By: Andrew Malesky
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the benefits and downfalls of water privatization. Therein, while examining arguments of supporting privatization and opposition, the research serves to find a solution to both arguments. The paper then finds a solution to the growing water crisis using privatization as a means to philanthropically provide third world countries with water. Lastly, the paper describes a possible solution to water scarcity in third world countries by the way of harnessing the treated wastewater from Austria and distributing it worldwide by using companies Siemens AG and Mineralwasser.
Vienna is the capital of Austria: a sprawling city nestled at the base of the Alpine mountains. The national language of Austria is German, but dialects are different in north and south Austria. The national language is nearly German, although Austrians prefer to speak their own form of German. It is based in the eastern part of the country, sharing its border with Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. The affluent river, the Danube, runs directly through the city of Vienna. This river is the second longest river in Europe, second behind Volga River, which is primarily located in Russia. Vienna, with a population of 1.8 million citizens, is the most populated city along the Danube River, and at the end of the river, it drains into the Black Sea. The city of Vienna was created as a military camp for the Roman empire in the first century. Shortly after, Austrian-natives known as the Babenberg Dynasty of Austria was the ruler. The dynasty following the Babenberg dynasty was known as the Habsburg Monarchy. As a whole, this monarchy would continue to rule the country of Austria until the year 1918. With the exceptions of 1804 to 1867, the Habsburg dynasty was coined the Austrian Empire. In the year of 1867 came the Austro-Hungarian Compromise. This compromise was the result of Austro-Prussian War, frequently referred to as the Seven Years’ War. This left the Habsburg Dynasty weak and seeking outside aid, hence the Austro-Hungarian Compromise was born – the unification of the Kingdom of Hungary and Austrian Monarchy. This compromise was left intact until 1919, at the Paris Peace Talks following World War One. There was a movement for Austria and Germany to become united countries, but the Treaty of Versailles prohibited such unification. It was not until the rise of Hitler that the unification of Austria and Germany happened. This is referred to as the Anschluss – Nazi propagandists coined the term. It is important to note that most Austrians refer to this Austria-Germany unification as an annexation, and not unification. The Austrians look back on this time in history as being Hitler’s first victim. While there was technically no invasion of Austria, the Nazi regime continued the Holocaust heavily in Austria. The Austrians were helpless against Hitler’s advances, and were subject to the atrocities of Hitler and the Third Reich.
A current major conflict plaguing the inhabitants of Vienna, and all of Austria is the growing refugee situation in Europe. Tensions have been fluctuating between 2004 and 2016, and refugees from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria have been seeking asylum in Austria, Germany, and Italy. And “according to interior ministry officials, Austria received 17,000 asylum requests”, and “Vienna is obliged to accommodate twenty percent of asylum-seekers. Vienna is no stranger to accepting refugees, though. They have been recipients of refugees following the communist movements of the fifties and sixties, and the imposition of martial law in Poland in 1981. The Viennese welcome the refugees, with the exception of extreme nationalist citizens – although this has given rise to xenophobia in the city, and acts of neo-Nazism, “in 2009 the ministry of the interior recorded 453 neo-Nazi, right wing extremist, xenophobic, or anti-Semitic incidents directed against members of minority groups…the government continued training programs to combat racism and educate the police in cultural sensitivity.” (State.Gov) Austria as a whole is known to have one of the best human rights policies in the world and the promotion and protection of human rights is of utmost importance to Austria. (Europe Integration of affairs). Austria does allow eminent domain in some extremely special cases, such as the seizing of Hitler birth-home in 2015 (BBC).
Austrians have a strong sense of nationality, and a majority consider themselves fully Austrian. As mentioned in the introduction, many Austrians prefer to speak their dialect of German. Austria boasts a successful tourism market that generates income for the government. Austria promotes sustainable tourism, which is tourism that promotes tourism that has a low ecological impact on a country. Austria experiences a high volume of tourism, and Environmental Science and Pollution research journal they write, “The environmental impacts of tourism provide a basis for justifying nature conservation by integrated economic policies for sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism more convincingly included on the policy agenda since the 1990s” (Malik, M.A.S., Shah, S.A. & Zaman, K.). This statement serves as model that while Austria benefits greatly from tourism for their economy, the government acts environmentally conscious rather than receiving the money for tourism and disregarding the environment that tourists travel all over the world to marvel.
