By Walter Sorochan
Posted July 25, 2010; Updated May 01, 2016.
Update May 01, 2016: The world is short of drinking water. Even United States has a water shortage in the western states ... especially California. There appears to be a link between world climate change and as this affects the climate rain precipitation in western and eastern United States!
Summary: This article, with documentation, briefly summarizes the status of water in the world. Water is essential for all living things and the world appears to be running out of safe drinking water. Although water may be a human right, people in all parts of the world, today as in the past, fight over water. Today, corporations are usurping water from rivers, lakes and underground reservoirs to make money selling bottle water, to make soft drinks, and to irrigate crops as food for cash; all at the expense of depriving affordable drinking water to poor people. Another dilemma: During this current economic crisis, state and local governments are debating whether to privatize public water distribution systems as a way to save money. Water has become a biological, political and economic issue!
All the world has a pending water crisis, although most of us may not be aware of it. The future wars will be fought about water and food and not oil. Barlow: water crisis You can learn more about this future crisis by viewing the video below or/and reading about how various countries are coping with the shortage of water.
A World Without Water is a fascinating story about the inevitable truth that the world is running out of its most precious resource. First presented by the U.K.’s Channel Four, this timely film tells of the personal tragedies behind the mounting privatization of water supplies. Watch the complete video here:
Where is the largest supply of fresh water in the world? The map below illustrates that the largest reservoirs of potential water are in the Amazon river area of South America, Canada and Russia. water estimates These estimates refer to fresh water in rivers, lakes, frozen ice caps and underground reservoirs.
Water Wars: One can speculate that future conflicts over water may occur in countries where there is a large supply of fresh water, as illustrated in the map above. Other water conflicts will occur in countries without adequate water. The "have-nots" will fight the "haves" for water between 2010 and 2040! Vaknin: Emerging water war | Engelhardt: water war in America | Shiva: Bechtel water involvement | Clayton: Next cartel | Adams: collecting rain a no no
In her book Vanada Shiva Shiva: Bechtel water involvement points out a growing concern that many people do not pay attention to what they do in their everyday lives. We take water for granted, and find it difficult to imagine a day when the tap runs dry. In Water Wars the author does an excellent job of analyzing the privatization, pollution, and profit of water in the International arena. She takes a scientific approach and explains the means and methods of water processing and extraction. In offering several tragic examples of where the water tables have already run dry in India, and the horrible loss of life which followed. Clearly, that which we take for granted in America is something of scarcity in other less fortunate countries. Either way, Shiva points out in her book the necessity of understanding that once the drinkable water is gone, there are no alternatives. Shiva: Bechtel water involvementWater Privatization Water privatization | Adams: collecting rain a no no
Water is not only essential for life, but for growing food as well.
But while the global demand for water is on the rise, the supply is shrinking. Water-intensive industrial agriculture, urban and industrial pollution, breakneck industrial development and other ecological threats are depleting freshwater supplies.
Bottled water story
Information about water crises in Latin American countries:ARGENTINA
Argentina has suffered for more than a decade as the global guinea pig for water privatization experiments.Bolivia The movements to defend water, and all natural resources and public services, have grown stronger and bolder in recent years.
Chile has been one of the most privatization-friendly countries in Latin America, privatizing its water sector in the 1990s. However with the new center-left president, Michelle Bachelet, elected in January 2006, there may be a shift in the neo-liberal policies of corporate privatization that have governed Chile and allowed the distribution of its most precious resource to be governed by corporations for private profit.ECUADOR
In October 2000, just months after the people of Bolivia threw Bechtel out of Cochabamba, this very same company signed a water privatization contract in Guayaquil, Ecuador a city of almost 2 million inhabitants. After years of poor service, water cut-offs, flooding, and unsafe drinking water the residents of Guayaquil are organizing to demand their human rights , which include the right to clean and affordable water.EL SALVADOR
El Salvador is a country in crisis. Ninety percent of the countryâ€š natural water is contaminated, and half the population drinks untreated water. The people of El Salvador struggle to attend to the most basic necessities while the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank continue pushing the disastrous recipes of privatization.
