Time wet

               Maybe you have heard of your carbon footprint. Get ready for the next big thing! Your water footprint. Stories will soon be splashing all over the headlines of a newspaper near you. Face it folks, from the second your feet touch the floor in the morning, we consume. Actually if you awoke to an alarm clock you were consuming before you even woke up!

            Touted as the next big thing for conscious green thinkers to be watching in our ever endless search to be greener and less abusive to good old mother earth, the water footprint looks to be another in the endless cycles of things you need to address. Now sure we have all recycled and recycled and made the smallest of dents in our waste stream to be sure. And once we were able to feel as if we had a pretty good handle on it, some of us went on to compost and really felt proud of ourselves. Then we threw in some social issues and wrote a few checks here and there and fell back on our couches thinking, hey the world is a better place! Not so fast.

            How much water do you think it takes for you to get through your day? And I am not talking about that three or four glasses you are consuming to keep your system working. Sadly, the answer is thousands of gallons. Whoa wait a minute you say in exclamation, I take long shower but thousands of gallons? Yeah, there are hidden costs to everything that you do.

            In what was a very enlightening article in Mother Jones, August 2009, Josh Harkinson enlightens us all on how much water you use a day. Surprisingly, close to eight hundred gallons through your consumption of good clean food! I’m talking the good stuff too. This is water that needs to be clean, chlorinated and made healthy just to use.

            Take that apple sitting on your desk, which you are going to have for a snack.  Eighteen gallons of water to get it all nice and grown for you to consume.  Hamburger for lunch? Six hundred and thirty-four gallons just to process the meat and that doesn’t include watering the field with irrigation to feed that plump little heifer. Starting to see the picture?

            Takes just about 40,000 gallons of water to make that cute little hybrid car you’re driving around saving us all from CO2 contamination! And let’s not forget, almost 3,000 gallons of water to make the nice jeans you are wearing. Hopefully, the article and I have opened a door you need to take a better look into!

            If you are wondering why this is on the verge of being such a hot topic, well you need wonder no longer. Remember all the talk about carbon –cap-and trade? Well, water is next in line to fall into this three card Monty idea of bait and switch. The idea is that if we allow one company that has excess to trade their lack of use with a company that is polluting and wasting until they can get their act together is back again. Remember the energy companies like Enron who made billions trading imaginary numbers of products, all by creating markets where people trade-in credits? Water will be no exception.

            Water will one day be called the Blue Gold, and unlike the other gold, you can’t live without this one and that increases its value exponentially!


3 thoughts on “Time wet

  1. Sandy C. Smith

    I have been handing out articles and publishing them in newspapers for years and no one seems too worried! Yes, water will very soon be the next oil and then some!

    Some months ago,as I was leaving the food store, I asked a man paying for a jug of “spring” water, if that made him mad. He looked up at me in surprise–not knowing me–and wondered what I meant. Buying his water had become so matter of fact, it didn’t even occure to him that he didn’t always have to do it. He was in his 60’s. We all remember when there wasn’t one bottle of water to be sold at the store–now it’s an entire isle!

    The following is an article I wrote a few years ago for the local paper. You might find it interesting.

    By Sandy C. Smith

    Over one billion people have no access to clean water,every eight seconds a child dies of water-borne disease, 31 countries are facing severe water stress and by 2025 two-thirds of the world’s people will not have enough water. Less than 1% of the world’s water supply is suitable for drinking or agriculture. York County is running out of water, piping more from the Susquehana. The U.N. predicted that competition for water will lead to increasing conflicts worldwide. Water will be the most valuable commodity,worth more then oil because we can’t live without it.

    Fierce disputes are being waged between local communities and companies such as Coca-Cola and Nestlé,aggressively seeking new supplies of water. Perrier is being taken to court by citizens in Michigan and Wisconsin over licenses to take huge amounts of aquifer water that feeds the Great Lakes. In India, whole river systems, such as the Bhavani River in the state of Tamil Nadu, have been sold to Coca-Cola even as the state is suffering the worst drought.

    The World Trade Organization (WTO) has been meeting secretly to take over the world’s water supply,including here in York County. The European water companies are powerful in the service industry lobby advising governments and trade negotiators in the drafting of these deals. International trade laws set up by General Agreement on Trade in Services(GATS) will undermine our local and state laws forcing us to receive the lowest standards set for our water and sewage treatment plants. The Canadian Polaris Institute (http://www.polarisinstitute.org) has secured and made public these WTO’s GATS documents which are putting great pressure on the United States to approve this quickly by a March 31 deadline.

