The lack of access to water is a very big problem in the world. Many countries do not have laws to make companies properly treat water, or to keep them from contaminating or dumping waste into the water sources. 785 million people lack basic drinking-water service, 144 million of which are dependant on surface water. It is predicted that in 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water stressed areas. This epidemic will spread, as it is already reaching big cities, if the United Nations does not intervene and help determine what can and should be done to combat this growing problem.
El Salvador is very interested in helping find or come up with a solution to this water crisis, as she and many other countries, including her neighbors, have been greatly impacted. El Salvador has already started cobatting this issue by banning metal mining in the country, which is a leading cause for the poor conditions of the water. The General Water Law bill, which would enforce access to water for everyone, make companies treat water before returning it to its source, and regulate the amount of water used by companies, was originally introduced in 2006. An updated version of the bill was proposed in 2013 and to show their support of the bill in 2014, many Salvadorans marched in San Salvador, El Salvadors’s capital. Unfortunately, the ARENA party of El Salvador struck this bill down, as they are more concerned with recognizing the rich and keeping them in power.
El Salvador proposes some solutions, the first being simple, yet very complex. Countries should make water a constitutional right, if they have not already. This would give the poor rural villagers as much a right to water as the rich city dwellers. Another solution for El Salvador in specific (but other countries could do something similar) would be passing the General Water Law bill. This would, metaphorically, would be like grabbing the weed from the roots and pulling. Eliminating the main cause of the problem should be one of the first steps in solving it. A well is also being built in the village of El Limon, which has about 150 families. El Salvador expects to find allies in other countries that are struggling with access to and the pollution of waters, such as Honduras, Guatemala, and Peru.
- Elleah Berger