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Taking a Stand Against Water Privatization in Our National Parks

Hanna Saltzmanbyline‚ Feb. 07‚ 2013

Several years ago, I spent time in a rural area of Ghana, a few miles outside the bustling city of Kumasi. As part of a public health research team, I was studying childhood diseases that come from lack of clean water. My goal was to understand how parents made decisions about how to treat their children’s water-related illnesses. Yet while treatment is critical, I was struck most by our relative powerlessness to prevent these diseases from happening in the first place.

More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war, according to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Across the globe from Ghana, here in the United States, we are fortunate to have some of the best public water systems in the world. In the U.S., public water has a long history of prompting economic development and advancing leaps in public health and safety.