    It is obvious why the European Commission has put so much effort into keeping these documents secret. The U.S. Trade Representative and GATS negotiator will be reading and bargining with documents asking for water along with other GATS issues that include the privatization and deregulation of public energy, postal services, higher education and alcohol distribution.Other proposals would allow foreign firms to receive small business loans from Washington and require the “extreme deregulation” of private sector service industries such as insurance, banking, mutual funds and securities.

    Red Lion will consider selling their water company to Pennsylvania-American Water Company. This is not the first town that has considered or done so due to rising cost. This is the United States; no matter who runs our water supplies, it is protected by our laws–WRONG. Pennsylvania-American was bought by a huge German utilities conglomerate company,RWE Aktiengesellschaft, that also bought Thames Water,of London, UK. A few small municipalities in PA have sold their water systems to PA – Am. in the last few years, and now pay the Germans for their drinking water.

    PA-Am.owns three sewage systems in Pennsylvania (sometimes under the auspices of American Water Services) and is interested in buying a municipal sanitary sewage system in Pennsylvania. The company brags about how it likes to turn its sewage sludge into a wonderful fertilizer product to sell back to us.

    Water for profit is taking several forms with transnational corporations seeking to cartelise the world’s water delivery and wastewater systems.French companies deliver private water
    services to more than 200 million customers in 150 countries;they are moving into new markets in the third world, where debt-struck governments are forced to abandon public water services handing over control of water supplies to for-profit interests. They charge for the full cost of water, including profits for shareholders,then the companies are able to impose rate hikes that are devastating to millions of poor people who can’t afford their own water,forcing them to use cholera-laced water systems instead.

    German companies are putting together giant investment pools using overseas
    government aid, private bank investments and public utilities funds in the recipient country. An arrangement called cross-border leasing, hires local contractors to run the water services. Some investment companies keep their money in tax havens, avoiding national taxes, and offer a deal to cash-strapped governments.These public-private partnerships guarantee the private investor huge profits from the public purse for many years.

    Corporations are constructing massive pipelines to carry fresh water long distances for commercial sale along with supertankers and giant sealed water bags to transport vast amounts across the ocean to paying customers. The World Bank stated, “One way or another, water will soon be moved around the world as oil is now”. These forms of water privatization are protected through the WTO and the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) . In effect, WTO/GATS give foreign investors the right to bypass the U.S. domestic court system and laws.

    Multinational companies will be taking over businesses inYork County,Pennsylvania, and America. We need to demand that no U.S. offers are made through GATS on March 31 or any other time until a full consultation with our governors, attorney generals,state & federal legislatures,unions and citizen groups. The U.S. Trade Representative is Robert Zoellick. The main USTR GATS negotiator, Peter Collins, number in D.C. is 202-395-3000,fax 202-395-3891 or e-mailed [pc@ustr.gov]. PA state and federal representatives must also be notified. It is important that everyone lets their wishes be known to their Congressmen as Congress gets the final vote.Most of our state governments are not aware. The Susquehana could soon be under the control of a multinational company supplying water around the world for profit.You can make the difference–call and stay informed!

    FMI: PA Fair Trade Coalition Leon Oboler (610) 277-8506
    Public Citizenís Global Trade Watch – Chris Slevin (202) 454-5140

    The EU request of the United States is available at: http://www.gatswatch.org/requests-offers.html.
    The best analysis of the GATS agreement and how it works, by the Center for Policy Alternatives This document is available at: http://www.citizen.org/documents/GATS-facing-the-facts-final.pdf
    The U.S. schedule of commitments, which demonstrates what sectors we have already committed to GATS disciplines, and what state laws have been listed for exemption. This document is available at: ftp://ftp.usitc.gov/pub/reports/studies/GATS98.PDF

  2. soullady

    Good post on the great value of water and how it works so very importantly in our everyday lives. I for one love and adore the beach next time I’ll think about this post. thanks Geo.

  3. We take so much for granted don’t we?? I, for one, appreciate every cup of water I drink… perhaps even more so after reading this post.

    Hope you’re doing well Grantman 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s