There are several items in the news that we plan on discussing today including some related to U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Latin America. Before doing so, however, we would like to point out that today is World Water Day.
According to British risk consultants Maplecroft, most countries in the Middle East and North Africa have very insecure water supplies and this could lead to increased political strife. Regarding Latin America, a majority of countries in Central and South America face a "medium" water security risk. Some of these states have faced mixed results after the privatization of publicly-owned water companies though the main challenge according to IPS news is "expanding coverage of high-quality water services".
In the Americas, Mexico is one of the few "high" risk countries regarding water supply according to the Maplecroft study. Water shortages have hurt the metropolis of Mexico City though other parts of Mexico are also affected by a lack of safe water resources. This (along with "clever advertising campaigns by multinational corporations" and government inaction) has led Mexico to become the world's top consumer of bottled water.
The following video via YouTube user nanasurbanas looks at the many difficulties faced by the indigenous Huichol community due to the scarcity of potable water. It is a very fitting video to feature on World Water Day:
Online Sources - Maplecroft, AHN, IPS, Al Jazeera English, McClatchy
Video Source - nanasurbanas via YouTube