Tuesday, July 8, 2014

No water? No worries!... Detroit takes it dry

Poor Kevyn Orr!

It's gotta be a tough job cleaning up the books of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department. After all, what Infrastructure Fund is going to want to buy an asset with tens of thousands of delinquent customers?

This is not about water, it's about assets. And before you get all excited about the UN "doing something" about this, have a gander at how the UN defines access to water. Yes, it's a human right, but here's what that means;

  • Sufficient. The water supply for each person must be sufficient and continuous for personal and domestic uses. These uses ordinarily include drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, personal and household hygiene. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 50 and 100 litres of water per person per day are needed to ensure that most basic needs are met and few health concerns arise.
  • Safe. The water required for each personal or domestic use must be safe, therefore free from micro-organisms, chemical substances and radiological hazards that constitute a threat to a person's health. Measures of drinking-water safety are usually defined by national and/or local standards for drinking-water quality. The World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines for drinking-water quality provide a basis for the development of national standards that, if properly implemented, will ensure the safety of drinking-water.
  • Acceptable. Water should be of an acceptable colour, odour and taste for each personal or domestic use. [...] All water facilities and services must be culturally appropriate and sensitive to gender, lifecycle and privacy requirements.
  • Physically accessible. Everyone has the right to a water and sanitation service that is physically accessible within, or in the immediate vicinity of the household, educational institution, workplace or health institution. According to WHO, the water source has to be within 1,000 metres of the home and collection time should not exceed 30 minutes.
  • Affordable. Water, and water facilities and services, must be affordable for all. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) suggests that water costs should not exceed 3 per cent of household income.
There you have it; as long as you can find a water source within 1000 meters of your place, that doesn't cost more than 3% of your household income, you're good to go!

So stop whining, grab a pail, and head down to the Detroit River.

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