Water is the source and the sustainer of life. We can survive a lot longer without food than we can without water. Without a doubt it is essential to our continued existence as a species. Here are some water facts:
- Approximately 72% of the earth is covered in water, but about 97% of that water is salty and therefore no good for drinking;
- Our bodies are made up from 80% (for babies) to 60% (for adults) of water;
- Approximately 70% of the fresh water on the planet are in ice-caps;
- More fresh water is stored underground than in liquid form on the surface;
- Less than 1% of the worlds fresh water is readily accessible;
- 6 countries have 50% of the worlds fresh water reserves: Brazil, Canada, Russia, China, Colombia and Indonesia;
- Approximately 1/3 of the world’s population lives in “water stressed” countries.
Against this backdrop of facts, there are multinational corporations that see this as an opportunity to make enormous profits from treating water as a commodity to be sold (by them) and bought (by us). Water has become a $400 billion dollar global industry, the third largest behind oil and electricity.
I watched a very informative award winning documentary by Irena Salina on the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply called: FLOW: for love of water. Here are some other facts about water which it highlights.
Corporations like Suez, Vivendi, Thames Water, Bechtel, as well as Coco-Cola and Nestle, have successfully privatized and commoditized fresh water resources worldwide. National governments and world organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank, are in collusion with these multinationals to not only privatize the worlds fresh water supplies, but also in some “third world” countries, to deny people the right to collect and utilize rain water for their daily needs (i.e. drinking, cooking, washing, bathing, etc.,) and to irrigate their crops!
People worldwide are however fighting back against these efforts. Access to clean water is a fundamental human right and not a commodity to be sold and bought for the profits of a filthy few. This is an issue which affects all of us, regardless of where you reside. Take time to watch the documentary and take action (see here) to help ensure fresh water accessiblity free of corporate profiteering. Stop buying bottled water from these multinational corporations and sign the petition calling upon the United Nations to add a 31st article to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, establishing access to clean water as a fundamental human right.