Is Water Pollution a Real Problem?
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The Earth has a water cycle, with weather systems and ocean currents
dispersing and moving water, in its various forms, all around the planet.
Whatever is dissolved in the water circles the globe as well...
pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals like mercury, pesticides, etc.
This water cycle has returned Atrazine to the EU, where it’s turning up
in their rainwater. All sorts of pollutants are being found in remote
locations, such as the arctic, far from their points of origin.
Pharmaceutical drugs are turning up in fish and wildlife. For example, in
Texas, toxicologists have discovered high levels of Prozac in the tissues of
every fish they sampled. Clean water is becoming harder and harder to find,
even in remote and “pristine” regions of our planet.
The Emergence of a Water Cartel
Traditionally, governments have delivered water to the public as a
service. But over the last decade, with growing economic pressures and water
shortages, water is turning into a commodity to be bought and sold. A few
large multinational corporations have begun delivering water on a “for
profit” basis and making big money, as a result.
According to FLOW, the three largest players in the water industry are
Suez, Vivendi, and Thames Water. In fact, water is now a $400 billion global
industry – the third largest behind oil and electricity!4
Unfortunately, when you make the shift to commercialization, the product
goes to the highest bidder. And this means that millions of people who can’t
pay the price go without. Water privatization has placed human health in
peril. Bad water kills more people worldwide than anything else.
Poor countries like Bolivia and India are, of course, the hardest hit –
but could the West be heading in the same direction? Could the land of plenty
become a dry and barren landscape where clean water is a luxury reserved for
the wealthy? Water is necessary for survival, and whoever “owns” the water
owns you. Could nations soon be fighting over clean water in the same way
they’ve spent decades dueling over fossil fuel? Many scientists say this is
exactly where we are heading, and soon – not in the distant future.
The environment is changing. Human industry has disturbed the delicate
ecological balance of our planet. Climate change is evidence of the many
stresses humankind has inflicted on the planet. Water IS running out. Many
major rivers don’t flow all the way to the sea, as they once did.
California’s water supply is already compromised. According to Maude Barlow,
author of Blue Covenant and co-author of Blue Gold, California’s water supply
will be completely dry in about 20 years. Private industry is making matters
worse instead of better, in many cases. One of the worst is the bottled water
Bottled Water: A Blight on Planet Earth
Worldwide, $100 million is spent annually on bottled water. In 2010,
Americans purchased 31 billion liters of bottled water, typically paying
upwards of $1.50 per bottle, which is 1,900 times the price of tap water. And
approximately 40 percent of bottled water actually IS just tap water that may
or may not have received additional treatment.
Tests indicate bottled water is often less pure than city water, because
city water has tighter regulations. An independent test performed by the
Environmental Working Group revealed the presence of 38 low-level
contaminants in bottled water, with each of the 10 tested brands containing
an average of eight chemicals. They detected disinfection byproducts (DBPs),
caffeine, Tylenol, nitrate, industrial chemicals, arsenic, and bacteria.5
When you drink bottled water, not only is the water itself potentially
contaminated, but the plastic bottle it comes in may haveserious risks of its
own from chemicals that leach into the water from the plastic,such as BPA and
In a scientific study by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC),6
more than 1,000 bottles (103 brands) of water were tested for purity. About
one-third of the bottles contained synthetic organic chemicals, bacteria and
arsenic. As shown in the documentary, companies like Nestle that are bottling
water suck most of the water out of nearby streams, turning rivers into
mudflats. Lake levels drop and sinkholes form near the bottling plants. Most
of these companies pay nothing for the water, or for the damage to the
environment – not a penny! Many don’t even contribute to local taxes. And
yet, these companies make upwards of 1.8 million dollars per day in profits.
Bottled water is clearly not the answer.
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