protecting the essence of life on earth from abuse & exploitation . . .

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"Water, thou hast no taste, no colour, no odour; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself ... Of the riches that exist in the world, thou art the rarest and also the most delicate thou so pure within the bowels of the earth!".
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 


DRINKING WATER DEFINITIONS

Artesian Water / Artesian Well Water is water drawn from a confined aquifer where water under pressure rises above the water table.

Spring Water can be collected only at the spring or from a bore hole adjacent to the spring that taps the aquifer feeding the spring. The properties of the water drawn from the bore hole must be the same as that of the water in the spring.

Well Water derives from a hole bored or drilled that taps the water of an aquifer. This water must be pumped to the surface.

Purified Water is produced through distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or some other water treatment process. This water originates as either tap water (i.e., from a municipal system) or groundwater. Depending upon the water treatment process used, other acceptable names include distilled water, purified drinking water, distilled drinking water and deionized water.

Mineral Water contains more than 250 ppm of total dissolved solids (FDA standard) which are present at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added to this water nor can it be drawn from a municipal source. In Europe, any recognized spring water with minerals can be called mineral water.

Sparkling Water contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had when it was drawn from the source. Soda water, seltzer water and tonic are not considered bottled waters.


When the well is dry, we know the worth of water. ~Ben Franklin

BOYCOTT
Nestlé Waters
Brand: Distribution
Abatilles: France
Aberfoyle: Canada
Agua Campilho: Portugal
Agua Castello: Portugal
Al Manhal: Saudi Arabia
Arrowhead: USA
Ashbourne: UK
Baraka: Egypt
Bernardo (San Bernardo): Belgium, Great Britain, Japan, USA, Italy, and the Carribean
Buxton: UK
Calistoga: USA
Carola: France
Charmoise: Belgium
Ciego Monteiro: Cuba
Contrex: France and 40+countries
Dar Natury: Poland
Deer Park: USA
Eco de Los Andes: Argentina
Fresh Water: Argentina
Furst Bismark Quelle: Germany
Ghadeer: Jordan
Glaciar: Argentina
Great Bear: USA
Harzer Grauhof Brunnen: Germany
Hepar: France
Hidden Spring: Philippines
Ice Mountain: USA (MI)
Imperial: Spain
Korpi: Greece
Levissima: Italy, Brazil
Lora Recoaro: Italy
Mazowszanska: Poland
Minéré: Thailand
Montclair: Canada
Naleczowianka: Poland
Nestle Aquarel: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain
Nestle Kon Kon Yu Sui: Japan
Nestle Pure Life: Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan
Neuselters: Germany
Oasis: USA
Ozarka: USA
Panna: Italy, Europe, USA
Pejo: Italy
Peñaclara: Spain
Perrier: France; available in 160+ countries
Petropolis: Brazil
Plancoet: France
Poland Spring: USA
Quezac: France
Rhenser Mineralbrunnen: Germany
Rietenauer: Germany: Stuttgart, Munich only
Saint-Lambert: France: Paris vicinity only
Sainte-Alix: France
San Narciso: Spain
San Pellegrino: Italy; available in 100+ countries
Sansu: Turkey
Santa Maria: Mexico
Sao Lourenco: Brazil
Schoonspruit: South Africa
Sohat: Lebanon
Theodora Quelle: Hungary
Ulmeta: Italy
Valvert: France, Belgium
Valvita: S. Africa and other southern African countries
Vera: Italy
Viladrau: Spain
Vittel: France; available in 70+ countries
Zephyrhills: USA

Water is the essence of life, sustaining every being on this planet. Without water, there would simply be no plants, no animals, and no people. But the global water supply isn't just at risk, it's already in crisis.

Facts and figures
Water covers 75% of the earth's surface. The total amount of water on earth remains about the same from one year to the next as it circulates between the oceans, land and atmosphere in a cycle of evaporation and precipitation. This hydrological cycle is fundamental to the functioning of the earth as it recycles water, and has a role in modifying and regulating the Earth's climate.

Nearly 98% of the earth's water is in the oceans. Fresh water makes up less than 3% of water on earth, over two thirds of this is tied up in polar ice caps and glaciers. Fresh water lakes and rivers make up only 0.009% of water on Earth and ground water makes up 0.28%.

Water is essential for all life forms. For example it makes up 60 to 70% by weight of all living organisms and is essential for photosynthesis. The viability of all life on earth is determined chiefly by the presence of water.

Definition: "World Water War"
"This is a term devised by environmentalists for a type of conflict (most probably a form of guerrilla warfare) due to 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. 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 to describe disputes in the southern and south-western United States over rights to water extraction from rivers and aquifers." --Michael Quinion, World Wide Words, 1996-2006.

Water demand will 'outstrip supply by 40% within 20 years' due to climate change and population growth
Water demand in many countries will exceed supply by 40 per cent within 20 years due to the combined threat of climate change and population growth, scientists have warned. A new way of thinking about water is needed as looming shortages threaten communities, agriculture and industry, experts said. In the next two decades, a third of humanity will have only half the water required to meet basic needs, said researchers. Crisis? Water demand in many countries will exceed supply by 40 per cent within 20 years due climate change and population growth, scientists have said Agriculture, which soaks up 71 per cent of water supplies, is also likely to suffer, affecting food production.

Our Great Lakes Commons: A People's Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever
This paper is intended to serve as a background, a call to understanding and a call to action on an exciting new proposal to designate the Great Lakes and its tributary waters as a lived Commons, to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around them. The Great Lakes Basin Commons would need to be protected by a legal and political framework based on Public Trust Doctrine, underpinning in law that the Great Lakes are central to the very existence of those people, plants and animals living on or near them and therefore must be protected for the common good from generation to generation. This means that the Lakes could not be appropriated or subordinated for private gain.

The UN Recognizes Water as a Human Right
In an impassioned speech to the UN General Assembly on July 28, Bolivian Ambassador to the UN, Pablo Salon highlighted the dire situation of the global water crisis by snapping his fingers three times to indicate that a child dies every three and a half seconds from drinking dirty water. He urged the world take action by voting in favour of a resolution presented by Bolivia and co-sponsored by 35 states calling on the General Assembly to recognize the human right to water and sanitation.

An Ocean of Plastic
No one is guiltless when it comes to the Pacific Garbage Patch - if you consume and discard goods, you are responsible for some portion of the plastic that is ending up in the ocean, even if you live hundreds of miles from the seaside. All rivers lead to the sea, as they say. Trash that ends up in a stream in the middle of the US can end up in the ocean and, with the help of ocean currents, find itself in the middle of a trash vortex. Here's a great slideshow explaining how trash from the middle of the continent can end up in the middle of the ocean: View Slideshow: Cartoonist Explains the Pacific Garbage Patch With Talking Sealife What's the impact of marine litter on wildlife? The plastics found in the ocean have a dire effect on marine life. Turtles confuse plastic bags for jellyfish and birds confuse bottle caps for food. They ingest them but can't digest them, so their stomachs fill with plastic and they starve to death, even though they continue trying to eat.

'Revolting' Levels of Bacteria Found in Canadian Bottled Water
If the trace pharmaceuticals and the spectre of a near-indestructible gyre of swirling plastic the size of Texas weren't enough to scare you off bottled water, then try this: Canadian researchers have discovered that some bottled brands contain more bacteria than water that comes out of the tap. 117diggsdigg Scientists at Montreal's C-crest Laboratories found that certain popular brands (which they refused to name) had "surprisingly high" counts of heterotrophic bacteria (meaning they need an organic source of carbon to flourish). Even though they didn't find any serious pathogens, more than 70 percent of the well-known brands actually failed the standards for heterotrophic bacteria set by the NGO United States Pharmacopeia.

