MEP Oreste Rossi asks Commission about Equitable water for all

(20 September 2012) In a written question Rossi asks what efforts the European Commission undertakes to achieve equitable water for all. He gives a clear example of violation of the human right to water and sanitation in cases where hotels in tourist areas extract and pollute water at the expense of local population.  We look forward with great interest to the answer of the European Commission

Question for written answer E-007936/2012

to the Commission

Rule 117

Oreste Rossi (EFD)

Subject:       Lack of water for locals in the poorest countries, but plenty for tourists

Water has always been a problem throughout the world: there are those who consume too much, those who have no access to it and those who even waste huge amounts. In various parts of the world the uncertainty of available drinking water is an everyday problem for thousands of people: in some countries, water use is mainly a luxury rather than something that is available to poor indigenous families.

The waste of this key resource in luxury hotels is managing not only to damage the economic system but also the environment, since it contaminates river water in villages. Fresh, abundant and decontaminated water is available to resorts and their guests, while local people suffer from thirst and diseases caused by the polluted water they consume. Tour operators and hotel chains directly benefit from this at the expense of a weak and poor population. Water resources have always been exploited for luxury goods and consumption rather than for helping to prevent nutritional insecurity for many people, who are left to fend for themselves. What a hotel room consumes in one day in a developing country would help an entire village for at least a couple of days.

In addition to this sad fact, community water wells are gradually being abandoned, precisely because of the pollution of the aquifers. Even houseboats for tourists are highly polluting and harmful to the water and are affecting fisheries and therefore local economies.

Given that nowadays, in remote corners of the planet, lack of water is a constant daily struggle for thousands of people who have no access even to drinking water, while in other parts of the world water is wasted at the expense of these already disadvantaged populations, can the Commission say whether it will take action on the sensitive issue of water provision to all, regardless of social class?

 

Read the question in Italian