by Ben Westwood
‘Water is Life’, advertised a van I saw belonging to a bottled water company here in rainy London today. I would not argue with that statement as it is a fact that the maximum time a human can survive without water is 3-4 days.
So, who should own our water then? Should it be in public or private hands? One would assume that safe water to drink should be regarded as an inalienable human right. Not if it is up to Nestlé and other corporations. According to the World Water Council – an international and independent (meaning in fact profit orientated) organization that claims to fight for better water “management” across the world – drinking water is not a “right” but a “need” (needless to say a need that has to be paid for!). Nestlé chairman and former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe states that “Access to water should not be a public right”.
If water has a price tag attached then people will manage & protect water more efficiently – right! and of crucial importance as the effects of climate change, industrial agriculture, mismanagement and the conveniences of a “capitalist” lifestyle reduce water availability on a massive scale! But what about the huge profits made? Should a corporation be making profits from water? – and ending up owning and controlling almost all aquifers on the planet? (That is the plan!)
The State of California is currently facing a record 4 year drought & “right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and its strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing”. Yet Nestle “withdraws up to 80 million gallons a year drawn from local aquifers” & it “pays only 65 cents for each 470 gallons it pumps out of the ground – the same rate as an average residential water user. But the company can turn the area’s water around, and sell it back to Sacramento at mammoth profits”.
Bad enough what happens in California, but Nestle acquisitions water and sells it in countries with even worse water problems. Compounding the situation is the problem of pollution caused by industry. Take Fracking (as you know by now CLIMATE REVOLUTION opposes fracking 100 %!): “It was revealed yesterday that the California State Water Resources Board has sent a letter to the EPA confirming that at least nine of those sites were in fact dumping wastewater contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants into aquifers protected by state law and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act’”
To round off the problem: “Over the past 25 years, politicians, academics and journalists have frequently predicted that disputes over water would be a source of future wars” (The present conflict in Syria is a good example of this. The western mainstream media does focus on other, more convenient and “plausible” causes for the Syrian War, causes that could be discussed at great length, however, the role of water played in this conflict is seldom reported)
So … the people of the world are being told that it is necessary to suffer austerity programs and wars whilst at the same time national assets & vital resources are being sold private entities at giveaway prices, enabling them to become extremely rich & ever more powerful enabling them to continue the rape of our planet.
Austerity is a complete con & our POLITICIANS R CRIMINALS