Shale Gas Costing 2/3 Less Than OPEC Oil Incites Water Concern
May 25 (Bloomberg) -- When Victoria Switzer awoke on a cold night in March, her dog was staring out the window at the flame roaring from a natural-gas-drilling rig 2,000 feet behind her house. She remembers trees silhouetted in a demonic dance as the plume burned off gas that had been building up under her land. She discovered later that such flaring can occur when Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and dozens more companies drill for gas trapped in shale rock. The deposits, stretching from Texas to New York, and as far away as Australia and China, represent what may be the biggest energy bonanza in decades -- one that Switzer, 57, recalls thinking the Earth isn’t surrendering without a fight

The world's most valuable stuff
PEOPLE kill each other over diamonds; countries go to war over oil. But the world’s most expensive commodities are worth nothing in the absence of water. Fresh water is essential for life, with no substitute. Although mostly unpriced, it is the most valuable stuff in the world. Nature has decreed that the supply of water is fixed. Meanwhile demand rises inexorably as the world’s population increases and enriches itself. Homes, factories and offices are sucking up ever more. But it is the planet’s growing need for food (and the water involved in producing crops and meat) that matters most. Farming accounts for 70% of withdrawals.

The Story of Bottled Water
I'm joining with a bunch of North America's leading environmental groups to release our new film: The Story of Bottled Water. It's a seven-minute animated film that uses simple images and words to explain a complex problem caused by what I call the 'take-make-waste' economy. In this case, we explain how you get Americans to buy half a billion bottles of water a week when most can get it almost free from the tap in their kitchen. The answer, of course, is you manufacture demand--make people think they need to spend money on something they don't actually need or already have.

The Water Bottle Lie and Your Health
Those five-gallon water cooler jugs are made from a chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA), which was originally developed as a synthetic estrogen. Exposure to BPA has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, reproductive failures, heart disease, cognitive and behavioral problems, diabetes, obesity and asthma. A study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control in 2007 showed that 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their urine. More recent studies are even scarier suggesting that BPA stays in the body longer than previously believed and that babies and young children may be particularly vulnerable because they may metabolize BPA more slowly than adults.

Polluted Water More Deadly Than War
Bad water kills more people than wars or earthquakes, declared Anders Berntell, executive director of the Stockholm International Water Institute. With almost 39 percent of the world's population (over 2.5 billion people) living without improved sanitation facilities, the report said that much more needs to be done to reach or come close to the sanitation MDG target.

Canadian Cities Leading the Charge Against Bottled Water
Canada—Seventy-two municipalities from 8 provinces and 2 territories have implemented restrictions on bottled water. The last 12 months have not been kind to the big three bottled water manufacturers Nestlé, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi, whose bottled water sales are down while the number of bans continues to increase.

Cheap Great Lakes Water Offered In Exchange For Jobs
Michigan—Although superficially, this may seem quite sensible, there is a high risk of unintended and unwanted consequences if a cheap water incentive were offered to all comers.

The Blue Summit declaration pdf
Ottawa—Water is essential to life. It is part of the global commons, and belongs to the earth and all its species. It is sacred and needs to be treated with respect. Governments must manage water resources on our behalf as a public trust. They must ensure water is distributed fairly and responsibly. Shrinking supplies of clean water around the world endanger human populations and the health of ecosystems. Water resources and services must not be bought, sold or traded. Water is a public resource, not an economic commodity. The environment and the public interest must not be sacrificed for private profits.

The Fiji Water Phenomenon
Nowhere in Fiji Water's glossy marketing materials will you find reference to the typhoid outbreaks that plague Fijians because of the island's faulty water supplies; the corporate entities that Fiji Water has -- despite the owners' talk of financial transparency -- set up in tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg; or the fact that its signature bottle is made from Chinese plastic in a diesel-fueled plant and hauled thousands of miles to its ecoconscious consumers. And, of course, you won't find mention of the military junta for which Fiji Water is a major source of global recognition and legitimacy. (Gilmour has described the square bottles as "little ambassadors" for the poverty-stricken nation.)

The people of Michigan find victory
FOR MICHIGAN CITIZENS FOR WATER CONSERVATION vs NESTLE

Big Rapids, Michigan: Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation stopped Nestlé Waters North America, Inc.’s attempt to pump more water from a stressed stream and lake for its Ice Mountain bottled water in Mecosta, Michigan on Monday, July 6. CLICK HERE TO READ RELEASE

Australian town bans bottled water sales
Residents of a rural Australian town hoping to protect the earth and their wallets have voted to ban the sale of bottled water. Residents of Bundanoon cheered after their near-unanimous approval of the measure at a town meeting Wednesday. It was the second blow to Australia's beverage industry in one day: Hours earlier, the New South Wales state premier banned all state departments and agencies from buying bottled water, calling it a waste of money and natural resources.

Global Water Outlook to 2025 PDF
For some time, experts have argued about the Earth’s capacity to support ever larger human populations. Can the Earth produce enough food to feed 8 billion people? 10 billion? It now appears that one of the main factors limiting future food production will be water. This scarce resource is facing heavy and unsustainable demand from users of all kinds, and farmers increasingly have to compete for water with urban residents and industries.

Water Risks Ripple Through the Beverage Industry
At New York's Del Posto, diners can share a $130 entree of wild branzino fish with roasted fennel and peperonata concentrato and a $3,600 bottle of Dom Perignon. They cannot share a bottle of Perrier or San Pellegrino water. The Italian restaurant backed by celebrities Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich is one of several shunning bottled water, along with the city of San Francisco and New York state. "The argument for local water is compelling and obvious," said Bastianich, who is phasing out bottled water across his restaurant empire, which stretches to Los Angeles. "It's about transportation, packaging, the absurdity of moving water all over the world," he said. As environmental worries cut into sales from traditionally lucrative bottled water, beverage companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle and SABMiller are becoming more attuned to the risks of negative consumer environmental perceptions.

California's Water Woes Threaten the Entire Country's Food Supply
"I don't think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen. We're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California. I don't actually see how they can keep their cities going," Steven Chu told the Los Angeles Times in February, shortly after taking office in January. "I'm hoping that the American people will wake up, just in case there was any confusion about the gravity of the situation. California's agricultural sector grows approximately one-third of the nation's food supply and is nourished by diverted rivers and streams filled yearly by runoff from its prodigious Sierra Nevada snowpack, as well as groundwater pumping and other less-reliable methods. That snowpack -- which once sparked the first, but not the last, water war that helped transform a semi-arid Los Angeles into an unsustainable oasis less populous than only New York City -- is disappearing fast.

Unquenchable: American's Water Crisis and What We Can Do About It
"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water," observed Benjamin Franklin in 1774. But he was wrong. In the United States, we utterly fail to appreciate the value of water, even as we are running out. We Americans are spoiled. When we turn on the tap, out comes a limitless quantity of high-quality water for less money than we pay for our cell phone service or cable television. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to water. In almost every state in the country, a landowner can drill a domestic well anywhere, anytime-no questions asked. Many states don't even require permits for commercial wells unless the pumping will exceed 100,000 gallons a day (that's 36 million gallons annually). Water lubricates the American economy just as oil does. It is intimately linked to energy because it takes water to make energy, and it takes energy to divert, pump, move, and cleanse water. Water plays a critical role in virtually every segment of the economy, from heavy industry to food production, from making semiconductors to providing Internet service. A prosperous future depends on a secure and reliable water supply. And we don't have it. To be sure, water still flows from taps, but we're draining our reserves like gamblers at the craps table.

