Water Wars: Corporations Begin To Lay Claim To the World's Water
by Jordan Rubin
It’s bad enough that Nestlé former CEO—now Chairman of the Board—Peter Brabeck-Letmathe supports GMO farming, saying that genetically modified (GM) foods are “perfectly safe” and don’t cause any health problems, while also saying that organic farming is “not the best".
But now he’s dipped his toes into the water supply, indicating that the world’s water supply should—and will soon—come under the control of corporations such as Nestlé. He believes that water should be managed by businesses and governing personnel. In short, Brabeck-Letmathe wants water to be controlled, privatized and delegated, monitoring and controlling people’s water use—including amounts and how and where it’s used.
And let’s be honest . . . since Brabeck unwaveringly supports GM farming, you can bet that GM foods would have first priority of water rights, while organic farming would be forced out. You can view the video of Brabeck-Letmathe speaking his mind about GM farming and water supply in this interview:
Underlying Brabeck-Letmathe’s premise is his company being one of the largest foodstuff corporations on the planets—over $65 billion in profit each year. He’s also quick to point out that millions of people are dependent on him and his company. But that’s not enough for him. He also wants to control the global water supply. He understands that one-third of the population could face water shortages within the next 15 to 20 years, and he’d like to be a part of a “water dictatorship.”
Unfortunately, we don’t have to wait 15 to 20 years to see people who lack adequate water. Currently, there are nearly one-third of our world’s population—approximately 900 million people—who don’t have access to clean water. In fact, less than 1 percent of the water on our planet is drinkable untreated.
You may think the idea of water control is far removed, but some states in the West have had laws in place for some time that outlaw people from collecting rainwater on their own properties without a “valid water right.”
For example, Colorado and Washington have rainwater and snowmelt collection restrictions limiting the free use of that water. In fact, Washington says that reclaiming rainwater is illegal because it’s seen as a natural resource owned by the state and, therefore, falls under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Ecology.
You see, the water wars have been around for a while, but have gained even more attention in the past couple of decades, since water shortages and water waste have come to the fore. It’s truly something to contend with, too, and the United States is one of the greatest water users with each person, on average, using about 150 gallons of water daily. By contrast, Britain uses approximately 30 gallons per person daily, while people in countries such as Kenya subsist on less than 5 gallons per day.
It’s no wonder there are water wars.
Perhaps Cheryl King Fisher, executive director of the Vermont-based New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, sums it up best: “The tension between public ownership and privatization of our water resources is enormous. Water is the gold of the current century.”
And it’s “gold” that corporations such as Nestlé would like to take and keep, so beware.
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