Access to clean drinking water has become an important topic of conversation over the last decade. From, cities like Flint Michigan struggling with producing clean drinking water, to severe droughts in the West – is the current approach of water privatization the correct one? Let’s take a look.
Making Money Off Water:
Water privatization occurs when private corporations buy or operate public water utilities. Since water is the most important natural resource on our planet, and all organisms depend on it for survival, it can be a substantial source of revenue for corporations. As we move into a climate of water scarcity, there will be an increase in competition for this finite resource. With certain big businesses controlling the fresh water industry – many local governments are turning over their water rights and water processing facilities to these business. So, what does all of this mean you may ask? Take a look at these facts on the detriment of water privatization, and decide for yourself.
Water Privatization Facts:
- By 2040, according to a World Resources Institute report, 36 countries are predicted to face extremely high levels of water stress.
- Corporate agendas are driven by profits rather than the public good – privatization typically results in the compromising of environmental standards.
- The US private water industry, intensively and perennially lobbies Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency, to refrain from adopting higher water quality standards.
- State environmental agencies have granted permits to corporations that extract millions of gallons of water a day from local aquifers to bottle and sell.
- The World Bank and the International Monetary Funds water privatization in the developing world results in reduced access to water for the poor.
- Corporations are working to obtain access to fresh water that they can sell at huge profits.
- Bulk water exports, transporting water from water-rich countries to water-poor countries could have disastrous consequences.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Go to: http://action.storyofstuff.org/sign/nestle_water_privatization_push?akid=s38219..25Gdzn to further inform yourself on the realities of water privatization.
- Reduce your consumption of bottled water. Many water and soft drink corporations are buying water rights to fill and resell you water. The less you buy, the less they produce.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Choose which water companies to support. When purchasing bottled water, make sure you are supporting a reputable company. Do your research to make an informed decision.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Tell your local government to keep water rights publicly owned. When our local governments receive enough pushback – they will be forced to make the necessary changes.
- Support not for profits that are working towards healthy water initiatives.