The Great Lakes Compact and the potential privatization of water: an interview with James M. Olson
In an interview with Circle of Blue, James M. Olson discusses the Great Lakes Compact: an international agreement intended to protect the Great Lakes Basin. Olson, an environmental lawyer specializing in natural resource law, highlights the possible unexpected consequences of the Compact. He is the senior principal at the law firm Olson, Bzdok & Howard.

Listen to Story
What Happens When We Run Out of Drinking Water?
Here's a look at three communities facing water shortages along with the pressure to grow and what they're doing to find solutions.

Great perils of the Great Lakes
Taken together, the Great Lakes are a vast inland sea representing over one-fifth of all surface fresh water on the planet. More than 40 million Canadians and Americans draw their drinking water from the lakes, which play a vital role in public health, the environment, industry, commerce, and leisure. But there are causes for concern: invasive species, declining water levels, uncertain quality of drinking water, and pressures to divert water from and into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin. Signed into law by President George W. Bush Oct. 3, the Great Lakes Compact takes effect Dec. 8. The binational agreement, the fruit of regional initiatives, obliges eight American states and two Canadian provinces to work together to protect the lakes system.

The plant closed in 1984, but the Grand Canyon Trust estimates 110,000 gallons of radioactive groundwater still seep into the river there each day from the 16 million ton pile of radioactive waste

How the West's Energy Boom Could Threaten Drinking Water for 1 in 12 Americans
The Colorado River, the life vein of the Southwestern United States, is in trouble. The river's water is hoarded the moment it trickles out of the mountains of Wyoming and Colorado and begins its 1,450-mile journey to Mexico's border. The river is already so beleaguered by drought and climate change that one environmental study called it the nation's "most endangered" waterway. Researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography warn the river's reservoirs could dry up in 13 years. Now a rush to develop domestic oil, gas and uranium deposits along the river and its tributaries threatens its future. Although company executives insist they adhere to environmental laws, natural gas drilling has led to numerous toxic spills across the West. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mining has already contaminated four out of 10 streams and rivers in the West.

New York to Close Tap on Bottled Water
New York—Let them drink tap. City Councilmen Eric Gioia (D-Queens) and Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) will introduce a bill next week that would stop city agencies from buying bottled water and water coolers for workers at city agencies.

Toronto Bans Bottled Waters
Canada—Toronto City Council voted on Tuesday to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on all municipal premises from City Hall to golf courses by 2011. Stuart Green, spokesman for Toronto Mayor David Miller, said the plastic-water-bottle ban, along with other measures, is all part of the city’s plan to divert 70 per cent of Toronto’s waste from the dump by 2010.

Toronto Gets Ahead
Canada—Our neighbors to the north have recently taken a big step towards reducing their environmental footprint. The City of Toronto has voted (30:13) to ban sales and distribution of disposable plastic water bottles at city-owned facilities, and has approved a 5 cent fee on disposable plastic bags.

Nestle Waters CEOs named amoung "Corporate Scrooges" of the year by Co-op America
The dishonor is particularly pointed in this year of economic horrors, government bailouts and huge layoffs, Co-op America announced the "awards." "These CEOs represent the worst of the worst when it comes to corporate insensitivity, avarice and callousness," said Victoria Kreha of Co-op America. "They need to be held accountable for their actions, which, in some cases, have inflicted appalling harm on consumers and our environment." Nestle Waters Chairman/CEO John Harris threatened to sue Miami-Dade County in Florida after it aired public service messages declaring its tap water was cheaper, safer and purer than bottled water.

Nestle water ads misleading: Canada green groups
Canada—As Toronto City Council gathers to consider passing a city-wide ban on bottled water, a new coalition is challenging advertising claims made by Nestle Waters that "bottled water is the most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world." The group, which includes Ecojustice, Friends of the Earth Canada, the Polaris Institute, the Council of Canadians, and Wellington Water Watchers, is filing a complaint under Canadian Code of Advertising Standards against Nestle Waters North America. The groups argue that Nestle is attempting to mislead the public on the true impacts of bottled water. The groups argue that Nestle Waters' ad contravened the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards by making false and misleading statements regarding the environmental impacts of its product. The complaint also alleges that some of the statements in the ad are contrary to guidelines that have been set by Canada's Competition Bureau and the Canadian Standards Association to ensure environmental claims are specific and verifiable.

Is bottled water standing between you and financial solvency?
Here's something that I do without thinking on a daily basis: grab a bottle of water. I have a million Siggs and awesome bottles for my agua, but I just end up grabbing a bottle of Ethos out of habit, spending almost $2 a day for less than 24 ounces. Bottled water costs more per gallon than gasoline! In fact, even more expensive than gasoline was 60 days ago. What is more, it's a horrible polluter, between the plastic bottles in the landfills and the trucks/trains/plains that have to ship the heavy stuff from as far away as Fiji. What is more, when scholars look back at our penchant for the Evian, they probably won't understand how we had the stuff readily available in homes, parks, offices and wherever, but we insisted on paying money to have bottles of the very same stuff. If we all had a gasoline pump in our driveway, would we still insist on getting our petrol from the gas station? It's just as silly with bottled water. We all know that Dasani and Aquafina are just tap water from other municipalities. My goal for this month is to take back the tap, and I challenge you to do the same! Save some of that bottle money and buy a Brita and then start filling one of the millions of reusable bottles that you've got lying around your house. Your planet, your body and your budget will thank you!

Why we fell out of love with bottled water
After three decades of constant growth which saw sales rise by a factor of 100, from 20m litres a year in 1976 to 2,000m litres in 2006, the rise and fall of the sales chart is starting to resemble one of the mountains pictured in the advertising. Unless the slide is halted, bottled water will become history, a consumer fad that couldn't live up to the hype. Unlikely, certainly, but the industry is spooked. the collapsing economy is causing consumers to question whether they need to spend £1 or £2 on something they can get for a fraction of the price at home. Most vexingly to its multinational cheerleaders, bottled water has become a symbol of environmental lunacy. How can one defend a product that is trucked hundreds or thousands of miles in plastic bottles when it gushes out of taps almost free? The Government has announced that it is banning mineral water from civil service meetings. Consumer groups call on diners to ask for tap – and millions are doing so. Mineral water is no longer cool; it's dumb, bought by gullible clothes-horses who care more about their skin than the planet. In months to come, there will be lobbying from the Natural Hydration Council (created by Britain's three biggest bottled-water companies, the Swiss food giant Nestlé, the French dairy corporation Danone and Highland Spring) and a massive advertising campaign that will seek to "re-educate the public" about the benefits of bottled water. And it will get dirty. The bottled water camp is throwing mud at the tap water companies, with talk of chlorine, septic tanks, contamination and irresponsible leakage. The companies are fighting for their lives.

