Yeah, you read that title right, “Who owns our water?” If you think that’s like asking “Who owns our air” you’re onto something. Pretty crazy isn’t it? But the weirdest part is, people running big corporations already own some people’s water and are looking to own yours. Then they can sell it to the highest bidder. And, if that isn’t you, you may well be out o’ luck.
My switch to local tap water, even on the go, came just before I discovered two documentaries on global and local water issues. Blue Gold and Flow deal with the issue differently, but have the same underlying message — we need to know what’s happening with the water in our world.
Note to self: if it can happen in Paris, it can happen here and then some.
Not only do the folks behind Flow want you to know what’s happening with water consumption and privatization, they encourage viewers to take action. Whether it’s signing an Article 31 online petition to update the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ensuring access to clean water as a fundamental human right, or connecting with one of the many organizations focused on water issues, the necessary tools to become informed are provided.
I suspect like most people, I had a vague sense that water privatization doesn’t seem like a good idea. Now I know why.
Fresh, drinkable water as a diminishing resource is a global issue, but it’s also a local concern. More local than you may realize and more in jeopardy than you may be comfortable knowing. I didn’t have any more than a vague idea until recently.
I came across a couple of documentaries about water issues shortly after being taken to task for carrying around a case of bottled water in my trunk.
The first movie is Blue Gold, based on a book of that name by Tony Clarke and Maude Barlow, outspoken activists on the issues of water privatization. It’s a serious eye opener about how much water we have on the planet (97% is salt, 3% is fresh, and the bulk of the “fresh” is actually polluted), what’s happening with it, and how we all will be affected if something doesn’t change.
Forget Hollywood, this documentary has political corruption, class clashes, violence, bloodshed…and plenty of suspense and drama. Think the threat of other countries taking our fresh water is science fiction? I recommend watching the movie and getting a little more informed about what we will be up against in the not-very-distant future.
Did you know that the large, multinational, drink producing companies (they are household names) are sucking out ground water around the world at an astonishing rate — for free — and seriously affecting water tables and local farming?
Did you know there are (barely enforced) standards for bottled water contents, but none for soft drinks made from the same water?
Did you know that soft drinks cost significantly less than bottled water in many developing countries?
Do you know the abysmal track record of water privatization companies worldwide where costs have tripled for reduced service and the poor can’t pay so they don’t get clean water?
Ever tried to live without clean water?
Having seen the movie, I’m even more happy I switched from bottled to local tap water, and I’ll be keeping an eye out in the media for any rumblings about privatizing or selling our incredible natural resource, the one we take so for granted every day and frequently complain about.
Now, what to do with that Dasani bottle in the fridge that came with last week’s bundled picnic lunch? I certainly don’t want to drink it…