academic
Search Complete. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.
Murthy, Sharmila L. "The Human Right(S) To Water And Sanitation: History, Meaning, And The
Controversy Over-Privatization." Berkeley Journal Of International Law 31.1 (2013): 89149. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.