FDA Proposes Improved Testing Of Bottled Water
A report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in October found bottled water is no better than tap water (and often worse). Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), proposes improved testing of bottled water to detect bacteria. Every year consumers receive annual test results regarding any contaminants found in tap water, but the bottled water industry is not required to disclose its findings. Independent tests conducted by EWG, in October, found 10 popular brands of bottled water contained 38 chemical pollutants, with an average of 8 contaminants in each brand. More than one-third of the chemicals found are not regulated in bottled water. NATIONAL TAP WATER DATABASE

Greenwash of the Week: Fiji Waters
Fiji—This week’s Greenwash comes to us courtesy of Fiji Spring Water - “Every Drop Is Green“. I saw a bottle of this stuff at a mineral spring my wife and I were at last weekend and I started reading the bottle and was amazed at what they were trying to sell to consumers; that they were, in-fact, “Green” and that they were an eco-friendly company. Um, ok. Well, let’s take a look: * Fiji is in the South Pacific Ocean and is 5,500 miles away from Los Angeles * All the plastic needed to make the bottles has to not only be shipped to Fiji, but then shipped all over the world full of the water * They are draining the aquifers of the native people, which is very valuable as the island is made out of volcanic rock without much fresh water * Plastic takes over 500 years to degrade in a landfill, and unfortunately only about 23% of it gets recycled * About one-third of Fiji’s people lack access to clean drinking water while this company makes millions off bottled water * It takes a lot of energy and fuel to extract the water, make the bottles, pack the bottles, and ship the bottles over land and sea ...

Solar company could fill void left by Nestle
Michigan—Solar Array Ventures is considering opening a new facility in Fulton. The plant could fill the void left after the Nestle plant closed a few years ago. In a statement, Senator Schumer said a new solar panel plant in Fulton would be a win-win for the region and the company. Central New York offers the finest work force, critical space and key financial incentives for the company and the new plant would create hundreds of new jobs and give a shot in the arm to the local economy.

Attorney General Slams Nestle's Bottled Water Aspirations
California—Another big win for those hoping to keep the beverage giant out of McCloud, California. Now Nestle has got even more opposition. Earlier this week, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. warned Nestle that "California will challenge the environmental plan for a bottled water plant in Siskiyou county. This is just the latest in a round of setbacks for Nestle, which announced recently that it would scale down the size of the plant. The pressure groups who have been fighting Nestle on the issue had many accolades for the AG.

Nestle Cancels Bottled Water Contract in McCloud, California
California—The Protect Our Waters Coalition (composed of the McCloud Watershed Council, California Trout, and Trout Unlimited) just reported that Nestle Waters North America has agreed to cancel its contract with the McCloud Community Services District that concerned the building of a controversial water bottling facility in the small town of McCloud, California. The environmental impacts of the project were hotly contested by local residents, environmental and wildlife groups, as well as national organizations fighting water privatization. Recently an Attorney General also spoke out against the project, and Nestle, succumbed to pressure.

Environment Scores a Big Win as Bottled Water Sales Fall
Texas—The campaign against bottled water companies is paying off. Years of work by pressure groups and a growing awareness by the public has help expose the bottled water industry's true colors as sales this year show. The Dallas Morning News reported: Bottled water sales are expected to slow to a trickle this year, and producers are blaming everything from the parched economy to the kitchen sink. There's a free substitute called tap water Nestle is hurting. It never feels good to hear about anyone losing their jobs, but after all Nestle has done to rural communities, it seems the company is getting a little pay back.

Voters Reject Water Privatization
Ohio—Last night the citizens of Akron won a tremendous victory. They overwhelmingly said 'No' to Issue 8, which would have leased the city's wastewater utility to a private, for-profit corporation. This would have meant rate increases, poor service, and bad maintenance. The Mayor disguised this proposal in the scheme of a scholarship program, but he did not tell the folks of Akron all the facts. We got the facts about this proposal to the citizens and they overwhelmingly voted down Issue 8. Privatization is not the cure to repairing ailing infrastructure systems. The evidence from the 86 percent of U.S. water systems under public control clearly shows higher efficiency with lower costs for ratepayers. In contrast, corporations' costs are higher and any efficiency premiums are often passed on to their shareholders. Indeed, the 14 percent of U.S. water utilities that are privately owned charge ratepayers anywhere from 13 percent to 50 percent more than their public counterparts.

Bottled Water Toxicity Shown To Exceed Law
Bottled water brands do not always maintain the consistency of quality touted in ads featuring alpine peaks and crystalline lakes and, in some cases, contain toxic byproducts that exceed state safety standards, tests show. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization with offices in Oakland, tested 10 brands of bottled water and found that Wal-Mart's Sam's Choice contained chemical levels that exceeded legal limits in California and the voluntary standards adopted by the industry. The tests discovered an average of eight contaminants in each brand. Four brands besides Wal-Mart's also were contaminated with bacteria. The environmental group filed a notice of intent to sue Wal-Mart Tuesday, alleging that the mega-chain failed to warn the public of illegal concentrations of trihalomethanes, which are cancer-causing chemicals.

Manufacturing Thirst: The Hidden Water Costs of Our Industrial Economy
The rampant waste of freshwater for general public use -- lawn watering, the creation of suburban fake lakes, excessive bathing and household washing -- has been well documented, as has the politically charged use of water in US agriculture. But the use and abuse of water in various parts of the global industrial economy is often overlooked. From the mining of raw materials for manufacturing to energy production, to the manufacturing process itself, the US industrial economy uses a significant amount of water every year. Exact numbers for the amount of water used outside of agriculture or home consumption are difficult to come by. The US Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that industry uses about five percent of all the water in the US, but does not include mining or electricity generation in that figure. A report from Dow Chemical puts the figure much higher, at around 20 percent. And perhaps more importantly, neither number takes into account the volume of water pollution that occurs in the course of industrial processes.

Bottled Water
It’s not a great time to be in the bottled-water business. More companies and consumers are turning back to using tap water and filters. Environmental groups have gone on the offensive against those millions of used plastic bottles. On top of all this, a new report today finds a “surprising array of chemical contaminants” in 10 brands of bottled water, including byproducts of chlorination, small amounts of caffeine and acetaminophen, and fertilizer residue. The report, by the Environmental Working Group, a public-health watchdog organization based in Washington, said that contaminant levels in some water samples exceeded the industry’s own voluntary standards.

The New Corporate Threat to Our Water Supplies
In the last few years, the world's largest financial institutions and pension funds, from Goldman Sachs to Australia's Macquarie Bank, have figured out that old, trustworthy utilities and infrastructure could become reliable cash cows -- supporting the financial system's speculative junk derivatives with the real concrete of highways, water utilities, airports, harbors, and transit systems. The spiraling collapse of the financial system may only intensify the quest for private investments in what is now the public sector. This flipping of public assets could be the next big phase of privatization, as local and state governments, starved during Bush's two terms in office, look to bail out on public assets, employees, and responsibilities.

ACTION: Restore the Clean Water Act
It's hard to believe, but polluters are actually allowed to contaminate your drinking water. Why? Because the Supreme Court and the Bush Administration have sided with polluters to strip vital protections from the Clean Water Act. That means that dangerous pollutants like E. coli, bacteria, mercury, PCBs, and dioxin could be contaminating the drinking water of more than 110 million Americans . But Congress can act today to restore the Clean Water Act's original protections by supporting the Clean Water Restoraction Act.