Origin of an Austrian water supply system dates back to 1873, and is the beginning of the Austrian water system inaugurated by Emperor Francis Joseph I. This pipeline was built for mainly drinking water for the city and the surrounding areas. Additional springs have been added to the pipeline over the last century. If this were the only pipeline to supply Vienna with their water supply, it would suffice. Emperor Francis Joseph I inaugurated the second pipeline in 1910, giving Vienna two working pipelines originating in the Styrian Alps that reached all the way to the city. The water took thirty-six hours to reach the city from the top of the pipeline. Perhaps one of the most remarkable features of the pipelines is that to this day, no energy is required to pump the water 180 kilometers from one point of the pipeline directly to the city. The water is able to flow from the mountains to the city of Vienna using the Earth’s gravity alone. The implementation of these pipelines was only the beginning to Vienna’s notion of water richness. These pipelines were a redeeming feature for the people of Vienna who once relied on the Danube River for their water supply. Before the first pipeline, Vienna’s industrial needs were powered almost entirely by the Danube, and at this time, the Danube was a major trade route for the European continent. It is important to mention that in the late 19th century, Vienna’s urbanization increased rapidly in part by advanced flood protection measures. According to Winiwarter, the urban expansion of Vienna was only possible due to types of arrangements such as the new Danube channel, flood protection dykes, a special flood channel and weirs to keep the floodplains free of water (Winiwarter). As with other European cities along the Danube, the reader must take into account the massive role water plays on the placement of early settlements and the rate at which these settlements develop. In this case, the Danube plays a vital role in the development of the city of Vienna. This movement of urbanization utilized the invention of canals and dikes. Interestingly, Haidvogl writes, “The Viennese Great Danube Regulation was accomplished by a French company which gained experience in such huge projects during the production of the Suez Canal” (Haidvogl). This serves as an example of the powerful effects of the Danube River on the beginnings of the city of Vienna, just one of many cities that formed along the longest river in Europe.
Vienna has a free market economy and is, “one of the most prosperous and stable EU member states” (Austria.org). Vienna is commonly referred to as one of the richest cultural centers of Europe. Vienna’s citizens pride themselves on the city’s flourishing tourism and breathtaking scenery. The unemployment rate in Vienna is especially high, clocking in at 23.9 percent. At the same time, Vienna is still third in terms of employment in the EU. A current problem in Vienna’s economy is the “lack of domestic demand (decline in consumption and investment) together with reduced export opportunities – particularly to Germany – are leading to low growth” (European Commission).In contrast to this loss in exports, “in 2016, services industries will continue to determine employment growth in Austria. The most significant increase in employment has been seen in health care and social work” (European Commission).
Vienna has virtually no issue with access to clean drinking water, and Austrian’s boast some of the cleanest drinking water in the entire world since it is sourced directly from the Alpines. In Vienna, citizens firmly believe they have a human right to clean drinking water, and are fortunate to enjoy extremely low water resource bills. In a document on the OECD website, it reads, “water resources in Austria are abundant and far exceed current levels of use. Ground water is privately owned by the owner of the property where it is located, while surface water is mainly publicly owned” (OECD).Additionally, “Only about 3% of available water resources are currently being used” (OECD). Furthermore, the stringent water policies of Austria do limit the over-usage of any groundwater. As stated in Austrian Water Act of 1959, “Permissions by the water rights authority is required for… any development and use of groundwater exceeding the necessary and domestic and economic need of the landowner” (Austrian Water Act). According to the AWA, “The permission of such types of water uses and impacts is subject to strict criteria, such as test of need, state of technology including emission standards etc.” (AWA). Austria adheres to the Framework Directive of the EU, and makes their documents easily accessible to the public for “Participation of stakeholders and the civil society in decision making is an important means implementing regulations. So the concepts of water management plans have to be revealed to the public, and statements received have to be considered” (Oberleitner). Stakeholders in this matter will be mentioned shortly, but it is important to note that Austria consistently maintains high standards frequently exceeding the EU standards and the standards of that of their Stakeholders.
