Inequality or injustice in water use for food?


DA Seekell, JA Carr, Paolo D'Odorico


ethics, inequality, trade, water access


Environmental Research Letters

Year Published:


Policy Summary

D’Odorico et al examines the ethics behind unequal access to water to determine if unequal access is unjust or simply regrettable. The authors then look at the effect that international trade has on water access, finding that trade has the potential to improve water access in water poor countries. The authors argue that the underlying reason for inequality in water access determines if that inequality is morally unjust, and they suggest that inequality may be regrettable but not always unjust. They propose that trade could be used as a tool to address scarcity of water or other resources, thereby reducing inequality and increasing the wellbeing of citizens in the resource-poor country. 

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