Inalienable Water Rights

You can buy water rights with land in Nevada, but do you think that would be a sound investment? Depends on what you want to do with it.

The state's Department of Agriculture is serious about protecting its estimated $1 billion agriculture industry and the necessary water to irrigate crops and sustain livestock. So a farm or a ranch in Nevada may have some potential.

But these days, you really should consider the availability of water and your right to it wherever you go and whatever you do.

At WEFTEC.09 earlier this month, water industry leaders alluded to the "right" to water. Dr. Mike Magee, a physician who has made a second career educating others about the importance of water, says all human beings need it, but it is in short supply and, of course, it needs to be safe. Or, clean enough not to make many people sick. But is this a right?

Although it wasn't spelled out ─"citizens have a right to water"  when the 13 U.S. states declared their independence, I think the right to life and water being essential for that is inalienable and really belongs to everyone (not just the U.S.) because we are all "equal." Right? Wrong.

There's no equality with water in the real world. I eat red meat, which is a water intensive food, while people in some poorer nations eat vegetarian because they don't have the water to raise beef. I have access to plenty of water (think more than 12 minutes in the shower) and it is clean. Magee pointed out that many women have to walk miles to get a drink and that half of the beds in poorer nations are filled with patients experiencing some form of waterborne disease. Sometimes they die from it.

Can we make us more equal? Do U.S. citizens need to rethink their water rights or should we help people in other lands achieve theirs? Maybe a bit of both. What do you think?

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Oct 20, 2009