We Hold Its Value to Be Self-Evident
Ecuador approved a new constitution this weekend that, among other things, grants inalienable rights to nature, the first such inclusion in a nation's constitution, according to Ecuadorian officials. "Nature ... where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions, and its processes in evolution. Every person, people, community, or nationality will be able to demand the recognition of rights for nature before the public bodies," the document says. The specific mention of evolution isn't accidental; besides being an activity nature arguably likes to do anyway, evolution as we know it has close ties to Ecuador's territory of the Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin formed his famous theory. Ecuador's constitution grants nature the right to "integral restoration" and says that the state "will promote respect toward all the elements that form an ecosystem" and that the state "will apply precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems, or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles."

Bottled Water: The Height of Stupidity
Bottled water is a joke, one of the biggest consumer and taxpayer ripoffs ever. I applaud California's Attorney General Jerry Brown who said recently that he will sue to block a proposed water-bottling operation in Northern California by Nestle. Attorneys General everywhere should require recycling of all plastic bottles and containers by requiring deposits to be paid to encourage returns, as is the case with aluminum cans. Not only do society and the environment pay an unfair price for this consumer hoax, but consumers are being hoodwinked. They are paying from 300 to 3,000 times more than the cost of tap water without any benefit.

Pickens Eyes Pipelines in Drought-Ridden U.S.
Pickens is in the planning stages of a $1.5 billion initiative to pump billions of gallons of water from an ancient aquifer beneath the Texas Panhandle and build pipelines to ship them to thirsty cities such as Dallas.A drought has drained water from Texas and much of the rest of the United States. That could make water an increasingly profitable commodity for those who hold the rights. According to his Web site, Pickens owns rights to more water than anyone else. "In general, there's a lot of it, it's just not in the right place," says Robert Stillwell, legal counsel for Mesa Water (and board member of the water supply district), which continues to acquire water rights in rural Texas. He dismisses questions about whether the water would be cost-competitive. For cities looking at their future water needs, he says, "cost becomes irrelevant." As far as Mesa's pipeline snaking across the Texas heartland, Stillwell insists that "it's going to happen, it's just a matter of when." [Editor: Pickens has also been seen expressing an interest in the water of the Great Lakes region.]

Putting a Cap on the Bottled Water Industry
For more than a year, Nestlé and its well drillers, technical consultants, and lawyers have been quietly surveying the profit potential in the few remaining unspoiled springs and aquifers in Central and Western Massachusetts. In its attempts to strike blue gold, the firm has aggressively pursued water extraction deals that have many locals seeing red. Two recent efforts by Nestlé to pursue pumping operations in small towns illustrate why withdrawals for commercial water bottling operations in our state pose unacceptable risks, not only to local drinking water supplies, but also to such natural assets as fisheries and conservation land. Last summer, Montague residents halted — at least for now — Nestlé’s pursuit of the spring water beneath Montague Plains, a state wildlife management area that also recharges critical ground water for a state fish hatchery and the local wells on which many homes and farms depend. This spring, after considerable public outcry, Clinton town officials appeared to have finally rejected Nestlé’s bid to extract and export up to a quarter-million gallons of spring water a day — equal to 4 million servings of some of the cleanest drinking water in the state — from the nearly 600-acre Wekepeke Reservation land that Clinton owns in the town of Sterling. The offer posed several legal issues, not least the fact that Clinton’s 19th-century water rights to the Wekepeke are for surface water — not spring water — and only for town public water supply needs.

Water Scarcity: The Real Food Crisis
June 9, 2008. In the discussion of the global food emergency, one underlying factor is barely mentioned: The world is running out of freshwater. Climate change, overconsumption and the alarmingly inefficient use of this most basic raw material are all to blame. I wrote a book three years ago titled When The Rivers Run Dry. It probed why the Yellow River in China, the Rio Grande and Colorado in the United States, the Nile in Egypt, the Indus in Pakistan, the Amu Darya in Central Asia, and many others are all running on empty. The confident blue lines in a million atlases simply do not tell the truth about rivers sucked dry, for the most part, to irrigate food crops.

The Growing Battle for the Right to Water
From Chile to the Philippines to South Africa to her home country of Canada, Maude Barlow is one of a few people who truly understands the scope of the world's water woes. Her newest book, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, details her discoveries around the globe about our diminishing water resources, the increasing privatization trend and the grassroots groups that are fighting back against corporate theft, government mismanagement and a changing climate.

The Bottled Water Industry: When It Pours, It Reigns
Hey, all you sewer-clogging, turtle-choking, shrub-smothering plastic bags, go jump in a lake! Or an ocean — where you can be reunited with the rest of your baggy brethren in that swirling vortex of cast-off plastic we call The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We’re just not that into putting things into you, anymore. Now, if we could only stigmatize your rigid, landfill-lovin’ cousin, the plastic water bottle. Because whereas you, my crinkly little symbol of fossil-fueled folly, are destined for history’s trash heap (where you will defiantly, proudly, refuse to decompose), bottled water is still socially acceptable, despite the fact that it threatens to poison the very wellspring of our democracy. Think that’s some kinda Kunstleresque hyperbole? Consider what Lyndon B. Johnson said forty years ago: A nation that fails to plan intelligently for the development and protection of its precious waters will be condemned to wither because of its shortsightedness.

Troubled Waters
The greatest natural resource in a four-state area, Lake Michigan's safe keeping has increasingly become the center of concern and controversy. Many are asking questions. Is the lake safe for recreation? Is drinking water drawn by numerous communities pure? Is pollution lessening? Who are the polluters? And most of all, what is being done to safeguard the lake?

New European Networks Strengthen Efforts
On March 18 Aqua Publica Europea, an association of public water utilities, was launched at the Water Pavilion in Paris, France. The network will promote efforts to exchange information, expertise and collaboration between public sector water utilities in order to improve water and sanitation service delivery. Publica Europea highlights the many efforts in public systems to improve water services, work for conservation and increase public participation. In addition, European civil society groups have taken steps to initiate a network of social movements, non-profit groups, and associations. The European Network plans to promote water as a fundamental human right and common good. It furthermore plans to work for public, participatory water management. The initiative builds on the extensive experience of its member groups and is planning sustained outreach in Europe this year to strengthen the programme. A number of groups, which are also active on the global level, will work to establish the network. These groups include: Corporate Europe Observatory, CeVI - Comitato Italiano Contratto Mondiale Acqua, France Libertes, Ingenieria sin Fronteras, and Forum Italiano Movimenti sull'acqua.

Prepaid Water Meters
Imagine having to insert a coin in your faucet every time you wanted a glass of water or needed water to cook rice. It sounds absurd but it’s a reality that many poor people are forced to suffer. Imagine having to insert a coin in your faucet every time you wanted a glass of water or needed water to cook rice. It sounds absurd but it’s a reality that many poor people are forced to suffer. There are several types of prepaid water meters but the outcome is the same: If you cannot pay upfront, you are unable to access water. Water from prepaid water meters typically costs more than water billed from the utility. Prepaid water meters are typically used in the poorest areas and, as a result, those in most need are denied access to water. Following privatization of water in the U.K. in the 1990’s, and the higher rates that followed, several utilities installed prepaid water meters in low–income areas. They were subsequently outlawed due to the negative social and economic impact. But prepaid water meters are still widely used in South Africa, as well as in countries such as Brazil, the United States, the Philippines, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Brazil, Nigeria, and Curacao.

Sedatives and Sex Hormones in Our Water Supply
Saturday was World Water Day, and the United Nations estimates close to 1.5 billion people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water. What about here in the United States? The Associated Press has conducted an extensive investigation into the drinking water in at least twenty-four major American cities across the country, which contain trace amounts of a wide array of pharmaceuticals. The amounts might be small, but scientists are worried about the long-term health and environmental consequences of their presence in the water supplies of some forty-one million Americans.

