Humans have a right to water, but water is also a valuable commodity. If energy and water are too expensive, people lose access, endangering their life, liberty, and economic interests. If the resources are too cheap, society drains the resources and negatively impacts the environment. Solving this conundrum requires a mixture of technical and non-technical solutions to ensure some minimum availability at an affordable price, while also relying on price signals to ensure that use becomes environmentally and economically sustainable.
Are energy and water human rights, to which everyone is entitled guaranteed access, or are they commodities whose availability, price, quantity, and quality should be determined by the markets? Can we combine both concepts with some minimum threshold of the human right to water and energy, above which they are commodities? Who owns the water: nature or man? All humans equally, or individuals based on their property? Solving these ethical conundrums is important to achieving widespread resourcefulness in a way that accomplishes many other positive outcomes for society.