Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Eastpointer

Water Wars? No Exaggeration!

By Richard E. Noble
Just recently in our tiny fishing village by the bay, we had a battle over water in Lanark Village. The problem is said to have been solved. We all hope so. It seemed like a personality conflict to most citizens but in the middle of the fight one Lanark Commissioner brought up the notion that this whole thing could actually be a "water grab" by private enterprise.
On the west side of our tiny metropolis we have what also could be considered a "water grab" over our Apalachicola River. I say "our" river but as most of us already know there are two other states who also consider the Apalachicola River their property.
One might think that these water grab problems are a local phenomenon. Well this is far from the case. Water is becoming a big problem all over the world. It is not just the Apalachicola River that is trickling down to a stream but the Colorado, the Nile, and rivers everywhere.
Lake Mead out West may be drained in less than five years some predict. New Mexico has three to five years left and its drinking water will be gone. California has a decade or maybe two.
The privatization of water supplies and sources is getting serious. Coca Cola, Pepsi and Nestle Company are the new OPEC of world water supply. Soda pop companies are being run out of villages and countries in South America and around the world. The World Bank is admitting that its encouraging of the privatization of the water supply of third world countries by international conglomerates was a mistake. Coca Cola is accused of assassinating union leaders at their bottling plants in Columbia. There is a political battle going on between Pepsi and Coke for power to control the Mexican government. There are actually soda pop wars - with guns, bullets, killings, and revolutionaries.
Drinking water around the world is running out. If Global warming is the problem of the century, drinking water is considered by many to be the problem of the decade. Some activists are claiming that privatization of the world's drinking water could not only result in genocide but in the disappearance of the human species entirely. Agribusiness and ethanol are even presenting a problem. Unfortunately it takes water to grow corn and other renewables.
GE has already begun desalinating the ocean. Could the oceans actually be drained? Well think Aral Sea in Russia. The Aral Sea was once the forth largest lake in the world. It stretched 266 miles. The Russians instituted a farm irrigation project. Today the lake level has dropped over 70 feet. It contains 1/4 of its original volume. This is considered one of the greatest man made environmental disasters in human recorded history. And it CAN NOT be reversed. It is gone. Imagine the Great Lakes in the U.S. gone.
The Chinese are building a water pipe line to the top of the Himalayas. There are fears that in feeding water to China the Chinese may kill the entire river systems of Asia.
This all sounds like something out of a science fiction movie but it is not. This is the real thing. There is a documentary film coming out soon. It is entitled FLOW - for love of water by Irena Salina. A woman by the name of Maude Barlow has written several books on the subject also. Her latest book is Blue Covenant and it follows her previous publication entitled Blue Gold.
A corollary to all of this is the bottled water business. Do you feel healthier drinking bottled water? Do you feel you are benefiting the environment - that you are doing the "right" thing?
Well, supporting the bottled water industry may not only be unhealthy and environmentally unsound but you may also be contributing to the violent take over of the third world's water supply, the extortion and exploitation of the poor and the illegal and immoral corporatization and privatization of the world's water supply, say some experts.
The plastic bottles are not biodegradable, which some may consider a minor point. Ninety-five percent of them are not being recycled. They are filling up the landfills. The stoppers are even worse. The water in these bottles may not be safe and it is not being inspected or certified by anybody. With the help of our de-regulation policies of the last thirty years it seems that there is actually one guy in Washington in charge of certifying bottled water - but he is also in charge of several other departments. The consensus of opinion is that there is no one who can verify for you that any bottle of water is safe to drink. It has been admitted by many bottled water suppliers that their water is really filtered tap water. But there are others that come from private sources that no one can certify or verify.
If you are one of those who thinks that privatization is the way to go and that corporate America or Global Corp. does it better, you may want to take a look at the bottled water business. You may be revising your political philosophy for the future.

Richard E. Noble is a Freelance Writer and has been a resident of Eastpoint for around thirty years. He has authored two books: "A Summer with Charlie" which is currently listed on and "Hobo-ing America" which should be listed on Amazon in the not too distant future. Most recently he completed his first novel "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother" which will be published soon.