Austria as a country has strict guidelines to maintain the citizen’s high expectations of their water supply, abundance and quality of the water supply. This of course is in sharp contrast to countries such as South Africa, or parts of India, where the access to clean drinking water is more than half that of Austria. Some would argue that if Austrians were to privatize their water and begin to distribute it to third world countries, or simply raise taxes on their own citizens – citizens and the government would benefit from the improved economy within the country. While others would argue that, the privatization of water violates a basic human right, stated on the UN website, “The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life of dignity; it is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights” (United Nations). The United Nations continues, “Also defined the right to water as the right of everyone to safe, sufficient, acceptable and accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses” (United Nations). The pressure for privatization of their water resources began in 1992 when Austria held a referendum on EU ascension. “Sovereign control of water was a key issue for the opposition” (Vienna Review) The basis of this referendum was based upon the European parliament promoting the usage of water privatization methods. Austrian’s enjoy clean drinking water in every area of the country. In lieu of this, “In Austria, the fees for waste collection, water supply and sewage disposal are low by EU standards” (Vienna Review). One can assume that due to privatization of these sectors, prices for these services would eventually increase and create frustration among citizens. The ultimate goal of this paper, and provided research is to increase overall awareness regarding water scarcity globally. First, it is important to understand the idea of privatization as a whole. Privatization generally concerns the transfer of public or government-operated business to a private stakeholders and shareholders. Privatization has been argued to be a solution to aging infrastructure in countries that have been unable to keep up with costs to maintain their water infrastructure. In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Richard Little explains, “But these bodies (Public Water Companies) don’t have the money to pay such bills. Many of them already have put off necessary improvements for years due to insufficient public funding. And there is little chance of meaningful federal aid, given the national focus on debt reduction” (Little). He goes on to state, “With privatized water, there is a new emphasis on fiscal responsibility – and measurable efficiency gains” (Little). The argument that privatized water is the solution to outdated infrastructure is a necessity for some countries, as for instance, the American infrastructure report card predicts that by 2020 America will need to invest $3.6 trillion.
This is almost one fourth of the national debt of America, and one could ask how it would be possible for the American government to possibly pay a bill that large. For-Privatization arguers could prove that if America were to give up the public rights to its water, and water infrastructure, a private business or stakeholder could in fact invest and improve. Nevertheless, the major problem arises that many non-privatization arguers would prove that the privatization of water leads to the violation of the human right to water. Businesses exist to make profit and when these businesses are in control of water usage, they are possibly using their control of the water as a business opportunity. Businesses typically generate their profit by raising the rates at which these consumers receive their water. This side could argue that using water as a for-profit enterprise violates the basic human right to water validated. The main theme behind the UN’s statement – the basic human right to water is accessibility; there are citizens in third world countries who are suffering daily due to water related diseases such as cholera. The opposition against privatization would argue raising prices for the general public to gain a profit within a business violates human rights and is condemnable. First, let us understand the situation of the Bolivian water crisis of 2001, a crisis commonly referred to as the “Water Wars.” This conflict arose as a result of the corporation known as Aguas del Tunari, a subsidization of the company Bechtel. Bolivia’s main export throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s was Coca, which is the main ingredient used in the drug Cocaine, and, with looming pressure from the United States to cease all production of coca, Bolivia agreed. While the government of Bolivia agreed the production of this drug was harmful, it severely damaged their economy, and as a result, they had to rely heavily on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Bolivia put their water systems up for auction, and thus, the superior Bechtel corporations bought their water operations. According to the PBS website, “two months after taking over the water system, Aguas Del Tunari raised the water rates” (PBS). A more accurate statistic provided by Democracy.org writes, “Immediately the company raised the water rates by fifty percent” (Democracy Center). This was met with extreme dissent among Bolivian people and protests began. Eventually, Aguas del Tunari repealed operations in Bolivia, leading to “a case for a minimum of $50 million against the Bolivian government” (Democracy Center). Under global pressure against Bechtel they was subsequently dropped the case, thus setting a precedent to further privatization issues in the future. This example serves to formulate the dangers of privatization for arguments against the privatization of water systems. This solidified this side’s argument that the motivation for profit in the business of water is malicious and blatant, and will eventually lead to backlash from an entire country. Let us observe an example of privatization being beneficial. This example comes from Manila, Philippines. In 1997, water infrastructure in Manila was suffering and per the report created by Insead, “MWSS was under-performing and burdened with large debts. It was obvious that the public company would not be able to invest in much-needed water system improvements.” Manila privatized their electric services, and it had proven to be successful. On the surface, the privatization efforts in Manila seemed to work. Reports taken by the MWSS showed that, “before privatization, quality of water (1997) did not satisfy the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water.” But, their records also reveal, “the two concessionaires (MWSI and MWCI) were charging higher water rates than before” (Insead). This example proves that privatization can in fact benefit water infrastructure and access to clean drinking water, but it seems to come at a higher price than what residents are accustomed to.