Retailer Bans Some Plastic Bottles
December 8, 2007 OTTAWA, Dec. 7 — A line of water bottles that had become a symbol of environmental responsibility has been removed from the shelves of Canada’s leading outdoor gear retailer over concerns about a chemical used in its manufacture. Skip to next paragraph Polycarbonate plastic bottles are transparent and almost as hard as glass. The Mountain Equipment Co-op, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, removed the bottles, sold under the brand name Nalgene, and other polycarbonate containers from its 11 large-scale stores on Wednesday. The retailer said that it would not restock the bottles, which are made by Nalge Nunc International in Rochester, a unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific, until Health Canada completed a review of bisphenol-a, or B.P.A., a chemical used to make hard, transparent plastics as well as liners for food cans.

WARNING: The chemical bisphenol A has been known to pose severe health risks to laboratory animals.
It's in baby bottles, soda cans and 93% of us. It causes breast cancer, testicular cancer, diabetes and hyperactivity in lab animals, according to 80% of studies analyzed by the Journal Sentinel. But U.S. regulators side with the chemical-makers and say it's safe. PART 2

The real cost of bottled water
The Environmental Law Foundation has sued eight bottlers for using words such as "pure" to market water that contains bacteria, arsenic and chlorine. Bottled water is no bargain either: It costs 240 to 10,000 times more than tap water. For the price of one bottle of Evian, you can receive 1,000 gallons of tap water. Clearly, the popularity of bottled water is the result of huge marketing efforts. The global consumption of bottled water reached 41 billion gallons in 2004, up 57 percent in just five years. Even in areas where tap water is clean and safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing -- producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy. So what is the real cost of bottled water? Most of the price of a bottle of water goes for its bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing, retailing and profit. Transporting bottled water by boat, truck and train involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels. More than 5 trillion gallons of bottled water is shipped internationally each year. Here, we can buy water from Fiji (5,455 miles away) or Norway (5,194 miles away) and many other faraway places to satisfy our demand for the chic and exotic. These are truly the Hummers of our bottled-water generation. Just supplying Americans with plastic water bottles for one year consumes more than 47 million gallons of oil, enough to take 100,000 cars off the road and 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, according to the Container Recycling Institute. Billions of plastic water bottles end up in landfills each year, taking up valuable landfill space, leaking toxic additives, such as phthalates, into the groundwater and taking 1,000 years to biodegrade. That means bottled water may be harming our future water supply.

Do you use too much water? Find out
If we are to stay within the bounds of our planet's resources, we need to consider much more than just carbon. A next step is water. Many of us in the developed world rarely give it a thought. We turn on our drinking and shower taps, and clean water comes out. We flush our toilets and magically, the waste disappears. We turn on our sprinklers and green lawns abound. We run our dishwaters and washing machines and fill up our pools and hot tubs, often without thought. As our climate crisis becomes a part of daily consciousness, our energy future will need to match our water future. The two are inextricably linked.

No Pristine Oceans Left
February 14, 2008 — No areas of the world's oceans remain completely untouched by humanity's influence, according to a new study. The project revealed that more than 40 percent of the world's marine ecosystems are heavily affected.

World Water Day 2008
'Coping with Water Scarcity' was the theme for World Water Day 2008, which is celebrated each year on 22 March. This year's theme highlighted the increasing significance of water scarcity worldwide and the need for increased integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources, both at international and local levels. Speaking at the World Water Day celebration at FAO Headquarters in Rome, FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf called coping with water scarcity the “challenge of the 21st century”. The bulk of that challenge lies in finding more effective ways to conserve, use and protect the world’s water resources. Global population is expected to reach 8.1 billion by 2030. To keep pace with the growing demand for food, 14 percent more freshwater will need to be withdrawn for agricultural purposes in the next 30 years.

The Growing Battle for the Right to Water
From Chile to the Philippines to South Africa to her home country of Canada, Maude Barlow is one of a few people who truly understands the scope of the world's water woes. Her newest book, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, details her discoveries around the globe about our diminishing water resources, the increasing privatization trend and the grassroots groups that are fighting back against corporate theft, government mismanagement and a changing climate.

Water = Life
Each day all over the United States people have their water turned off in the ultimate gun-to-the-head move by water authorities to make people who are struggling to make ends meet, face death as an alternative to paying their overdue water bill. While there are countries where carrying water to meet ones needs, in order to sustain life, is commonplace, in the United States it is patently impossible to walk to a nearby water source and collect what is needed for survival. We in the United States have come to rely on pipes carrying water to us. We may or may not have hot, as well as cold water, but overall we generally have water provided by a system of pipes if we live in a city. In the country we may have our own well, and that is entirely aside from the questions I want to raise here. The first question is: Do we agree that water is necessary for life? Is this a clever turn of a capitalistic thumb screw (read faucet handle) in the best interests of compliance? Or is it a technique as ethically questionable as waterboarding? If it's all right to subject a possible terrorist to a near death experience in order to make him or her talk, is it all right to subject an ordinary person who is short of funds -- for all necessities, not just water -- to an experience which will end in death if prolonged?

Water makes US troops in Iraq sick (Dick Cheney is still on the payroll of this former company owned by him )
WASHINGTON - Dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq fell sick at bases using "unmonitored and potentially unsafe" water supplied by the military and a contractor once owned by Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, the Pentagon's internal watchdog says. A report obtained by The Associated Press said soldiers experienced skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry at five U.S. military sites in Iraq.

Sustainable water
Have you ever dreamed of building a rainwater collection system for your home -- one that will make you totally water independent? Sustainable rainwater catch systems are becoming more reliable, and perhaps more affordable, than you might expect.

Senate overrides Bush's veto on water projects
November 8, 2007 – As expected, the U.S. Senate today concluded the first-ever override of one of President George W. Bush’s vetoes, easily approving a bill full of water-related projects across the nation with bipartisan support. The vote was 79-14 two days after the House overrode Bush’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes some $23 billion in projects, including many for the Great Lakes region and Michigan.

Bottled Water Bad for Environment
Bottled water, one of the world's fastest growing beverages, faced fresh criticism this week for contributing towards increased packaging that ends up in landfill sites. The report, published last week, will fuel proposals being considered in the EU that would impose sanctions against companies that do not meet prevention, recycling and reuse targets. Environmental researchers, Worldwatch, said the growing trend towards non-carbonated healthier drinks has led to an increase in the demand for bottled water packaging, the recycling rates of which are falling. While global consumption has doubled between 1997 and 2005, reaching $10bn (€7.4bn) in the US alone, the country sends two million tons of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottled water packaging to landfill each year.

Much of the U.S. to See Water Shortages
An epic drought in Georgia threatens the water supply for millions. Florida doesn't have nearly enough water for its expected population boom. The Great Lakes are shrinking. Upstate New York's reservoirs have dropped to record lows. And in the West, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is melting faster each year. Across America, the picture is critically clear - the nation's freshwater supplies can no longer quench its thirst. The government projects that at least 36 states will face water shortages within five years because of a combination of rising temperatures, drought, population growth, urban sprawl, waste and excess.

