Movie

I created this video to summarize my blog. My main argument is that the privatization of water, especially in developing countries, hurt the people by turning a human right into a commodity. Another argument that I am making is that free trade practices are allowing polluting industries to continue damaging the environment and more specifically contaminating the water. I am hoping that after seeing this video you will have a better understanding of how people suffer in order for other people to make a profit. I hope you talk to all of your peers and learn more about this issue. I feel that if nothing changes soon everyone will suffer from unaffordable and contaminated water.

Movie Summary

I have created a short movie that summarizes the main points of my blog. The title of my movie is “The Price of Water.” I hope to educate the people who watch this movie with general knowledge of how companies take advantage of the poor and minorities around the world. In my movie I want the audience to understand that companies are able to exploit the water sources of people from around the world without penalty because of the international organizations that are in place. I hope that the audience will make more conscientious decisions about their product purchases and water usage. I want the audience to walk away from my movie with a new found awareness about the privileges that we who live in developed countries take for granted. The more that people learn the facts of how companies run business in developing countries the better chance those people will have to fight against the exploitative companies.

Dwindling water sources hurts everyone!

As I started researching water at the beginning of the semester I kept hearing a lot about there being a water crises around the corner. One of the points that I was trying to make with my blog is that compared to the amount of water on earth there is a relatively small amount of fresh water. One of my biggest topics was about how the large corporations are constantly dumping hazardous wastes into all bodies of water, but I neglected the fact that everyone contributes to the contamination of water. We all contribute by the cars we drive, the products we buy and the things we throw away. I just hope that the more that people learn about how they contribute to hurting the environment the more they know how they can help it. Another huge issue going on right now around the world is that food prices are going up. The price of corn and rice are just a couple of the crops that experienced a price increase. I’m not an expert but I’m sure that the price of water is playing a big role. I recently learned last week that some soda bottling companies actually connect directly to the municipal water source in some communities to produce their soft drinks. So these companies are profiting off of the water that the tax payers are paying for and farmers are suffering from higher production costs. I just recently read an article that talked about some farmers in California that have actually decided to stop planting crops and just sell their water. I think that this is a huge sign that we all should start being more responsible with our water use before we all have to save three months worth of income just to pay for water.

Protect a human right!

The main issue that I’ve been focusing on in my blog was the effects of water privatization. When water is privatized, whether in a developing nation or an already developed nation, the poor and minorities are the most affected. The poor and minorities are the most affected by water privatization because the companies that own the water increase the water rates while the people continue their same everyday jobs. This means that although they were already suffering from poverty, they now have to pay even more for the same water that they could barely afford before. Through my cultural ethnic studies class I learned that people around the world are affected by water privatization, not just one state or one group of people. Because water is essential, everyone that cannot afford safe water is affected, not just the men or the women. Children suffer the most from water related health issues like diarrhea. Everyone should understand that while capitalism rules today’s world there should be a limit when multinational corporations turn a human right into a commodity. The question I raise is the title of my blog, “What is the true price of water?” What will it take for the world to recognize that multinational corporations kill millions of children alone each year when they make safe water too expensive for their families to afford? Through my research I’ve found that most multinational corporations have huge influence on local governments and their policies with the support of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. This is the hardest part of the system to overcome, the large financial dependence on outside sources which require the privatization of all public services. This is where corporations choose profits over people. The only hope for the people suffering from contaminated water and people around the world who support them to organize their thoughts and ideas and demand political change for the protection of human rights. The best way to achieve this goal is to spread the knowledge of water privatization to everyone. This is the first step to organizing the thoughts of all supporters and eventually overcome the exploitation of a human right.

Diseases from lack of safe water

I learned form class that diarrhea is one of the leading causes of death for people who consume contaminated water. I was interested in what other diseases were caused by contaminated water. I visited the World Health Organization’s website and found out that there are 20 diseases listed in their Water-related disease tab. To see all of them and their specific symptoms you can visit their website at http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/diseasefact/en/index.html. The point that I wanted to make is that according to the World Health Organization, of the number of deaths that occur each year, especially in third-world countries, 88% of the deaths are “attributable to unsafe water supply, sanitation and hygiene.” Most of the deaths are “concentrated in children.” This means that instead of spending time and money trying to treat the diseases caused by contaminated water, it would be much easier and make everyone happier if clean, safe and drinkable water was provided for everyone. It is after all a HUMAN RIGHT!