Vienna, and Austria as a whole, is facing pressure from not only the EU, but also the whole world, to share their rich and abundant water supply. On the surface, Austrian policy is highly against the privatization of water, and the residents of this country are against privatization efforts of their water. Austrian’s pride themselves on their sustainability in their water use. Austria is certainly a water wealthy country, and is aware of the abundant water supply in their country and has multiple protection acts in place to contribute to this. While Austria is not under immediate pressure to privatize and distribute its water to the world, statistical analysis of the world’s water supply provide factual evidence that many other countries are quickly depleting the water supply – and who will these countries seek aid from in dire times of need? First, let’s observe the position of the stakeholder Nestle, Austrian’s former CEO an Austrian native; some would assume that may have held the same values as the Austrian citizens regarding water usage. In recent years, the public claimed the former CEO did not believe water is a human right and scrutinized the former CEO Brabeck (Global Research). Brabeck has gone on record to say, “However, he does not believe it is fair that more than two billion people worldwide lack even a simple toilet, and more than one billion have no access to any kind of improved drinking source of water, while in other parts of the world people can use excess amounts of this precious and increasingly scarce resource for non-essential purposes, without bearing a cost for its infrastructure” (Nestle Website). Brabeck’s argument is that there are two extremities in water supply: there are areas of the world that waste more water than they use, and there are parts of the world where people do not have access to clean drinking water whatsoever. Brabeck’s push for privatization is backed by his belief that if water were a more privatized industry, water could be distributed more evenly throughout out the world. Stakeholders against privatization in Austria are the Austrian government, and the subsidies within this government. The UN website highlights points needed to understand the stakeholders against privatization and the government’s stance on privatization, “in 2002, the Austrian government adopted the national strategy for Sustainable Development. Within the strategy framework, the Committee for a sustainable Austria develops annual work programmes for the council of ministers in cooperation with the Austrian Laender (Sustainability coordinators) and an expert panel (Forum for a sustainable Austria” (UN). It is important to recognize, that the EU has a national water framework law that puts in place laws and regulation for sustainability, which is of huge importance to all EU members. In Austria, “between 1998 and 2003 5.293 Euro were invested in this field” (Wastewater treatment). Austria as a country values the environment and sustainability efforts. In 2003, media campaigns consisted of headlines such as “we don’t sell our water” (UN).
Key stakeholders not in favor of privatization are the citizens of Austria, because as found on a UN document, the Austrian Freshwater Country Profile, “The setting up of the primary infrastructure for water supply, sewerage and wastewater treatment was financed by charges and by public funds” (Austrian Freshwater Country Profile). Therefore, if water in Austria were to become a privatized institution, it would directly affect the citizens of Austria. If the water were to be privatized, the citizens would suddenly be charged higher fees for their water usage instead of paying simple taxes to the government. This statement is backed by the fact that the public are the ones who pay for the infrastructure, distribution, and treatment plants by way of taxes.
The government of Austria can prove to be a massive stakeholder in the development of privatization efforts in Vienna. The argument of stakeholders for privatization is that the distribution of water is uneven worldwide, and the infrastructure in Vienna is pristine. Vienna does not need investors to improve water infrastructure or ways of water distribution. A stakeholder in favor of privatization efforts in Vienna can certainly be tied to the, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD, in that a push for privatization in Austria could provide an economic benefit for the EU. While the Austrian government would certainly benefit from the privatization of the water supply from Vienna Danube water basins, this would directly interfere with the citizens of this city and their firm belief that they have a natural right to water. The Austrian Development Agency is a non-profit agency, and its involvement within the solution would be to generate awareness and compassion among the people Vienna, and eventually the entire globe. A document provided by The Austrian Development Agency states that, “As access to water supply and sanitation is human right, water and wastewater tariffs must be regulated so they are affordable for all classes of society” (ADA). The theme throughout the ADA document coincides with not only the European Water Framework, but also the sentiments of the residents of Austria.
