Argumentative Essay Sample on Water Privatization

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1159 words
Boston College
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Argumentative essay
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The absence of water on earth would lead to the death of all living things since it is one of the most significant resources that ensure the existence of all plants and animals. Apart from drinking individuals utilize water in facilitating activities such as washing, cooking, traveling, and running machines. The increase in its scarcity has instigated the debate on whether or not it is ethical to privatize water and its sources. Like food, water is a vital product in man's existence, and thus it should be protected through privatization.

The act of privatizing water means making privately owned companies the main providers of water services and sanitation by allowing the firms to manage water reserves and sources. It is advisable for countries to privatize their water services because privatization would improve the quality of water offered for consumption (Lee, 2016). The presence of different companies offering water would create competition within the industry thus ensuring citizens get clean water. The competitiveness of the industry would force businesses to attract new customers and retain their old ones by ensuring they consistently offer water which is clean and safe for consumption. The competition for customer approval would also force the firms to minimize the fee they charge thus allowing the population to have access to clean water at an affordable cost. This would be beneficial to their customers since they would not have to invest on purifying the water further.

Firms like Nestle and Coca Cola Company, Dasani have invested a lot of their resources in research and quality assurance processes that have ensured they consistently offer water that is clean and safe for consumption to its customers. Thus such companies are in a better position of providing clean that is safe for use as compared publicly owned water companies. The allowing of privatization of Manila water services by the government of Philippine ensured citizens of a city had accesses to clean and safe water. According to Kappor (2015), this reduced the cases of out breaks of water bone disease previously reported since it facilitated the reconstruction of the capital's water distribution system that was in use from the 1870's when it was constructed.

Privatizing water would reduce water shortages brought about by scarcity because water sources would be well managed. The various enterprises providing water to the public would have to set up structures and measures that promote recycling thus preventing wastage of water. The firms would have to employ such actions to ensure the continuity of the business since the depletion of water in their sources may cause the enterprise to go out of business. A nation like Senegal in Africa has been able to reduce cases of water shortages previously experienced in different parts of the country by privatizing its water supply. Senegal with the help of World Bank in 1995 successfully transformed the nation's public water company SONEES into two private companies SONES and SDE which work hand in hand with the country's ministry of water (Gomez, 2016). The proper management of the nation's water supply by the two companies has allowed the state to increase the number of citizens connected to clean and safe water by 165% as from 1996 to 2014. Philippine's reconstruction of its water system in Manila allowed the country to solve the crises of water shortage caused by the rise in population through increasing the city's water storage capacity for serving only 300000 people to 3.6 million.

Outsourcing of water services would also benefit a nation since it would allow the government to concentrate on improving the quality of other public services they offer to their citizens. In privatizing water services, the government would have reduced its work load and increase the funds and resources at its disposal since the private companies tasked in offering water services would have also to cover cost such as maintenance and repairs they would incur. This would thus allow the country to improve the delivery of services like security, health, education, and construction of public amenities such as roads. The outsourcing of water services has enabled most of the developing countries to improve their living standards. For instance, through privatization, the Colombian government was able to invest more resources in the development of roads and public institutions in towns such as Bogata, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla and Medellin which were experiencing a rapid growth in population (Furlong, 2015). The offering of privatized water services by firms such as Triple A (AAA) improved the sanitation of the country from 67% to 82% and that of access to water from 82% to 94% between the year 1990 to 2010. According to Furlong (2015), this has significantly encouraged the thriving of businesses in industries such as real estate, construction, hospitality, and retail, especially in the urban areas.

However, despite the numerous advantages that a nation may obtain from privatization of water services critiques argue that it is not wise for countries to privatize their water services. This is because private companies mainly aim to maximize their profits and thus citizens would be forced to pay a higher fee for water services. This would not be the case since competition for customers approval would force the organization to set even lower prices to attract customers. In the case where a monopoly would be supplying water, the government may set prices thus preventing its citizens from being exploited. The critiques also argue that allowing private business to provide water would adversely affect the quality of water offered and may even lead to depletion of water from the sources since private companies are focused in only actualizing their interests by minimizing costs (Gomez, 2016). This would also not be the case because the competitiveness of the market and the quality standards regulations set by the government would force the firms to offer water that is clean and safe for consumption.

In conclusion, the necessity of water to the existence of life on earth shows that nations are required to implement the most suitable strategies such as privatization to ensure that water sources are appropriately utilized. By privatizing water citizens of a country would be assured that they would always receive enough clean and safe water, and the various sources of water would be protected. However, it is paramount for governments and non-governmental organization to ensure that the different enterprises offering water services observe ethics by following the laws and regulations set by the national and international laws on environment and human rights. This would thus make sure the companies do not exploit their consumers, and the future of man's existence is guaranteed.


Furlong, K. (2015). Water and the entrepreneurial city: The territorial expansion of public utilitycompanies from Colombia and the Netherlands. Geoforum, 58, 195-207.

Gomez-Temesio, V. (2016). Home is claiming for rights: The moral economy of water provisionin rural Senegal. Society & Natural Resources, 29(6), 654-667.

Kapoor, T. (2015). Is Successful Water Privatization a Pipe Dream: An Analysis of ThreeGlobal Case Studies. Yale J. Int'l L., 40, 157.

Lee, M. (2016). Privatization of Water Desalination: The Need to Balance Governmental andCorporate Control in California. Global Bus. L. Rev., 5, 23.

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