Earth Science News  





.
WATER WORLD
Industry rejects criticism on role in UN water policy

Ireland in troubled waters over septic tanks
Brussels (AFP) May 19, 2011 - In a bid to force Ireland to clean up its act, the European Commission is seeking a hefty fine against Dublin over its lack of proper inspections of septic tanks.

The commission said Thursday it would ask the European Court of Justice to impose a lump-sum fine of 2.7 million euros ($3.9 million) against Ireland as well as a daily penalty payment of 26,173 euros until it takes proper action.

The court already ordered Ireland in 2009 to adopt measures to ensure that septic tanks go through adequate checks and inspections in order to protect human health and the environment, but Dublin has yet to pass any new laws.

"There are more than 400,000 septic tanks throughout Ireland and they can pose significant pollution risks to the environment, in particular ground water and drinking water," said the commission's environment spokesman Joe Hennon.

"Ireland also lacked an appropriate system of monitoring the management of domestic waste waters and in particluar no regular inspections by the competent authorities," Hennon said.

European Union law requires domestic waste water from septic tanks or other individual waste water treatment to be recovered or disposed of without endangering human health or the environment.

Discharges from septic tanks have contributed to micro-biological pollution of groundwater and nutrient pollution of surface waters, the commission said.

"Human health is put at risk because pathogens can enter drinking water sources via septic tanks that are poorly designed, located or maintained," it said.

by Staff Writers
Ottawa (AFP) May 19, 2011
AquaFed, the world's main corporate water lobby association, on Thursday rejected accusations that corporate interests risk gaining too much influence over UN water policies.

A report prepared for the Council of Canadians, the largest NGO in Canada, and endorsed by 139 organizations was sent to the UN and opposed "the increasingly widespread lobbying of the United Nations by transnational water corporations."

The organizations said the UN should reject an application for official consultative status from AquaFed, saying it could lead to potential conflicts of interest in addressing the global water crisis.

AquaFed, or the International Federation of Private Water Operators, responded that these organizations had distorted the work of its 300 member companies, which provide potable water for hundreds of millions of people.

The largest are Veolia, Suez, Agbar and Saur.

These companies, said AquaFed, support the UN's recognition last year that access to clean water and sanitation is a human right, a move hailed by water advocates as a momentous step toward a future treaty.

But the association estimates the number of people who lack access to safe drinking water at four billion, more than four times the figure officially cited.

And, it says, all hands, including the private sector will be needed to work to alleviate growing water shortages.

"Public institutions will have to mobilize all parties to address growing water issues," AquaFed said in a statement.

"AquaFed is not profit-driven," it added. "Its goal is to offer solutions to numerous water problems by bringing the know-how and expertise of the private sector to the international community."

The issue of its status at the UN is being considered at a meeting of the UN's Economic and Social Council.

earlier related report
NGOs complain of corporate role in UN water policy
Montreal (AFP) May 18, 2011 - A report prepared for non-government organizations said Wednesday that corporate interests have gained too much influence over UN water policies, creating potential conflicts of interest in addressing the global water crisis.

The report prepared for the Council of Canadians, the largest NGO in Canada, and endorsed by 139 organizations was sent to the UN and opposed "the increasingly widespread lobbying of the United Nations by transnational water corporations."

The organizations said the UN should reject an application for official consultative status from the main corporate water lobby association, known as Aquafed.

So-called consultative status "is a way to hear the voices of social movements and civil society around the world. It should not be allowed to become a way for corporations to try and influence global water policy," said Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow.

"It is important that we let the UN know this is unacceptable."

"No one is opposed to the United Nations working with water corporations to encourage conservation and the search to reduce the world's collective water footprint," Barlow said in the report.

"The concern is that the relationship between the highest levels of the United Nations and the private water sector legitimizes the growing influence of these corporations on policy, both at the UN and at the nation-state level, which in turn promotes a private market system for water delivery and access at the expense of the public and the poor."

Julie Larsen, author of the report, said that "based on my review of water governance at the UN, I feel that the imbalance in power, influence, and money that come with engaging the private sector must be addressed head-on to prevent serious conflicts of interest."

The report said the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) should be a forum "that is free from corporate conflicts of interest."

"To surmount the global water crisis, the UN must assure a formal, transparent and democratic space in which governments can advance the best possible sustainable strategies to protect water as a public good," it said.

Those endorsing the report included US-based Food and Water Watch, France's Libertes Foundation, Canada's Polaris Institute and Italy's Mani Tese.

The UN General Assembly last year recognized access to clean water and sanitation as a human right, a move hailed by water advocates as a momentous step toward a future treaty.

It expresses deep concern that 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and that more 2.6 billion do not have access to basic sanitation.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
WATER WORLD
How rainfall and landslides dried up Panama's drinking water
Panama City, Panama (SPX) May 19, 2011
To understand the long-term effects of a prolonged tropical storm in the Panama Canal watershed, Robert Stallard, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and research hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, and Armando Ubeda, the LightHawk Mesoamerica program manager, organized four flights over the watershed to create a digital map of landslide scars. Two feet of ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


WATER WORLD
Quake-hit New Zealand takes axe to public services

Japan tells tourists says 'it's safe' to come back

Leaders of Japan, China, S. Korea meet in Fukushima

US extends relief for undocumented Haitians

WATER WORLD
Amazon selling more Kindle books than print books

China slaps export quota on rare earth alloys

Physicist accelerates simulations of thin film growth

Malaysians protest Australian rare earths plant

WATER WORLD
Huge waves swamp Fiji hotel rooms

Greenhouse ocean study offers warning for future

Chileans set against giant dams project

Ocean warming detrimental to inshore fish species

WATER WORLD
Research aircraft Polar 5 returned from spring measurements in the high Arctic

Denmark plans claim to North Pole seabed: foreign minister

Ecological impact on Canada's Arctic coastline linked to climate change

Canada PM's Arctic stand 'frosty rhetoric'

WATER WORLD
New method of unreeling cocoons could extend silk industry beyond Asia

Agony for Japan livestock farmers in nuclear crisis

Post-Mubarak Egypt 'running out of food'

Exploding melons sow new China food fears

WATER WORLD
5.9-magnitude quake hits northwest Turkey: one dead

Man returns to desolate Argentina town after flood

US predicts up to 10 Atlantic hurricanes this season

Historic US flooding turns deadly

WATER WORLD
British PM rejects pressure on aid budget

Sudan stages new Darfur air strikes: UN

Mozambique wages war on man-eating crocs

Humanity can and must do more with less

WATER WORLD
The roots of memory impairment resulting from sleep deprivation

Clubbers can smell a good nightspot

Sporadic mutations identified in children with autism spectrum disorders

Computer program aids patients in end-of-life planning


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement