Water and the Americas

This film addresses many of the main issues and theories of why world water systems are in a crisis or at risk.  The introduction to the film lays out what it’s like to go without water for as many as seven days, an extreme situation but survivable it seems.  Blue Gold identifies key areas of the water crisis, as privatization, corporate schemes, political motives, and military control.  The science behind the reason for a crisis is that water cycle suppose to be forever  but globally water is being used, polluted, and wasted faster than the natural water cycle can replace it; water is being pumped at a rate of 15% more than can be replaced.  Is there a finite amount of freshwater globally?

Continents are experiencing desertification, oceans are rising, and more people in moving to urban areas, people are using more water than their area can provide.  People already experiencing water shortages, but the water rich nations will be able to hold out longer.  What are the limits of water and how can we live within them?  If you want to hear more information and the plight of water, Blue Gold is a worthwhile watch.  

climateadaptation:

This farmers vs oil and gas frackers story at the Denver Post poses an interesting problem in Colorado, which is facing a major drought. On one side, farmers* need water to grow crops. On the other, oil and gas drillers (mostly frackers), need water, too. Both “bid” for water at annual auctions, with the rights to water going to the highest bidder. So, there’s pressure on the ag industry to compete for the same water resources with the oil and gas industry. It would seem that the problem is that oil and gas has more money, and therefore will out bid anyone.

But, the real problem here is water, not big oil vs little farmers. Why? The difference is that water from agriculture is recycled into ecosystems, whereas most (not all) fracking water is lost forever - it’s not recycled. Once chemicals are added to the water, it’s pumped into the ground to force out the fossil fuel. Much of this chemical-soupy-water stays underground (not all of it, but enough to cause trouble long-term). With agriculture, the water is recycled back into the environment (there are problems here, too. But, the water is not lost forever.).

“Farm water grows crops, but it also often supports wildlife, wetlands and streamflows back to our rivers. Most drilling and fracking water is lost from the hydrological cycle forever,” Wockner said. “Any transfer of water from rivers and farms to drilling and fracking will negatively impact Colorado’s environment and wildlife.”

The Northern Water Conservancy District runs the auction, offering excess water diverted from the Colorado River Basin — 25,000 acre-feet so far this year — and conveyed through a 13-mile tunnel under the Continental Divide.

A growing portion of that water now will be pumped thousands of feet underground at well sites to coax out oil and gas.

State officials charged with promoting and regulating the energy industry estimated that fracking required about 13,900 acre-feet in 2010. That’s a small share of the total water consumed in Colorado, about 0.08 percent. However, this fast-growing share already exceeds the amount that the ski industry draws from mountain rivers for making artificial snow. Each oil or gas well drilled requires 500,000 to 5 million gallons of water.

A Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission report projected water needs for fracking will increase to 18,700 acre-feet a year by 2015.”

*Let’s not sugar coat “farmer.” Many of Colorado’s 36,000 “farmers” are huge, industry owned agri-companies.

theadventureproject:

3 more days until World Water Day! Join us in our 24-hour campaign to raise $25,000 (to be matched dollar-for-dollar by The Prem Rawat Foundation) in order to provide jobs for 90 local mechanics in India and bring sustainable access of clean water to over 450,000 people.
Interested? Sign up to join us.
Learn more about what The Adventure Project believes to be the most effective way to ensure people have sustainable access to clean water at www.theadventureproject.org.

theadventureproject:

3 more days until World Water Day! Join us in our 24-hour campaign to raise $25,000 (to be matched dollar-for-dollar by The Prem Rawat Foundation) in order to provide jobs for 90 local mechanics in India and bring sustainable access of clean water to over 450,000 people.

Interested? Sign up to join us.

Learn more about what The Adventure Project believes to be the most effective way to ensure people have sustainable access to clean water at www.theadventureproject.org.

With the amount of oil it takes to produce water bottles, ship the product, and harvest spring water, ounce for ounce tap water is more expensive than crude oil.  People are still spending money on a resource that is almost 3000 times cheaper from the tap, and the same if not better quality.  Bottling water makes corporations rich and encourages privatization of the world’s water resources for a variety of reasons ranging from privatization, bottling, or harvesting,  This also allows the coporation to dictate the going price for water, and control over who gets the water. 

With the amount of oil it takes to produce water bottles, ship the product, and harvest spring water, ounce for ounce tap water is more expensive than crude oil.  People are still spending money on a resource that is almost 3000 times cheaper from the tap, and the same if not better quality.  Bottling water makes corporations rich and encourages privatization of the world’s water resources for a variety of reasons ranging from privatization, bottling, or harvesting,  This also allows the coporation to dictate the going price for water, and control over who gets the water. 

Only 3 percent of the earth’s water is freshwater, and that needs to be shared between the earth’s almost 7 billion inhabitants.  As part of this 3 percent polluted waters are not potable, and leave an even smaller percentage of clean water avialalbe for the earth’s residents to share-almost 0.5% worldwide.  Water can be frozen, floating, or flowing.  Underground water aquifers occur from rain, snow, and human activitis.  Groundwater soaks through the earchs surfcace, and is filtered by rocks and organic material collecting in underground water pools or aquifers, much of it out of reach for people to use.  Aquifer poisoning is happening around the world, with metals and toxic chemicals seeping into these water supplies.  Runoff during storms or heavy precipitation flow collect solids and chemicals and pollute groundwater supplies, or carried by rivers and streams, causing costal dead zones where nothing can grow.  Household chemicals and chemicals used for cleaning have been known to contain elements that have changed the sex of frogs from male to female.

There are a variety of other common sources for groundwater pollution that are threatening groundwater supples, with farms being one of the largest threats.  Everyone needs to eat and drink water, but it seems important now more than ever to be conscious about our water and food consumption decisions. 

This is the story of stuff, and how developed society has become obsessed wih stuff; stuff to keep, stuff to throw away, stuff to recycle.  All of this stuff ends up either as trash or recyclable waste.  With a global population that is steadiliy increasing, where to put our stuff or our trash has become an increasing issue worldwide. 

In the 1990’s, companies that sold beverages realized that they could only sell so much soda and juice, and were looking for other areas to make money.  They saw water as an essential source for life, and everyone needs and uses water.  They used marketing tactics to destroy the public’s faith in tap water, so people would associete the tap with being dirty, unsanitary, and bad tasting.  They then sold all of these people bottled water.  It has been a struggle ever since to restore the public’s faith in tap water, since many bottled waters are just tap watter that is bottled.  The bottling of water is privatizing our public water supply, and making it more expensive than petroleum. 

The Washington Post reported that 89% of the world’s population now has access to save drinking water, as reported by the United Nations in the Daily Newsletter, in the March 6, 2012 issue.  I do not see how this could be, since reputable organizations, like the one I am interning for, have conducted years of reserach and have reported that 1 out of 3 people still lacks access to safe drinking water, or about 1 billion people worldwide (Corporate Accountability International).  According to the Washington Post article, an astounding 2 billion people gained access to clean drinking water from 1990 to 2010.  I would like to see the proof.  I hate to sound liek a skeptic, but if this is the case, I suppose we will begin to see the benefits of this shortly, such as reduced disease and mortality in developing nations across the globe.  I am wondering if this 89% of population access to drinking water means that they do have access, but people still need to walk many miles to get to this clean water, or that they do not know they even have access to it.  I find it really hard to believe this is the case. 

Community water rights are being threatened all over the world, from North America to Asia. Corporations often explote small developing world communities because they see the opportunity to provide these communities with quick revenue in exchange for a tap on the local water supplies. Sometimes these corporations may even drain local communities of all of their potable water, moving onto other communities for water rights.

Fresh water is certainly a more valuable commodity than crude oil, but crude oil doesn’t fall out of the sky either