In August 2003 thousands of protestors demonstrated against the policies imposed by the IMF, including water privatization policies.MEXICO
Communities across the country are organizing to defend their rivers, streams, aquifers and lakes.
In Nicaragua, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are promoting a policy of water privatization which will make it more difficult for citizens to obtain clean water at affordable rates.
Reforms for the public water sector designed by the international financial institutions in the 1990s caused water utilities to collapse into economic crisis. Now these same institutions argue that the public water sector has failed and privatization is the answer.
Puerto Rico too often serves as the guinea pig for corporate privatization policies.
Uruguay has gained a landmark victory in the struggle to defend water as a public good and a human right.
Countries fighting water take-over: World water conflicts
Adams Mike, "Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water," Natural News, July 26, 2010. Adams: collecting rain a no no
Apland Hitz Julia, "The Water Conflict in Ecuador," The Earth Institute, May 14, 2010. Ecuador water war1
Barlow Maude, "Report Summary: BLUE GOLD THE GLOBAL WATER CRISIS AND THE COMMODIFICATION OF THE WORLD'S WATER SUPPLY," International Forum on Globalization (IFG), June, 1999. Barlow: water crisis
Clayton Mark, "Forget OPEC. The next cartel may export drinking water," The Christian Science Monitor / December 30, 2004. Clayton: Next cartel "Forget OPEC. Some experts say the next cartel will be an organization of water-exporting countries. Others see more danger in local privatization of water, which could restrict access to the poor within nations."
Constance Paul, "Who won the water wars?" IDBAmerica, July 23, 2010. Constance: who won war
Engelhardt Tom, "Tomgram: Snitow and Kaufman, Water Wars in America," TomDispatch, September 25, 2008. Engelhardt: water war in America
"The spiraling collapse of the financial system may only intensify the quest for private investments in what is now the public sector. ... This radical shift to the private sector could become one of history's largest transfers of ownership, control, and wealth from the public trust to the private till. Public utilities are a huge untapped source of revenue for local and state governments. Water is one such public resource!
Fraser Barbara, "Water Wars Come to the Andes," Scientific American, May 19, 2009. Fraser: Andes water war In Peru, as glaciers decline and droughts increase, conflict and tension rise
Fried Kate, "Milwaukee Water System Lease Could Cost Community Millions Per Year," Food & Water Watch, November 4th, 2009. New Food & Water Watch Report Finds that Privatizing System Could Raise Consumer Rates and Limit Community Choice Fried: Milwaukee water report
Fried Kate, "Statewide Coalition Speaks Out Against Aqua Utility Florida’s Poor Water Quality and Service," Food & Water Watch, March 16, 2010. Fried: Florida rejects outsourcing water
Hauter Wennonah, "Trenton Residents Drown Risky Water Deal," Food & Water Watch, June 16th, 2010. Hauter: New Jersey reject Corp water Local Vote Latest Wave in National Trend Against Private Control. NJ Supreme court agrees
Guidi Ruxandra, "Ecuadorian Water Law Sparks Outrage from Indigenous Communities," Americas Quarterly, October 23, 2009. Guidi: water outrage Ecuador
Israel-Palestine water war: Mid-east water war
"Israel / Palestine war is in large part being fought over water. The West Bank sits over a large aquifer. In addition, the Golan Heights - annexed by Israel from Syria - is the headwaters of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. In a desert, control of water is as vital as control of oil for modern societies."
Joiner Emily, "Bechtel's Ugly Ecuador Water Adventure," The Democracy Center, February 22, 2008. Joiner: Ugly adventure
Kaufman Deborah and Alan Snitow, "The new corporate threat to our water supplies," Reimagination : published by TomDispatch.com, September 26, 2008. Kaufman: corporate threat to water supply
Kinver Mark, "Water policy 'fails world's poor,'" BBC News Science, March 9, 2006. Kinver: Water Stix
Lohan Tara, "Barlow Maude: The growing right to water," AlterNet, February 14, 2008. Lohan: Battle for water
Barlow Maude, ""Water is blue gold, it's terribly precious," says Maude Barlow, who chairs for the Council of Canadians, an Ottawa-based citizens' watchdog. "Not too far in the future, we're going to see a move to surround and commodify the world's fresh water. Just as they've divvied up the world's oil, in the coming century there's going to be a grab."
