When it comes to water, we know that it is one of the most important natural resources we have. We need water to live, to sustain life, and to progress forward. But, the question remains, how much of our water is actually ours to use, and how much is being wasted in terms of things like fracking, pesticides, development, and more. How much work are our politicians doing to keep our water safe, and how much are they doing to actually keep it out of harm’s way? These questions are somewhat difficult to answer, because there is so much information that is currently hidden from the public in terms of vital natural resources such as water. And, the truth is that there is a lot of information out there, but not a lot of relevant and accurate information in regards to water, such as where we get our supplies and how safe it is to drink. When it comes to drinking water, there are still many questions that need to be answered.
How Much Of Our Water Is Corporate Owned?
When many people think of water, they might not automatically think of a company or business, but that is the actual reality with the majority of the drinking water we have here in the US today. When it comes to water, there are owners and there are sellers. Drinking water is bought just like any commodity, and then sold, usually to the highest bidder. Now, the question we must ask is, how much of our water is corporate owned? And, the answer may surprise you. In terms of corporate owned water, the truth is that the majority of our water is corporate owned, and only a very small portion of it is actually not owned by a corporate entity. The truth is that actually only two corporations, United Water and USFilter, own at least 70% of not only this country’s drinking water, but 70% of the world’s drinking water.
Aside from these two corporations controlling and owning 70% of the world’s water, the bottled water industry is taking owning water to a new and even larger degree. It is said that the bottled water industry is the least regulated industry in the entire world, as well as the fastest-growing. The bottled water industry is a 25 billion dollar industry, and expanding at an annual rate of 20%. The corporations that are leading the bottled water revolution include Nestle, followed by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Danone, according to www.pauldonahue.net. The way it works is this, the bottled water corporations secure access to natural water springs and simply bottle the water that is available. These corporations will fight public groups and governments that attempt and try to stop them, just so they can own water, and make a huge profit. What was once publicly-owned water is now unfortunately owned by corporations. This not only causes harm to the pocketbooks of many citizens, but also causes harm to the environment, due to pumping springs dry, pulling up impurities and toxins into the water, and draining aquifers.
It is said that these numbers will only grow exponentially in the years to come. Within 15 years, it is said that at least 65% of the current public water systems will be owned by corporations. And, these numbers are not slowing down anytime soon. According to the World Bank, water will soon be utilized as oil is today, moving from place to place, and costing a pretty penny. There is also, what is known as a water cartel, and this cartel is working directly with the World Bank to turn water into even a bigger commodity than it is today. Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are working to make full water privatization a reality, and it looks as though they are succeeding.
What Is The Water Quality For Major Cities?
For many people living in larger cities, especially in the US, the idea is that water is supposed to be safe. Even if bottled water is preferable, many people who live in larger cities believe that the water coming out of their faucet is safe to drink and cook with, especially in an emergency. But, the reality is actually much more glim than it seems. In terms of water quality in major cities, there are quite a few cities in the US that do have high-quality water flowing out of their taps, but sadly, there are several major cities in the US that don’t have high-quality water whatsoever. The truth is that there are many large cities in the US which have low-quality water that is much lower than the average rate, and not safe to drink or even cook with.
Where Did All Flowers Go? Well, There’s No Water.
In terms of major cities with unsafe drinking water, according to www.nbcnews.com, there are several major cities in the US found to have unsafe drinking water, and they include Jacksonville, Florida, where 23 different toxic chemicals were found in the water supply, which include toxins such as trihalomethanes, chloroform, and even arsenic and lead. San Diego, California, where 20 contaminants were found in the water supply, along with eight chemicals that exceeded health guidelines. North Las Vegas, Nevada, where 11 chemicals were found in the water supply that exceeded health guidelines, along with 26 contaminants. Omaha, Nebraska, where the chemical atrazine was found, along with toxins such as trihalomethanes, manganese, and nitrate. Houston, Texas, where 18 chemicals that exceeded health guidelines were found, along with 46 pollutants. Reno, Nevada, where arsenic was found to be more than twice the legal limit. Riverside, California, where 22 chemicals were found in the water supply. And, Pensacola, Florida, where 21 chemicals were found in the water supply in unhealthy amounts, including toxins such as radium-228, benzine, and lead. Sadly, it is also said that over 41 million Americans have trace amounts of pharmaceuticals currently in their water supply, which is an alarming statistic to say the least.
