Environmental geography is concerned with the relationship between humans and the environment; increasing efforts to limit access to water deserve special scrutiny. We live on a water planet, but 99 percent of the water is either salty or frozen. Much of what is left is either polluted or in locations far from the greatest human need.
Given this critical scenario, governments and international institutions should be focused on providing MORE access to clean, safe, and renewable water. In reality, however, such institutions often conspire with corporations such as Bechtel to give poor people LESS access to water.
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs is a scholarly organization concerned with important political and economic developments in Latin America. COHA's attention to the issue of water privatization is indicative of the growing importance of access to clean water and the potential for conflict over this critical resource.