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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Ethics of drinking water.

Posted By: R Sudarshana
Date: Tuesday, 1 June 1999, at 11:13 a.m.

In Response To: The repercussions of salt extraction / Bhavnagar Bhal-India. (R. Sudarshana)

I think we need to have some reasonable ethical background in solving the problems of drinking water in the coastal zone. Let me propose some for your consideration. Let us also engage ourselves in thinking about these and discussing these points on this electronic discussion board.

1. EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO SAFE DRINKING WATER: Beyond a level of suffering, cost benefit considerations must stop. Individuals and organisations must discover all possible ways of augmenting water resources in the region and/or import water. National, international and Non Governmental Organizations should all assume the responsibilities of raising the finances for getting drinking water. Since God cannot be dragged to a Court of Law, we must learn to excuse the uncertainties of rainfall.

2. SAFEGUARDING THE INTERESTS OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES MUST BE AN UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE FOR DEVELOPMENT. How do we do it ? It must be quantitatively linked to the development process and the industrial segment should substantially provide for it. In this regard, the practice of taxation that first goes to Government coffers and then flows to the local community should be short circuited. There should be direct expenditure from the industrial sector at the community level not as an optional charity, but as a compulsory practice.

3. SCIENTISTS FROM DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES NEED TO WORK TOGETHER. Scientists must allow sociologists and sociologists must invite scientists to review each other's work. Organizations like UN bodies must hold workshops for sociologists from scientists and vice versa to explain to each other the common sense meaning of their jargon. Societal prosperity is everyone's responsibility in equal proportion.

4. COASTAL DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES. Protection of aquifers with potable water, conservation of coastal lands for culturally established agriculture and sustainability of coastal resources for the native inhabitants are essential guidelines that must be addressed in all coastal development projects. Scientists and sociologists alike should identify the strings in development that affect the above and provide proper counselling and/or regulatory advice.

There could be many more ethical guidelines which may have to be incorporated into GLOBAL PRESCRIPTIONS OF WISE PRACTICES. Please find out more and let us know.

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