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L'accès à l'eau
Organisation sociale, droits et valeurs

Dans l'analyse anthropologique des valeurs de l'Eau, nous devons confronter les représentations traditionnelles aux idées contemporaines et aux questions politiques et juridiques que soulèvent la collecte, la conservation et l'utilisation de l'eau dans le contexte écologique et économique d'aujourd'hui. L'ambiguïté est inévitable entre une ressource que l'on peut s'approprier et un bien commun que l'on doit respecter.

Ramaswamy R. Iyer, Water. Perspectives, Issues, Concerns, New Delhi: Sage, 2003, Chapter 7, pp. 77-81

Water is perceived by different people (or by the same people in different contexts) in different ways: as a commodity, as commons, as a basic right and as a sacred resource or divinity. Often when we are under the strong influence of one perception, other perceptions seem quite wrong. For instance, those who regard water as 'commons' or a 'common pool resource' tend to deny vehemently that it is a commodity. Contrariwise, those who see water as a commodity are often blind to the other dimensions of water. The truth is that we can say many things about water and be right. Commodity, commons, basic right, divinity: all these are partial perceptions; all are valid; we need all of them to understand the roles that water plays in our lives. We need to be aware that what is true of one of the multiple dimensions or aspects of water may not hold for another. Unfortunately, at any given time, one or more partial perceptions tend to dominate our thinking, and thus leads us into drawing wrong conclusions and formulating wrong prescriptions.

Quatre dimensions, donc, d'un statut juridique de l'eau et des règles d'accès à la ressource en eau qui en découlent: une marchandise (commodity), une chose commune (commons), un droit fondamental (basic right), une ressource sacrée (divinity).

D'une ressource sacrée à un bien commun

the hindu

The Hindu, October 26, 2005