The Bottled Water Backlash
The bottled water industry is on the defensive as restaurant owners and cities are canceling their bottled water contracts and advocating for tap. New it may be, but the eatery has joined a growing backlash against bottled water by restaurants, city governments, religious organizations and ordinary consumers, who reject it on environmental, economic and even moral grounds. At a time when Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming, and consumers are lining up to buy hybrid cars and fluorescent light bulbs to reduce their carbon footprint, they see bottled water as a glaring example of needless environmental waste.

It's Not Even Real Grass
It's not even real grass. But in the midst of what may be the worst drought ever in North Carolina, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Cha pel Hill are watering the synthetic turfs used by their field hockey teams.Durham, which has about 69 days left in its water supply at the current use rate, has banned all outdoor watering. Duke, which could not supply a number for the gallons used on turf watering, gets a business exemption to spray the field and other places on campus.

World's Water Supply at Risk
One of the world's leading water experts explains how our local water supplies are threatened across North America and across the globe. Surface waters are being polluted, and we are mining our groundwater at unsustainable rates. At the very time when corporations are privatizing everything, our governments are allowing corporations to move in and take over the ownership of essential resources like water. The more our water becomes polluted, the more precious it becomes. The more desperate people are, the more they will pay for their water, and the more money there is to be made from cleaning it up.

Murky Future for Rights Treaty on Water
A proposed international treaty to guarantee water as a basic human right has received mixed reviews from experts, environmentalists and political activists. by Thalif Deen “If someone thinks that a global convention on water as a human right will solve the world’s drinking water problem, I have to say that person is living in cloud cuckooland,” Professor Asit K. Biswas, president of the Mexico-based Third World Centre for Water Management, told IPS. He pointed out that food has been declared a human right for decades, yet hundreds of millions of people are still hungry.0831 02 1 Furthermore, “Anyone who has even marginally followed the discussions at the U.N. on human rights knows that the possibility of getting a convention approved and ratified on water as a human right, in the foreseeable future, is zero,” said Biswas, winner of the 2006 international Water Prize, a prestigious award given by the Stockholm International Water Institute. He pointed out that the main problem today is not water scarcity, but poor water management. “Even if a convention on water as a human right is approved and ratified by an absolute miracle, it will at best improve access to water only marginally.

Pharmaceuticals in Our Water Supply Are Causing Bizarre Mutations to Wildlife
From inter-sex fish in the Potomac River to frog mutations in Wisconsin, federal officials are studying the effects of pharmaceuticals such as pain killers and depression medicine in our water supply.

Aquafina: It's Tap Water
The label on Aquafina water bottles will soon be changed to spell out that the drink comes from the same source as tap water, the brand's owner said Friday. A group called Corporate Accountability International has been pressuring bottled water sellers to curb what it calls misleading marketing practices. Aquafina is the single biggest bottled water brand, and its bottles are now labeled "P.W.S." The new labels will spell out "public water source."

The Environmentalist Within
If farmers continue pumping at current rates, they’ll be forced to revert to dry-land agriculture and livestock grazing within decades. With encouragement from government farm policy, they could make that switch now. Then, limited primarily to domestic uses, the aquifer could continue supporting life on the High Plains for hundreds, if not thousands of years. My father embraced irrigation’s arrival, as did most of our neighbors. The water seemed limitless, and it removed one of the many wild cards that make farming such a gamble. Before and after he died, I complained about the waste. But he left other heirs as well, and not irrigating would have reduced our farm income by two-thirds. I found it very difficult to war against my family’s financial interests. Not only are farmers implicated in environmental problems. Many city dwellers water lush lawns in desert climates, spray those lawns with chemicals every time a dandelion appears, and buy unsustainably grown food that travels 1,500 fuel-consuming miles to reach the supermarket. They drive SUVs to work for companies that also waste resources and pollute. Yet most of us would like a healthy environment and want our resources conserved. A 2005 Roper poll found that 90 percent of SUV owners want government to require higher fuel efficiency. Fortunately, we still live in a democracy where we can choose lawmakers who will pass environmental protections. Only such government action can halt or reverse the damage we’ve done. Instead of demonizing the environmentalists, we should vote for them. But making that choice in the voting booth requires that we acknowledge our own internal debates. Instead of dividing the world into “opposite halves,” we would then begin to appreciate the unity of our self-interest and that of the general good.

Bottled Water Bad for Environment
Bottled water, one of the world's fastest growing beverages, faced fresh criticism this week for contributing towards increased packaging that ends up in landfill sites. The report, published last week, will fuel proposals being considered in the EU that would impose sanctions against companies that do not meet prevention, recycling and reuse targets. Environmental researchers, Worldwatch, said the growing trend towards non-carbonated healthier drinks has led to an increase in the demand for bottled water packaging, the recycling rates of which are falling. While global consumption has doubled between 1997 and 2005, reaching $10bn (€7.4bn) in the US alone, the country sends two million tons of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottled water packaging to landfill each year.

The Death of the Ocean
We have pushed our seas to the brink. The ocean is vital to life on earth. Can they be saved? Can we be saved? Assaulted by pollution, overfishing, climate change, trash, and noise, our oceans are approaching a point of no return. The health of the world they feed and protect won't be far behind.

The Nestlé Deal of the Century!

  • A 50-year term, renewable for another 50 years
  • The right to take 1,250 gallons per minute of spring water
  • The right to take qualified water on an interim basis from district's springs for bulk delivery to other bottling facilities located in Northern California
  • The right to construct pipelines and a loading facility
  • Use of an unknown quantity of well water for production purposes
  • Exclusive rights to one of the town's three springs
  • One hundred years of exclusivity, during which time no other beverage business of any type may exist in McCloud
  • Use of an undisclosed, perhaps unlimited amount of ground water
  • The right to require the McCloud Community Service District to dispose of process wastewater
  • The right to require the McCloud Community Service District to design, construct and install one or more ground water production wells on the bottling facility site for Nestlé's use as a supply for nonspring water purposes.

Rural Communities Exploited by Nestlé
California—Across the country, multinational corporations are targeting hundreds of rural communities to gain control of their most precious resource. By strong-arming small towns with limited economic means, these corporations are part of a growing trend to privatize public water supplies for economic gain in the ballooning bottled water industry. With sales of over $35 billion worldwide in the bottled water market, corporations are doing whatever it takes to buy up pristine springs in some of our country's most beautiful places. While the companies reap the profits, the local communities and the environment are paying the price. One of the biggest and most voracious of the water gobblers is Nestlé, which controls one-third of the U.S. market and sells 70 different brand names -- such as Arrowhead, Calistoga, Deer Park, Perrier, Poland Spring and Ice Mountain. Four years ago, residents learned that Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company, intended to build a 1 million-square-foot water-bottling facility in McCloud. Without any public input or environmental impact assessment, the multinational was given a 100-year contract to pump 1,600 acre-feet of spring water a year and a seemingly unlimited amount of groundwater. Nestlé is not really the best model of a parent corporation. For over 20 years, it has faced pressure for its aggressive marketing of infant formula in countries with little clean water, which has led to a reduction in breastfeeding and increased risk for infants. According to Global Exchange, the policy "has cost the lives of over 1.5 million infants around the world. Nestlé's irresponsible attitude towards children doesn't end there. As a leading exporter of cocoa from the Ivory Coast, Nestlé has also been implicated in the ongoing abuse and torture of child cocoa laborers." And Nestlé's own contribution to the local economy in McCloud is questionable. In Mecosta County, Mich., where Nestlé opened a spring water bottling plant a few years ago, locals have yet to see the promised economic rewards.