With so many major cities in the US with unsafe drinking water coming out of their taps, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for some. The major cities found in the US with “safe” drinking water include Des Moines, Iowa, Miami, Florida, Austin, Texas, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Birmingham, Alabama, according to www.forbes.com. It is said that safe drinking water is categorized by cloudiness, amount of bacteria, lead, and the amount of haloacetic acids evident.
How Much Fresh Water In The US Is Lost To Fracking?
According to www.theguardian.com, fracking is depleting water supplies in America’s driest areas. The truth is that fracking is not only harmful to the environment as a whole, but it is also depleting the water supplies in cities such as Texas and California, where water shortage seems to be the norm. The truth is that billions of dollars are spent every single year for fracking efforts, and it seems that all that fracking is doing is actually much more harmful than good. The Guardian states that since the year 2011, ¾ of the 40,000 wells that were drilled were in water-scarce areas, and over half of the wells that were drilled were in areas experiencing ongoing droughts. These numbers are shocking to all the people who live in these water-starved areas, and who have been told to conserve water time and time again. Not only is fracking is causing most, if not all, of these horrible water shortages, but there is nothing that anyone is doing at this time to stop it. It is said that it takes millions of gallons of fresh water to frack a single well. And even with these upsetting numbers, fracking efforts are only going to double in the next five years.
Sadly, fracking is the biggest user of freshwater, and it seemingly is occurring the most in rural communities, which happen to be experiencing the most water shortages in the US, aside from larger cities in California and Texas. This means that for the future of many areas that are experiencing current water shortages, things will only get worse for them, due to the increased amount of fracking that is occurring, and is not stopping anytime soon. One statistic stated by The Guardian said that local aquifer levels in the Eagle Ford formation have dropped by up to 300 feet in the last few years. And, there are 29 communities in the state of Texas that could totally run out of water completely, since most of their water reservoirs are only at 25%. The truth is that something must be done about this detrimental problem caused by fracking that is affecting hundreds of thousands of people.
How Much Fresh Water In The US Is Lost To Pesticides?
There is a problem with pesticides that go much deeper than simply contaminating fruits and vegetables, which is harmful enough as it is. Another big problem with pesticides is that they are ruining the fresh water supply across the country, and even across the world. According to www.safewater.org, pesticides and residues, also referred to as nitrates and phosphates, can be quickly transported to contaminate ground water and fresh water supplies over a large geographical area. And sadly, the more rainfall there is, the worse the pesticides become. Rainfall is said to actually increase the risk of pesticides entering the freshwater supply, by pushing the pesticides and toxins into drains, and into the underground supply. Distressing to say the least, there is nothing good that can come out of pesticides getting into the water supply, and this contamination issue is becoming more and more of a problem for people across the world.
Not only have pesticides been shown to negatively affect the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the hormone levels in the body, but they have also been shown to cause cancer, since there are certain pesticides that are incredibly carcinogenic. And, the sad reality is that these toxins and pesticides are not only affecting the water supply for us, but for animals and the wildlife as well. According to Emma Rosi-Marshall from www.nature.com, we are at a crisis point, with species loss on a global scale, especially in freshwater ecosystems. This means that there are several species of insects, animals, and wildlife that are actually dying out due to all of the pesticides that are currently present in the water supply. According to www.panda.org, the pesticides have a direct toxic effect upon wildlife and, by accumulating in the biosphere, also an indirect effect. There is now not only a decrease in different animal species sustaining life overall, but also, a widespread problem with fertility issues affecting the animals as well, due to the unnerving large amount of pesticides and toxins found in the water supply.
Is Anyone Doing Anything About It?
The question to now ask is, is anyone doing anything about these ongoing problems affecting our most important natural resource, which is water? And, the answer is somewhat. There are several groups and organizations located in the US, and even in the world, that are doing all that they can to fight the big corporations and take the water back into public hands. Their goal is to keep water public, and make sure water is clean and healthy to drink for us, as well as for wildlife and animals. But, these efforts are not as easy as they may seem. There are many large corporations fighting to not only keep water privatized and very expensive, but to take it out of public hands. These big corporations are proponents of increased fracking efforts, development, and more. The World Bank is directly involved with corporations such as Nestle, which is the leading bottled water corporation, which aim to make water as private as possible. Some of the leading clean water organizations and groups for keeping water public include www.savethewater.org, www.surfrider.org, and several conservation programs put out by the USDA, including the MRBI.