Prime Minister Miro Cerar says the country should “protect water – the 21st century’s liquid gold – at the highest legal level.”
In the dystopian nightmare version of our not-too-distant future, water will be owned by nefarious corporations who dole it out for dollars. There will be the greedy rubbing together of hands and the twirling of mustaches and evil cackles as what was once a natural public resource becomes commoditized. Aside from corporate control of water systems and sources, as Food and Water Watch notes, is the maddening packaging of it as well:
Multinational corporations like Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola sell single-use plastic bottles – waste that ends up in landfills and ultimately, litters our oceans – for thousands of times what it costs to get that water from the tap … coming at the expense of our public water infrastructure – which has provided affordable and convenient access to water for over a hundred years.
But for the two million residents of Slovenia, access to clean public drinking water is now a constitutional right, reports The Guardian. With a count of 64 votes in favor and none against, parliament added an article to the EU country’s constitution stating that “everyone has the right to drinkable water.”
“Water resources represent a public good that is managed by the state. Water resources are primary and durably used to supply citizens with potable water and households with water and, in this sense, are not a market commodity,” notes the amendment.
While 15 other countries across the globe have included the simple right to water in their constitutions, Slovenia is the first in the European Union to do so. And it actually may not come as a huge surprise; the mountainous, forest-rich nation was recently named world’s first green destination country, while its capital, Ljubljana, earned the title 2016 title for European Green Capital. And what could be more green than staunchly protecting the blue gold?
“Slovenian water has very good quality and, because of its value, in the future it will certainly be the target of foreign countries and international corporations’ appetites,” says PM Cerar. “As it will gradually become a more valuable commodity in the future, pressure over it will increase and we must not give in.”