The dictionary describes water as colourless, tasteless and odourless - its most important property being its ability to dissolve other substances. We in South Africa do not see water that way. For us water is a basic human right, water is the origin of all things - the giver of life. Poet Mazisi Kunene in "Water Is Born All Peoples of the Earth". Water is a valuable resource, vital to human life. Water is owned by the commons. South African water policy states that "There shall be no ownership of water but only a right (for environmental and basic human needs) or an authorization for its use. … Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient water." Today however, in many countries, including Sri Lanka, access to clean water has become very scarce due to human attempts to control and manage this natural resource.