(Water Pollution) 1. Introduction Water pollution has been viewed by many as a leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases, accounting for more than 14,000 deaths daily. About 580 people in India die of water pollution every day, while 90% of China's cities suffer from some degree of water pollution. Almost 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water in China.
Developing countries are not the only ones with water pollution problems. Developed countries continue to struggle with pollution problems as well. In the United States, among water that was studied, 45 percent of streams, 47% of lakes, and 32 percent of bays were classified as polluted. Water is typically referred to as polluted when it is impaired by anthropogenic contaminants and either does not support a human use, such as drinking water, or undergoes a marked shift in its ability to support its constituent biotic communities, such as fish. In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters, polluting the usable water supply. Water pollution is a major global problem, something that requires significant effort from the international community to help address. Sources of pollution incidents are very diverse, ranging from large fires and chemical releases to shipping disasters, farm slurry spills, odors from waste sites and faulty sewage systems. Pollution sources are basically categorized into two categories, point and non-point. Point sources can be discharges from factories, sewage treatment plants, underground mines, oil wells, oil tankers and agriculture. They are easier to address because the culprit can be identified. Nonpoint sources are usually from the air, traffic, pollutants that are spread through rivers and pollutants that enter the water through groundwater. They are harder to address because there is no way to pin down the source. 2. Specific jurisdiction of the UN Security Council U.N. Security Council has jurisdiction over international peace and security as linked to financial and economic development. The pollution, shortage, and conflicts over water supplies have led to numerous wars and economic crises. The U.N. Security Council is able to impose its jurisdiction over water safety and accessibility from this angle. According to Kristen Boon, associate professor of law in Seton Hall Law School, “the Security Council’s increasing engagement with economic and financial issues is proper and permissible under Article 39, provided that certain thresholds are met. …the manipulation of natural resources destined for, or regulated by, international markets may well create threats within the Council’s jurisdiction.” http://www.vanderbilt.edu/jotl/manage/wp-content/uploads/boon.pdf Although water pollution and shortage should be considered an internal economic problem within a sovereign nation and not subject to regulation from the international community, the Security Council has widespread powers to oversee problems related to natural resources that may lead to wars and conflicts and humanitarian conditions.
3. Previous Existing UN Actions / Resolutions On 28 July 2010 the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution A/RES/64/292 declared safe and clean drinking water and sanitation a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights. The Millenium Development Goal 7 was established, calling to “halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation”. http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/pdf/human_right_to_water_and_sanitation_media_brief.pdf In November 2002, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted its general comment, stating that: “The human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water