Water Crisis: California Farmers Drill Deeper as Drought Drags on, Fracking and Privatization Continue
Using diesel powered drills, California farmers desperately dig deep into the earth’s crust to try to hit gold – not black gold, but blue – the state is still dying of thirst as the drought drags on. It seems ironic when fracking has been confirmed to contaminate 4 state’s drinking water, and polluting water supplies for agriculture, while the oil and gas industries keep making plans to frack more.
For many farmers in California the only water they have hope for utilizing is more than 40 miles away, under ground. Steve Arthur, a second generation driller, has a waiting list for farmers looking for water, and he refuses cash offers from those who want to jump ahead in line.
“What do you tell someone who is losing their crop?" Arthur laments.
California’s three-year drought is just the beginning of the water problem, though. Groundwater sources are shrinking faster than they are created, and drilling ever deeper, with expensive equipment, and limited manpower, won’t help farmers forever, let alone support healthy drinking water to the nation. Soon a resource we’ve always taken for granted could be a very hot commodity. The World Bank even voiced a warning that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will have insufficient drinking water.
Could this all be part of a larger plan?
Numerous companies are poised to take advantage of the water crisis. Instead of protecting existing water supplies, implementing stricter regulations, and coming up with novel ways to capture rainwater, or desalinizing seawater, the corporate agenda is ready, like a snake coiled, to make trillions off your thirst.
Chemical Engineers at MIT have indeed figured out how to desalinate water - electrodialysis having the potential to make seawater potable quickly and cheaply without removing other contaminants such as dirt and bacteria, and there are inexpensive nanotech filters that can clean hazardous microbes and chemicals from drinking water. Designer Arturo Vittori believes the solution to the water catastrophe lies not in high technology but in a giant basket that collects clean drinking water from condensation in the air.
Nonetheless, corporations hope you don’t get wind of these solutions. The current CEO of Nestlé, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe denies that water is a fundamental human right. If you think people like Letmathe mean ‘not a right’ to people just in third world countries, think again:
In the small Pakistani community of Bhati Dilwan, a former village councilor says children are being sickened by filthy water. Who’s causing this dilemma? Dilwan says it’s bottled water-maker Nestlé, which dug a deep well that is depriving locals of potable water:
“The water is not only very dirty, but the water level sank from 100 to 300 to 400 feet.”
At the World Water Forum in 2000, Nestlé successfully lobbied to stop water from being declared a universal right -- declaring war on our local water resources by the multinational corporations looking to control them. For Nestlé, this means billions of dollars in profits. For US citizens and people around the world, it means paying up to 2,000 times more for drinking water out of their plastic bottles.
How interesting, then that the World Bank also wants water privatization, even though they warned water was in dire supply over a decade ago.
“The track record of publicly funded private water projects shows that the private sector doesn’t find it profitable to invest in the infrastructure really needed to ensure that communities have access to clean and affordable water. Water companies have found that their niche is seeking efficiency solutions through hiking prices and cutting spending on infrastructure investment.” – How convenient.
Other companies are now ‘mining’ for water for big profits. Suez, Vivendi, RWE/Thames, and their subsidiaries are just a few. Nestle and its subsidiary, Ice Mountain, are currently depleting aquifers across the United States.
Meanwhile, we frack, we pollute, and we drill. Entire cities (LA, Detroit) in the US are losing a fundamental human right. The rest of our ‘sea-to-shining sea’ states are also in jeopardy.
“It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things.” ~ Nicholas Sparks