Lohan Tara, "Voters reject water privatization," Alternet, November 05, 2008. Lohan: Ohio rejects water privatization
" The people of Akron voted overwhelmingly to keep public control of their water system, voting 62 to 38 against Issue 8."
Malhotra Reenita, " Documentary: A world without water," Malhotra: world without water
McGill University, "The coming water wars," McGill Reporter, September 21, 2000 - Volume 33 Number 02. McGill: coming water wars
OP Research papers: Water wars 1
Privatization: A fightback handbook: Handbook
Quinion, Michael, "Water War," World Wide Words, May 19, 2010. Quinion: water war
"This is a term devised by environmentalists for a type of conflict (most probably a form of guerrilla warfare) which has not yet occurred, but which they predict will happen sometime shortly after the millennium through an acute shortage of water for drinking and irrigation. About 40 per cent of the world’s populations are already affected to some degree, but population growth, climate change and rises in living standards will worsen the situation: the UN Environment Agency warns that almost 3 billion people will be severely short of water within 50 years. Experts point to the disaster of the Aral Sea, which has already lost three-quarters of its water through diversion for irrigation of the rivers feeding it. Possible flash points have been predicted in the Middle East, parts of Africa and in many of the world’s major river basins, including the Danube. The term has been used for some years, happily only in a figurative sense, to describe disputes in the southern and south-western United States over rights to water extraction from rivers and aquifers."
Rogers J. David, " "INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR WATER WARS IN ISRAEL, JORDAN AND THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY," Scribd, Rogers: Isreal-Palestine water issue
Rosegrant Mark W., Ximing Cai, and Sarah A.Cline, "WATER AND FOOD TO 2025 Policy Responses to the Threat of Scarcity," INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE. September 2002. Rosegrant: 2020 water projection
Share the World's resources: Key facts about water
Shiva Vandana, "Bechtel And Blood For Water: War As An Excuse For Enlarging Corporate Rule," April 25, 2003. Shiva: Bechtel water involvement
Suez Corp water record in USA, Suez Corp: poor water record
Suez Environnement, the world’s second-largest water company, under the leadership of Paris Suez, United Water has grown into the second-largest private operator of municipal water systems in the United States. However, because the company has had a large number of high-profile failures, in recent years, it has won few new contracts to operate city water systems. As a result, it has focused on taking over other water companies to eliminate its competition.
Swizer Terry, "The people of Michigan find victory: Citizens for Water Conservation vs. Nestlé," Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, July 7, 2009. Swizer: Michigan water war | Michigan fight for water
"Ms. Swier has been in the forefront of defending Michigan's waters against the Nestle Corporation's aggressive water mining operations. In the process, she has sounded the alarm that led to two major environmental campaigns to reform Michigan's water use laws and has focused public attention on the adverse impact of water diversion on wildlife habitat and human interests."
Ten top reasons to oppose water privatization: 10 reasons oppose privatization
Vaknin Sam, "The Emerging Water Wars," Global Politician, May 20, 2005. Vaknin: Emerging water war
Water estimates on earth: water estimates
"Water: The world's most valuable stuff," The Economist, May 20th 2010. Water: most valueable "Mostly because of farming, water is increasingly scarce. Managing it better could help."
Thill Scott, "California's Water Woes Threaten the Entire Country's Food Supply," Alter net, June 06, 2009. Thill: California water threat
Waller Jennifer, "Cochabamba conference targets corporations," Worker's World, May 16, 2010. Waller: Cochabamba water war
"Water privatization," Food and Water Watch: Water privatization
World fight to save water: countries fighting water takeover
Zebechi Raul,"Ecuador: Water Wars…The Battle for Natural Resources Deepens," Sustainable Energy Partnership for the Americas, November 9, 2009. Zebechi: Ecuador War