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Reflection Essay 2- Collin Clark

Collin Clark    

Reflection Essay #2-Blue Gold


            The film, “Blue Gold World Water Wars”, was a very good representation of the current situation of water access, privatization, and quality. With that being said, I did find some examples or arguments to be a bit biased or more or less speculation. Blue Gold began with the different forms of water usage such as agriculture, which uses the most, and then industry, the most environmentally harmful water usage. The film then discussed the most polluted river in the U.S., the Rio Grande. This was a very eye opening example. I felt that it “brought the issue home”, the fact that this river can be infested with so many industrial, agricultural, and fecal contaminants is astounding. The Rio Grande passes through a very arid region and shows how the contamination of usable water is a very real problem. When the filmmakers interviewed the farmer about the depletion of the aquifers, the farmer explained that due to outdated water laws, a farmer must use as much water as possible for as long as possible or he may lose his water rights. This is a great example of how legislation needs to be updated to better serve the earth. It is just silly that how water conservation unfriendly this procedure is. This, in turn, results in the aquifer being depleted faster than it can be recharged. These laws were created when it was widely believed that water was infinite and before large scale agriculture was introduced and practiced and so have been made obsolete and inefficient. The most interesting example is when they discuss Coca-Cola’s influence on water access and the developing nations. Coca-Cola is a prime example of privatization because Coke is such a globally recognized brand. The film begins with giving background on Mexico City’s water problems. Then states how Vicente Fox, prior to being president of Mexico, worked for Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola evidently had priority access over its citizens for production. The film then changed locations to Africa. Coca-Cola’s bottled (plastic) water Dasani is priced higher than the glass bottled soda. This is just ridiculous. The representative interviewed from Coca-Cola contradicted himself by saying that it wouldn’t make economic sense to switch the water to glass. But if it is cheaper to produce plastic bottles, why is the water more? This is a great example of how privatization fails and how water justice issue is very real in how the people have a right to use water and enjoy water. One of the most upsetting examples in the film was in South Africa. A private company who owned a well of clean water put a meter on the pump. This pumped measured and charged users by the drop. I repeat the drop. This then forces the citizens to use the alternative which is a dirty stagnant pool of water with cholera and other diseases. The company is so worried about a profit that they do not take into account the health and safety of the people which is one of the main arguments made by Maude Barlow in her book, “The Blue Covenant”.  This conveys water justice and the capacity of the developing world to act. When the film started discussing the Bush family and the purchasing of land in Paraguay with prime access to a large aquifer, I felt that it was a very long stretch for an argument. There was more speculation as to why the Bush family had the land and basically accused them for purchasing the land for immoral purposes. Any relation to privatization didn’t really fit in this argument either since they aren’t involved with water corporations. One criticism I have of the format of the film was the cut scene information where it displayed a ball of water and had a statistic like the amount of water to produce a certain food or material. I felt that it was hard to comprehend and was poorly visually represented.  Overall, I found that the film clearly stated its argument against privatization and informed the audience of the issues facing the world in developed and developing nations.

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