Thanks to Reddit and some trending memes, Nestlé has been under fire for something former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said in a documentary over 10 years ago. But did he actually claim that water is not a human right?
According to Snopes, the truthfulness of this claim is a "mixture." While the CEO called the idea "extreme," he never actually said the words "Water is NOT a human right."
This is the actual quote from the documentary:
“Water is, of course, the most important raw material we have today in the world. It’s a question of whether we should privatize the normal water supply for the population. And there are two different opinions on the matter. The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution. The other view says that water is a foodstuff like any other, and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value. Personally, I believe it’s better to give a foodstuff a value so that we’re all aware it has its price, and then that one should take specific measures for the part of the population that has no access to this water, and there are many different possibilities there.”
Here is a video of him talking about what he means by this.
Skip to 5:05 if the video doesn't start playing from there.
Here is another video of him trying to clarify his statements.
He also addressed the issue in a blog post from 2013:
"Let me be very clear about this again here on the blog, because I think the video clip, which took my views out of context, isn’t clear about the point I was trying to make.
The water you need for survival is a human right, and must be made available to everyone, wherever they are, even if they cannot afford to pay for it.
However I do also believe that water has a value. People using the water piped into their home to irrigate their lawn, or wash their car, should bear the cost of the infrastructure needed to supply it."
According to the World Health Organization,a human being needs between 15 - 20 liters of water a day to maintain basic health and hygiene, also called the Basic Water Requirement. He's basically saying that people should only have a right to the minimum amount of water needed to survive and that anything extra should be paid for. With water shortages potentially in the near future, what do you think about this?