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Write about one problem caused by the commodification of one

specific item in one specific area (for example, water in natural


resources, or women in advertising). Provide examples from
one country only, wherever possible. Explain why this is a
problem and evaluate the current solutions that have been
implemented (if any). Suggest a solution that could address the
problem better.
Commodification of data
One problem: intrusion of privacy through sales of information, morally right and
ethically right.
Ethical issue: service provider like facebook and google are giving up privacy
Choosing to give up their privacy in exchange for free.
Commodification of housing
One problem is the equality in housing: lack of housing, rich has house but the
poor does not have. Segregation

Commodification of natural resources in water.


Example is: India
Solutions
Commodification has allowed goods and services to be evaluated, easing the
overall business trading and operation of many companies. With the help of
globalisation, it further expands the impact of commodification allowing
companies to reap more profits. Despite the benefits, commodification also
comes with negative implications to the society especially when natural
resources which are basic necessity has been commodified. Hence this essay will
look into the commodification of natural resources in terms of water resources,
the problems arise from these events as well as the possible solutions to
minimise these negative impacts.
One of the key problems with commodification of water is the unequal
distribution of water.
Businesses contribute to this unequal distribution of water through the overuse
of this resources. It is reported in The Guardian (2006), Coca Cola uses 283
billion litres of water in 2004. In order to produce 1 litre of their product, 2.7 litre
of clean water has been used. Despite such high consumption in 2004, Coca Cola
has replied that they have already reduced their usage by 24% from 2000 to
2004. This only implies that water consumption despite their efforts to cut down,
the water consumption remains very high. Businesses like farmers have also
resulted in the unequal distribution of water. According to Livemint(2016),
agriculture constitute 90% of the water consumption. It is also reported that
Indian farmers do not use water efficiently for farming. The water footprint is
used for measurement of water efficiency and greater than 1 denotes
inefficiency. The farming of rice scales badly with 1.36, 1.04, and 1.36 from
production states at Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh. With
depletion of water from the overuse of water, there will be lesser amount of
water used for better distribution among the population.
The increasing prices also contributes to unequal distribution of water. According
to University of Leicester (2014), the scarcity of clean water causes prices of
water to increase. It is mentioned that the water industry has earned four times
their sales and profits over the last 20 years. This aligns with India whereby the
prices of clean water is at $0.01 Euro per litre and twice during scarce period
(AGARWAL, 22 Mar 2016). While India is currently having around 5% of their
population lack of clean water (US news, 2016), this percentage represents 76
million people (AGARWAL, 22 Mar 2016) which ranked India top country in the
most number of people without access to clean water. To further illustrate the
importance of this percentage, it also constitutes to around 10% of the total
number of people globally without access the clean water (US news, 2016). The
water crisis has caused one tank of water to be 900 rupees while Indians from
rural areas can only earn 200 rupees (RT, 21 Aug 2016). Due to the lack of
financial capabilities, they have to share the tank with eight litres per person for
seven days. This amount of water is far too little compared to the estimated
amount of 135 litres needed per day per person (Vishwanath, February 15,
2013). Thus the unequal distribution of water is a form of deprivation of human
rights as takes away the people rights of accessing clean water. It is reasonable
to state that water is a necessity for survival as it serves other purposes
including sanitization and cooking. The lack of access to clean water removes
survivability of people which evident from WaterAid (2016), death of 140,000
children from diarrhoea annually. Hence commodification of water has
contributed to unequal distribution of water resulting in further social problems.
In order to tackle the unequal distribution of water problems, government of
India has privatise their waste water treatment plants and the water distribution
systems. They aim to improve their current systems in hope to resolve the water
crisis in country (Veolia, 2 May 2012). In 2015, they have also proposed once
again to privatise their water distribution system. However, water problems still
persist whereby around 27% of water is loss daily either leakages or secret
connection (The Times of India, Sep 22, 2015). Hence the fundamental problem
lies with the practices and administrative actions behind the government. In
order to effectively resolve this problem, India needs to have a greater degree of
control over of their water supply. As mentioned by Water Aid, Indias Aquifer was
previous providing 86% of the drinking water but have reduced to 56%
(WaterAid, March 2016). Hence this alarming drop in percentage should call for
actions of the government to make a long term plan to control the usages of the
water. In terms of businesses, the government would be need to control and
moderate the water supply as well as monitoring the water efficiency of these
business operation including farming. As mentioned previously, Indias
agriculture scale badly in terms of water efficiency. Government would need to
look into the current business process and improve them to minimise wastages.
In terms of consumers, governments moderate amount of water available for
sale per household. The purpose of tightening the water supply is to ensure that
consumers consumption are moderated accordingly.
Lastly, the surplus of the water should be stockpile and held within the hands of
the government. The remaining amount would serve as buffer stocks to ease
situations like water crisis or the transportation of water to poorer to ensure
water availability in the rural areas.
In conclusion, commodification has brought about the unequal distribution of
water in India. Management of Businesses process and prices of water are the
key to that ensuring poorer population have access to water supply. Government
needs to take action in controlling the water usages to ensure sustainable source
of water. However, if actions are not taken in time, commodification of water will
have greater negative impact on India.

http://www2.le.ac.uk/projects/social-worlds/all-articles/management/bottle-of-
water
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2006/mar/19/business.india1
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2016-03-22/india-has-the-most-
people-without-clean-water-report-says
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2016-03-22/india-has-the-most-
people-without-clean-water-report-says
http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2016/03/22/indians-have-the-worst-access-to-
safe-drinking-water-in-the-world/
http://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/how-much-water-does-an-
urban-citizen-need/article4393634.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/how-much-water-does-an-
urban-citizen-need/article4393634.ece
https://www.rt.com/news/356679-india-water-crisis-documentary/
http://www.veolia.com/en/veolia-group/media/press-releases/new-delhi-selects-
veolia-water-build-and-operate-new-wastewater-treatment-plant
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/vZ3FOtNe9m0XCm0U7J5XxN/Indias-farms-have-
a-far-worse-scorecard-on-water-use-than-I.html