Siemens AG, based out of Austria, holds a key position in the argument that privatization of water can lead to beneficial and philanthropic effects throughout the world. Siemens AG is an energy efficient company that provides water service, wastewater service, and electricity for the city of Vienna. Their outstanding reputation as an efficient energy provider has been tarnished though due to events that happened in the mid to late 2000’s. According to a newspaper article published in December 2008, “Siemens AG will pay more than $1.6 billion in fines for allegedly ‘engaging in a systematic practice of paying bribes to foreign government officials’ to obtain business that earned more than $1.1 billion in profits” (Deffree). The Securities and Exchange Commission handled this conflict. The bribery payments were sent through Austrian and Swiss accounts, which raised further suspicion and led to a deeper investigation of the company. This scandal serves as a reminder that when private investors are involved with outside pressure to produce a profit from stakeholders, it seems that moral reasoning simply ceases to exist. The argument continues that while these bribes from foreign officials are simply immoral, it seems as though Siemens AG did provide services to benefit the country from which they received a bribe. This raises concern among the Austrian community as to understanding if this is morally acceptable to let this company handle their water resources. A rebuttal to this question is that Siemens AG has learned from this scandal and is moving forward. The company has become focused on sustainability and forward thinking business models that focus more heavily on the consumers, and less on pressure from stakeholders to attain a profit.
With pressure to privatize Austria’s liquid gold, it seems that Austrian based Siemens AG would be at the forefront of overcoming this issue. First, it is important to understand that the main mission for Siemens AG is their sustainability efforts and engineering marvels to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions, minimize energy inefficiency, and maximize water treatment technology to create a business for the customer, not the shareholders. As per the Siemens website, “The Company is the largest provider of environmental technologies… and employs 405,000 employees” (Siemens AG). With the information just mentioned, some would venture to say that opening up a division of Siemens AG to devise a plan to reuse wastewater in an effective and efficient manner would prove the company to be an innovative and sustainable company. Siemens AG should aim to build a global framework that coincides with the value of the human right to sustainable and clean water. Denial of the right to water should be condemn able. This solution should build on a philanthropic method to distribute treated wastewater, safe for consumption to countries desperately in need of clean drinking water. This has already been implemented, but some would argue that the past scandal of Siemens AG should act as a precedent, and that they should not be trusted with such a task and in agreement with early arguments, because board of director members and CEO’s will succumb to the attractive idea of profiting off of the water resource. This would violate the human right to water and could create a cycle of water abused as economical gain rather than a human right with no price tag. Nevertheless, the opposition might argue that it seems Siemens has learned from the recent scandal, thus, has pushed for even higher sustainability standards for their services. Because of the scandal, it is not their obligation to contribute help to third world countries. However, this would alleviate frustration away from citizens who still disregard the company as a whole.
There can be a solution found in disagreement of complete privatization by private corporations to control a sector of the water rights of Vienna, Austria. By commandeering water supply in Austria, corporations begin to profit off their water supply, and raise rates higher than what citizens are used to. In addition, for-privatization arguers may say that the wealth of water in Vienna is enough to help supply third-world countries around the world and instead of Vienna not only benefiting from the great water usage in their company, they can distribute their water all over the world. Vienna can share its sustainability efforts across the world. This specific argument against privatization has been proven earlier in this essay, with examples taken from events all over the globe of companies using water as economic gain, not a human right. Moreover, while on the surface, this philanthropic idea, there has been sufficient evidence of corporations falling subject to greed too often, treating water as a commodity, and rejecting the idea of water as a natural human right. The arguments by stakeholders who are for privatization do seem to hold some truth in that, in areas where they have needed improved water infrastructure and easier access to clean drinking water, some of these companies have delivered on these promises. However, it seems to always come at a price. So, if the Austrian government were to lease out their river basin subsidiaries to private corporations and allow them to pump their water for bottle water usage, to distribute to other third world countries, or simply resell the water back to Austrians as a form of business. The idea of profiting off water seems to violate the Austrians’ proposition that water is natural human right, and should avoid regarded as a business opportunity.