Know H2O

I found another organization that also helps to bring safe water to people in developing countries. This non-governmental organization is called Play Pumps International, http://www.playpumps.org/ , and they assist underprivaleged communities by providing play pump water systems. According to the Play Pumps website, PlayPump Water Systems are innovative and sustainable. This PlayPump water system consists of a water pump that can actually be played on like a merry-go-round hence the name. I found this website to contain many useful facts as well as many opportunities to help out the many people who suffer from the lack of water. Finding another non-governmental agency like this one makes me feel hopeful that there are a lot of people in this world that want to make a difference and help out people in need. Most of these communities are suffering because of their government or the international policies set forth by rich people who trying to make the most profit in their expense and without the help of these kind people doing what they can they would surely die.

Responsible Use

After an assignment I did in class last week I realized what impact I have on the worlds water. It was called my water footprint. I just visited the website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and read under a section called Water & Wastewater Pricing. Something interesting was that 100 years ago United States Americans were using an average of 10 gallons of water a day. Today the average water use for Americans are 100 gallons of water a day. Another statistic that they presented was that of all the developed countries, Americans pay the least amount for water relative to income. Of course the price of water will increase as the supply of water becomes more scarce.

I think that the reason why Americans use so much water is because it is so readily available at such a low cost. It makes it much easier for someone to leave the tap running while they brush their teeth or to take longer showers. I think that as the information spreads and more people learn about the importance of water then everyone will become much more responsible. By doing so we are not only helping ourselves and future generations, but we are also helping the other people around the world who have to suffer from the shortage of water.

Earth’s Water

After doing some research there were multiple sources stating that of earth’s water, only about 2% of it is available or fresh. This is a relatively small amount compared to all of earth’s water. Of this 2% who know’s how much of it is already contaminated and will be contaminated. This is why being responsible and protecting the water is important for everyone. As I learned in class there are already many people who suffer from a shortage of water or contaminated water. In all of these places there is an overwhelming correlation with drought or contamination of water and large multi-national corporations. Whether it is water or soda bottling companies or private water businesses, they are surrounded by people suffering from not enough water to water their crops, not enough water to bathe or either a shortage of water or contaminated water to drink.

Research Outline

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to find reliable sources. I know that there is a lot of them out there, I just have a trust issue with almost anything I find on the internet. What I am doing now is stating questions that I can research in order to have a more objective blog. I will use as mush online sources as possible while also going to the library.

  • How much available drinking water is there on earth?
  • How much of this available drinking water is contaminated?
  • Who has the most/least access to drinking water?
  • Who is responsible for contaminating the water?
  • Who protects/owns water?
  • Is there technology that can help with the future of water?

I am hoping that by the time I have answered all of these questions that people will understand more about water and the people affected by it. I have learned in the last couple months that the biggest reason for a lot of our water being contaminated is because of free trade and multi-national corporations trying to maximize profits by cutting out the environmental costs. With support from the World Trade Organization, these large corporations are sacrificing the environment and the most important resource for humans, water.

Water Privatization

Water privatization hurts people and the environment. I was looking through the Sierra Club website and came across a section labeled Corporate Water Privatization (http://www.sierraclub.org/committees/cac/water/). Here they provided many interesting statistics and articles regarding people and places that are being affected and the people who are fighting against the privatization of water by large corporations. One link led me to an article titled, Development-U.S.: Nestle Bottling Operations Court Controversy (http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=37407). This article talked about how many communities, with the help of the Sierra Club, are standing up against the privatization of their water supply. In the article the Sierra Club calls for Nestle to “respect the right of local communities to exercise democratic control over the use of their water.”

After reading this article I felt happy knowing that people are standing up against the big corporations and in some places winning. It relates to the book Cochabamba: Water War in Bolivia and how people united can stand up for what they believe in and their human right to have access to safe drinking water. I hope that this movement against water privatization continues until water as a commodity is no more. I think that the end of water bottling companies will provide much more benefits to the entire world. There would be less manufacturing waste, less pollution, and more communities would have access to their water instead of watching a company ship their water overseas and be left with contaminated land and water.

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