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Blue Gold Reflection

As children we were taught the water cycle, which then led to our naive assumption that water would never run out; but 97% of earths water is salt water and the fresh water that is available is being polluted and misused each day. Instead of adapting our development to the water supply of the particular region, we make a water supply adapt to our locations through pumping groundwater or building dams to provide water during times when naturally it would not suffice, by changing the hydro patterns to meet our needs – a quest to conquer nature. Everyday 30 billion gallons of ground water are pumped. We are taking of our “finite” amount water faster than it can be replaced. The growing dependency on ground water is such a major concern because we have no way of calculating how much is left. Our water supply is diminishing. The world water crisis will face us all one day, no matter how water rich of a country one lives in.

The water privatization discussion in the documentary seemed to be the same concepts we went over in class discussions but mentioned various stories as examples. Industry being the major culprit is a consistent theme throughout the examples. In the United States Atlanta, Georgia experienced first hand with the many issues of corruption of private companies and government. United water, also known as Suez, was allowed by the Mayor of Atlanta to entirely operate (privatize) their water system. The Mayor of Atlanta was given a small sum of a few thousand dollars for this contract. United Water did everything possible to make a greater profit by un-employing many workers, lessening customer service and other things that resulted in negative impacts on the city.

This issue is now seen in the oil industries, and it’s just for a few thousands. This obviously isn’t about the money; it’s about the power. In Mexico City Dasani (Coca-Cola product) Dasani is taking over. Vicente Fox, their president, gave the corporation control. The Coca-Cola bottling plant was one of the world’s largest water concessions and takes as much water as it wants. When walking through communities in Africa, all you find is Coca-Cola. You cannot drink the water from the tap; you have to pay more for the water than an actual Coca-Cola soda bottle. The difference between bottled water and tap water is insignificant (tap=$0.0005 while bottles =2 bucks). The people in Africa are an absolute slave to the company. Another shocking story mentioned in the film was that the World Bank was telling one of the poorest countries to sell its water in order to get out of debt.

If people don’t have money to buy water, they are forced to go to the nearest stream and get water from an area that may have hazardous waste signs. With the use of this contaminated water, they will then need health care in which the government will have to pay for. A simple question, a question of common sense was posed – why doesn’t the government pay for necessary items like clean water for their citizens rather than their medical bills caused by unclean water access?


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