The total annual cost of a wastewater treatment plant is 90 Euro p.e.y. So, one can assume that to implement this solution, Siemens AG would not have to accommodate any extra costs to their annual operating costs besides the implantation of pipelines to the newly erected Voslauer facility, or other means of transportation of the treated wastewater. One could expect their annual operating costs to rise slightly in the first year due to the implantation of a pipeline to the Voslauer facility. Both companies can potentially cover the infrastructure, using the statistical method of nominal distribution of a minimum of 250 Euros/M and a maximum 750 Euros/M. (Fuchs-Hanuscht). General operating costs attributed to a functional water bottling plant (based off US business analysis because Austrian analysis was unavailable) can be around 123,783,396.30 Euros. To generate satisfaction between both companies, Voslauer could achieve sufficient funding from Siemen AG. Per the financial analysis, only one source provides accurate information regarding transportation of water: “Transporting 100 million cubic meters (MCN) of water per year over a distance of 200km would cost 20.13 Euros” (Zhou, Tol). This cost structure will vary by the distance traveled to transport water.
On a global scale, the disparity between humans who have access to clean drinking water in contrast to struggling third world countries is vast. As a human race, this solution could potentially convert the world’s wastewater and excess drinking water to benefit third world countries. In water-rich countries such as Austria, where more than half of the population appreciates access to clean drinking water, the basis of a private company tapping into their excess resources to distribute to struggling countries worldwide seems philanthropic. Arguments against privatization say that the companies behind privatization more often than not have succumbed to a higher desire to make a profit, rather than help a struggling nation in need. A solution would be funding of a water distribution project that could potentially be beneficial for both sides of the arguers instead of privatizing water entirely. For privatization arguers could feel complacent that while the water is not entirely privatized, it is still being approached by a conglomerate that is capable of conducting business on a massive scale – and with private funding, the responsibility falls almost entirely on the company. As a concession for the argument against privatization, citizens of Vienna will not feel cheated out of their water supply, as many cases listed earlier suggest. Furthermore, if Vienna’s residents were willing to lease out their water and treated wastewater, Austria as a country could serve as a prime example of a company with the highest ethical and moral values in the entire world in their efforts towards sustainability. Austria would highlight the value to human survival is the right to water. Thus, regarding it as a country that defies traditional religious prejudice, xenophobia, homophobia, or any other discrimination against all races. Ultimately, Austria would be regarded as a country that respects the human race as a whole. In continuation of this ideal, Austria could serve as the instigator in a massive sustainability movement. At the forefront of sustainability for water and wastewater management, Austria can shift the entire earth’s focus to the scarcity of water resources, and on a national platform confirm that all human beings have a right to access to clean drinking water. The issue of water scarcity, often overlooked because of the threat of earth’s fossil fuels depleting, but life after this would continue to exist. If the water scarcity issue on earth continues at the current rate, the survival of the human race comes into question.
Offering a solution would begin within the wastewater treatment facilities provided by Siemens AG. At the core, these facilities claim to be incredibly efficient, eliminating any chance of leakage or poor infrastructure. Furthermore, Siemens AG’s facilities are environmentally compliant within Austrian environment laws and the EU Water Framework Directive. With this established, Siemen AG can reach an agreement with Austrian-based bottled water company Voslauer Mineralwasser AG, which holds a 35 percent share in the market. Per their website, Voslauer claims to distribute two million liters of water per day. Voslauer continues to recognize its dominance in the market and claims its number one priority is sustainability. It mentions that it is involved in extensive recycling efforts, is currently developing glass water bottles to eliminate their impact on the environment, and saving material used in production. In regards to their sustainability efforts, Voslauer uses a byproduct known as Polyethylene Terephthalate PETThis is important to remember because PET complies with Austria’s environmental laws. These two companies share similar values in terms of sustainable methods of production and are both dominant leaders in the Austrian water infrastructure and water distribution. The solution is as follows: Siemens AG and Voslauer can potentially combine efforts to provide a clean drinking water solution for countries that do not have access to clean drinking water. Siemens AG could configure a statistical analysis of the amount of wastewater that is treated in contrast to the amount of treated wastewater the country of Austria actually needs. Which mentioned earlier is minimal because Austria could rely solely on the spring water from the Alps or groundwater located throughout the country.
