The Fight Over Water Rights
Who controls water rights-the rights to the world's finite supply of potable (drinkable) water Figure 1 shows how finite that supply 15.) 15 the water supply something that individual people or governments should be able to own? Answers to that question may vary depending on whether an individual is one of the "haves' or the 'not with standing regard to water. Courtesans speak of water.
rights In terms of sovereignty with regard to governmental actions and riparian rights wIth regard to individual or group water rights. Riparian refers to the rights of a person (or group) to water by virtue of owning or occupying the bank of a river or lake. Historically, if a river passed through your property, you had the right to take and use as much of its water as you wanted or needed, without degradation of grazing land. often at the hands of people. an estimated 24 billion tons of topsoil is lost annually. As people clear forests to create farmland and pastures and to acquire lumber and firewood, the Earth's tree cover continues to diminish . As millions of people drive motor vehicles. the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment continues to rise each year, possibly resulting in global warming. Just as people contribute to change in the physical environment. human activities must also be adapted to changes in the environment. For example. we are being warned to stay out of the sunlight because of increases in ultraviolet rays, a cause of skin cancer, as a result of the accelerating depletion of the ozone layer. If the ozone warnings are accurate, the change in the physical environment will dramatically affect thus" who work or spend their leisure time outside .