Business Ethics in the Contemporary World

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Nowadays, a large number of moral dilemmas that are related to business and the environment are being discussed. In some instances, society is split among two choices. Even though a code of ethics dictates the corporate world, some factors do not have concrete answers, and organizations face challenges in making a choice. Lately, a passionate discussion over water privatization arose: many nations view water as an essential resource for survival. In others, it was described as a primary utility, meaning that it is perceived as a likely source of capital. There has been a dispute about the fact that water should be distributed by private companies and be used for profit. However, although other individuals may argue differently, it is imperative to note that water is not a right for all humans and can become a property of an organization or business.
When one looks into the issue deeply, it is easy to realize that giving private sectors the power and authority to control water system and how it is used could have potential benefits to society as compared to allowing public sectors to manage it. There are considerably a vast number of reasons for this, for instance, other than just saving lives, privatization of water could result in municipalities saving finances and time (Baer, 2014). Chicago is the best example that can be used to qualify that statement. The city has allowed over forty private institutions and individuals to manage and control water usage. As an outcome, making water, their property has allowed the state to make over $3 million in revenue each year (Baer, 2014). Therefore, there is considerable demand for this commodity and can be used a property for business. Chicago is the perfect case that illustrates the significant benefit that can arise from the step.
Further, water can be privatized to because not everything that comes from nature is good, for instance, the genetically modified organisms are not all perfect for human consumption. A huge percentage of water is not safe for human drinking and need to be processed to eliminate elements that make it unhealthy (Baer, 2014). At the same time, water is a utility like any other foods in the market and should have market value. Further, the public sectors in most states are unable to provide clean water, especially, the people living in interior regions of the nations (Bakker, 2000). Therefore, privatization of water will create important demand for it and that way the companies will be able to make water available to them. Water is not a human right and privatizing it can cut expense for the government allowing them to direct the funds used to supply water to the population to other crucial areas such hospitals.
Additionally, water is a human right and can be privatized to create rooms for the provision of specialized services like other goods (Bakker, 2000). The opponents of this view may argue that such action can deny the poor a chance to acquire this important commodity which would turn them into beggars. However, there are enough freshwater for the planet’s seven billion people. Even though Earth has sufficient water for its people, the utility is distributed unevenly, and much of it is polluted and wasted or unsustainably managed by public sector (Bakker, 2000). More than two billion people lack toilets, and over one million do not have access to any improve drinking water. The problem can be solved through privatization allowing the population to have enough water for their essential and non-essential purposes. Therefore, privatization of water is the solution to the current scarcity, particular, in remote regions.
Moreover, the contention that humans have a right to water does not currently hold water because the best solution to the vast number of environmental issues affecting the world today can be privatizing some of the utilities. Therefore, companies have social responsibility of promoting water sustainability, and its privatization is enabling people to access it and encouraging proper control over natural resources (Beveridge, 2012). The present problem of water scarcity can only be solved by creating market regulation of water which means monopolization of the world’s water supply into the hand of just a few corporations.
Counter Arguments
Authors such as García-Rubio, Tortajada and González-gómez (2016) contend that corporate state-official and corporate executives that are against the idea of making water the property of business assert that the term ‘privatization’ does not guarantee protection of the poor people that current lack drinking water. Additionally, opponents hold that corporate championing the step fails to prove stewardship practice in case they are allowed to control the systems. For example, such individuals have questioned track record of corporations which argue that water is not a human right (García-Rubio, Tortajada & González-gómez, 2016). At the same time, the current scarcity of water has been attributed to privatization, and the outcome is expected to continue if businesses are given authority to regulate how water is used across the world.
Also, the opponents say that privatizing water will put billions of lives at risk of becoming beggars. The act will considerably affect a number of people of middle and lower class from receiving water. In other words, low-income earners would go without water because many of them rely on the public system to acquire this much-need utility (Cooper, 2011). It is beyond no reasonable doubt that world population consumes water to see it a fundamental commodity for their survival. Individuals against privatization of water assert that right to water means more than just survival of human race. They cite a report released by the World Health Organization that estimated that humans need between twenty-five and fifty liters of water each day to maintain their hygiene and health, the basic water requirement. Further, private sectors have failed to show sustainability, and social responsibilities and their motive is driven by the need to make profits (Cooper, 2011). It means that water will only be used to create revenue instead of meeting the needs of people. As a result, the step will lead to the development of underserved communities which will subject the poor to higher economic risk.
Refuting the Counterclaims
The opponent of the claim that water can business property fail to recognize that privatization will lead to increased supply and improved quality. They ignore the fact that a large population of people drinks contaminated water, thereby exposing them to health risk. Further, poor quality of water is a severe and widespread issue, and states need to develop national standard including privatization plan to ensure the safety of drinking water supplies (Loftus, 2012). Private companies can eliminate and reduce constituent present in water that cause a health problem. The public sectors in most countries do not have enough resources to set infrastructure to achieve the goal because of they are faced with other priorities to the citizens, for example, education. More importantly, humans should drink water that of sufficient quality that meets the basic human consumption standards (Loftus, 2012). Similarly, privatization will ensure that water is located within reasonable distance for people to access it allowing them to have even beyond 50 liters per person each day to meet their basic human needs. Therefore, water can become a property of a business which implies that people do not have the right to water. Therefore, the step will ensure that people and nations receive water instead of liming them. The implication is that the world population will have sufficient supply of water that is free from contamination (Loftus, 2012). As a result, the approach will considerably contribute to the reduction of mortality related to water-associated diseases, for example, cholera.

Indeed, currently, there is a heated debate over whether water should be considered a business property. Although some people contend that going too extreme, it is crucial to comprehend that humans do not have a right to water and the commodity should be privatized. In particular, governments and their citizens would benefit financially. Further, water is like any other foodstuff and should have market value, a step that can be achieved through privatization. Also, the act would allow individuals to access specialized services which would save billions of people from the current problem of water scarcity. Additionally, privatization of water does not mean the resource will be depleted because there is enough for the entire world. According to the opponents of this claim, privatization is driven by profits, but they do not realize the process would allow easy access to water. Further, the approach would enable the world population to acquire enough and improved water.

Baer, M. (2014). Private water, public good: Water privatization and state capacity in Chile. Studies in Comparative International Development, 49(2), 141-167. doi:
Bakker, K. J. (2000). Privatizing water, producing scarcity: The Yorkshire drought of 1995. Economic Geography, 76(1), 4-27. Retrieved from
Beveridge, R. (2012). Consultants, depoliticization, and arena-shifting in the policy process: Privatizing water in Berlin. Policy Sciences, 45(1), 47-68. doi:
Cooper, R. N. (2011). Recent books on international relations: Economic, social, and environmental: Privatizing water: Governance failure and the world’s urban water crisis. Foreign Affairs, 90(2), 172. Retrieved from
García-rubio, M., A., Tortajada, C., & González-gómez, F. (2016). Privatising water utilities and user perception of tap water quality: Evidence from Spanish urban water services. Water Resources Management, 30(1), 315-329. doi:
Loftus, A. (2012). Book review: Privatizing water: Governance failure and the world’s urban water crisis. Progress in Human Geography, 36(2), 285-287. doi:


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