After Siemens AG procures a certain amount of treated wastewater, Voslauer would then begin its involvement. The role of Voslauer would be to simply increase production of their bottled water supply. The ideal solution would be for Voslauer to build a small bottling plant within a ten-mile radius of the treatment plant, as to reduce emissions from long distance traveling to and from the treatment plant. In this combined effort, the excess treated wastewater effectively distributed evenly between countries with alarming water scarcity. For increased success, these companies could join forces with the Austrian Development Agency. The Austrian Development would be able to provide ample statistics as to which country needs immediate help, if a country needs a constant supply of water. This solution appeases both sides of privatization. While the water supply of Austria is being distributed all over the world, it would not raise tax or water rates for the citizens of Vienna because this will be a privately funded project between two Austrian companies. The opposition of privatization enthusiasts could be that some shareholders for each of these companies may be apprehensive about receiving less of a return on their investments. Having a stake in a company, traditionally, should yield a profit and benefits for the shareholder involved. Nevertheless, with the growing issue of water scarcity, stakeholders must begin to recognize that while water scarcity does not directly affect the parties involved, it is only a matter of time before water scarcity begins to grow all over the world. While some stakeholders may hold moral values as a key factor in investing in companies, not all are as compassionate. It is important to note that these companies, stakeholders, and the citizens of Austria do not have a moral obligation to help countries with water scarcity but as a part of this solution the question of morality should be at the center of argument from both sides. This could change the attitude of privatization moving forward, and might diminish the importance in history that privatization has led to more harm than good. By changing this attitude towards privatization, arguments against privatization may begin to shift when companies begin to show compassion for the human race, rejecting race, religious, and wealth bias.
The issue of water scarcity is an alarming one that should be addressed in a timely manner. Throughout this analysis, the solution shows that the question of morality is at the center of the argument over privatization efforts. The solutions show multiple examples that some corporations eliminate moral and ethical decisions, and some would venture to say, violate the UN’s policy that all human beings have a natural right to clean drinking water. This paper provides a solution that, if implemented has potential to ease the weariness of privatization, demonstrate moral values as a vehicle for business practices, and show how privatization can work as a method to address the global water scarcity crisis. The reader can also throughout the paper understand the stringent environmental, water, and economic laws the Austrian government has in place. By understanding the individual attitudes of Vienna, Austria, and Europe towards water scarcity, the reader can hopefully agree that the solution offered in this paper can serve as a primary example to addressing water scarcity. The overall objective of the solution offered is to create global water scarcity awareness, instead of nations recognizing that water may become fuel for political and global decisions. If Austria were to implement the solution offered, it could serve as an ignition of a philanthropic, compassionate, and diplomatic relationship between governments and private institutions. Taking the focus away from profit for personal gain, and rejecting the idea that water can be used as economic gain; the solution beckons the reader to understand that privatization could be used to solve the water crisis. For this solution to be viable, these corporations must begin to shift the focus from profit to enlightening the key value to human life, the human right to access to clean drinking water. It is important for these corporations to act morally instead of profiting, and accept the outflow of money for philanthropic efforts. This solution will help change the public’s opinion on privatization and corporations entirely. If executed effectively, corporations’ images will represent respect and philanthropy rather than profit seekers. While corporations are helping their image, third world countries are receiving water as well as the water infrastructure that they desperately need.
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Andrew Malesky was born in Austin Texas in 1995. Andrew has lived in Austin since then, and has been in love with the city since he can remember. Growing up Andrew has always been fascinated by music. Andrew started playing guitar at 11 and has played in countless bands over the years. Andrew owns the music venue Shirley’s Temple, has just accepted a job at his internship. Above all, Andrew has a passion for raising water scarcity awareness. This started in High School when Andrew took Aquatic Science and his teacher was passionate about raising awareness. After extensive research, it has become a priority and a passion of Andrew to increase awareness to people about water scarcity and pursue a solution to help countries in need. Andrew will be graduating with a BA in the school of Management and Business fall 2017 at St. Edwards University.