I watched Blue Gold: World Water Wars last night, loved it. Environmentalist movie, you bet.
I am becoming more and more aware our resources on this planet are becoming limited, unfortunately, this includes water. Never thought I’d hear of a day when water would be a problem, but lo and behold, the 2000’s are starting to open our eyes.
The documentary points out that 97% of the earth is salt water and 3% is drinkable…and even that 3 percent is becoming more and more polluted. This means that some 6.7 billion people on this planet have to share that water, and as you can guess, the more wealthy have the access to the abundance of the resource.
However, the real problem is the ownership of water, 3 large companies are buying the water resources all over the planet and are selling it. This means, water that should be quite cheap is being sold for a profit by these companies (one of the times when privatization proves it comes with a serious price tag). Also the introduction of monocultures (food growth) is equalling the death of good soil – and slowly the erosion of good water sources. Needless to say, demand is for H20 is getting tighter while resources become slimmer.
Some good examples of the problem:
(a) Coca Cola was able to sell a bottle of coke (in a plastic litre bottle) for almost 1/2 the price of a bottle of water (same plastic bottle) in a certain Latin American country – revealing how much leverage Coke is getting with water resources wherever they go.
(b) Eco-systems have been removed that would allow for the replenishment of water yearly, in cases like this places like California will suffer water shortages in the long run.
(c) Companies get to own water which means they decide where it will ‘end up’. This has caused severe problems to farmers as water is diverted from their crop lands and is taken from one ecosystem to another.
(d) Water can be found below the surface of the earth – thus wells. They are finding with the use of a lot of wells, without proper replenishment, the ground can ‘give away’ over time (ie: sinkholes). Anyone see Guatemala’s sinkhole the other day…this is becoming more and more common.
It seems companies own the water you drink and want to continue to own more. Places of interest include Brazil, Canada (Arctic region), and Russia (Arctic region). It is possible with dwindling resources, rising temperatures, and an ever increasing of people and needs of energy that water could become a resource that wars are fought over (make it an issue of National Security).
Water, something to keep an eye on…how can someone own water anyways? This is sooo crazy.