How can state control withdrawals?
When local activists took a multinational corporation to court over its Michigan water bottling operation in 2003, witnesses argued for weeks over whether the plant was harming nearby lakes and streams. The judge finally took a canoe ride to help make up his mind. The two sides ultimately struck a bargain over how much Nestle Waters North America could pump from the ground in Mecosta County for its Ice Mountain label. The Michigan Supreme Court is expected to rule this year on who has legal standing to sue in such disputes. But a state panel may help prevent at least some future court battles by devising a scientific method for answering a crucial question about large-scale water withdrawals: How much is too much?

Water war stories are 'a dime a dozen'
A very special mood is created along many of the region's shorelines during those warm nights when the water is gently lapping against the shore and a loon calls out its goodbye to the day in that endearing, haunting way that loons have. Haunting is a word often used to describe the cry of a loon but it carries even more weight now as changes happening on our planet put animal and plant species in danger, threatening all, including our beloved loons and our coveted waters. "Sooner or later, my contention is, one or more problems are going to emerge as truly severe and there will be all kinds of consequences because of it and we won't have been prepared, we won't have anticipated or done anything to prepare ourselves for it." The danger posed to the Great Lakes is shared by fresh water supplies all over the world. In fact, there are those who believe future world wars will be fought over water. Some are saying that is already happening.

Water Fight
As first conceived, the documentary The Water Front was supposed to look at the issue of privatizing municipal water systems. But it ended up being about much more than that. The subject drew the attention of Montreal filmmaker Liz Miller because, as she says, access to clean and affordable water is expected to become a major issue over the next 20 to 30 years. After considering locations in Africa, Latin America and other parts of the United States, she settled on Michigan's Highland Park as the focus of her film. The fact that people living amid the world's largest supply of fresh water were having their flow shut off intrigued her. But after she started filming more than four years ago, the narrative began to grow in scope and complexity. "I went in there thinking I was going to be telling a story about water," she says. "But then it became a bit of a spider web." It morphed into a story about a "postindustrial city in crisis," with issues of race and class and poverty weaving their way into an increasingly tangled storyline.

The Rongbuk glacier, the biggest glacier on Mount Everest's northern slopes. The photo above was taken in 1968 and the one below was taken this year (2007).
The Rongbuk glacier, the biggest glacier on Mount Everest's northern slopes. The photo above was taken in 1968 and the one below was taken this year (2007).
Photo: Chinese Academy of Sciences and Greenpeace

Water sources 'threatened'
The photographs are of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, which is called the world's "third pole" because it contains the biggest fields of ice outside of the Arctic and Antarctic. Its glaciers are the source of Asia's biggest rivers - Yangtze, Yellow, Indus and Ganges. The melting of this glacier is also significant because the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported last month that if current trends continue, 80 per cent of the Himalayan glaciers, the water source for a sixth of the world's population, could disappear in 30 years if the current rate of emissions is not reduced.

Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water
The Bush administration is helping multinationals buy U.S. municipal water systems, putting our most important resource in the hands of corporations with no public accountability. The road to privatization is being paved by our own government. The Bush administration is actively working to loosen the hold that cities and towns have over public water, enabling corporations to own the very thing we depend on for survival. The effects of the federal government's actions are being felt all the way down to Conference of Mayors, which has become a "feeding frenzy" for corporations looking to make sure that nothing is left in the public's hands, including clean, affordable water As an example of water privatization, in Felton, Calif., a small regional utility ran the water system until it was purchased in 2001 by California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, which is a subsidiary of Thames Water in London, which has also become a subsidiary of German giant RWE. Residents in Felton saw their rates skyrocket. A woman who runs a facility for people in need saw her water bill increase from $250 to $1,275 a month. The list of abuses in "Thirst," which represent only a handful of communities, are plentiful: In 2006, two top managers at a Suez/United Water plant in New Jersey were indicted for covering up high radium levels in drinking water ... In Milwaukee, Suez subsidiary United Water discharged more than a million gallons of untreated sewage into Lake Michigan because it had shut down pumps to reduce electricity bills ... In Stockton, Calif., a citizen's watchdog group reported that water leakage doubled in the first year that OMI/Thames took over system operations. In Indianapolis, customer complaints nearly tripled the first year of Veolia's contract, and inadequate maintenance resulted in hundreds of fire hydrants freezing in the winter ... Overall, it has proved to be a recipe for disaster.

You Can't Recall Tap Water
Dogfood still in the bag you can recall, bad laptop batteries you can recall, but tap water sent down the pipe you cannot. That is what happened this morning in Spencer, Massachusetts, as the local water supply was somehow inadvertently dosed with much higher than normal concentrations of Sodium Hydroxide, or Lye. It has sent some folks to the hospital and they are trying to get the lines flushed now. Authorities didn't know about it until people taking showers in the morning started to get burned.

U.S. House passes multibillion water bill
The House overwhelmingly approved a multibillion-dollar bill Thursday stocked with water projects that is opposed by the White House because of its cost. Hundreds of projects - including some for Texas - are in the bill that was approved 394-25. Supporters say the projects are sorely needed to improve access to water supplies, restore coastal shorelines, improve flood control and navigation channels and other needs. But there is disagreement over how much those will cost. The Congressional Budget Office estimated a cost of $13.2 billion over 15 years, taking into account $3.5 million the federal government is to receive from the city of Paris, Texas, for future water supply storage at costs at Pat Mayse Lake. But the White House set the cost at at least $15 billion. Another $1.5 billion was added to the bill as it went to the House floor. Watchdog groups put the tab even higher. The bill is considered to be pork legislation by fiscal watchdog groups who say the Army Corps of Engineers can't possibly get to all the projects. They have been pushing for better oversight over projects the corps undertakes. "This is more than $16 billion of water pork that's being added to a more than $58 billion backlog of water projects the corps already has on the books," said Steve Ellis, vice president for Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Southwest U.S. Faces Dustbowl With Warming
Changing climate will mean increasing drought in the Southwest — a region where water already is in tight supply — according to a new study. Seager is lead author of the study published online Thursday by the journal Science. Researchers studied 19 computer models of the climate, using data dating back to 1860 and projecting into the future. The same models were used in preparing the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There is a convergence of the models that is very strong and very worrisome. Water is already in short supply in the region with some places, such as Tucson, Arizona, relying primarily on supplies left over from the last ice age some 20,000 years ago.

No Longer Waiting for Rain
Some $2.5 billion in water projects are planned or under way in four states, the biggest expansion in the West’s quest for water in decades. Among them is a proposed 280-mile pipeline that would direct water to Las Vegas from northern Nevada. A proposed reservoir just north of the California-Mexico border would correct an inefficient water delivery system that allows excess water to pass to Mexico. In Yuma, Ariz., federal officials have restarted an idled desalination plant, long seen as a white elephant from a bygone era, partly in the hope of purifying salty underground water for neighboring towns. The scramble for water is driven by the realities of population growth, political pressure and the hard truth that the Colorado River, a 1,400-mile-long silver thread of snowmelt and a lifeline for more than 20 million people in seven states, is providing much less water than it had. According to long-term projections, the mountain snows that feed the Colorado River will melt faster and evaporate in greater amounts with rising global temperatures, providing stress to the waterway even without drought. This year, the spring runoff is expected to be about half its long-term average.

Worldwide, Communities Demand Access to Water
Holding scores of rallies and sit-ins around world, environmental and community groups Thursday made fresh calls for drastic actions to protect the world’s rivers and other water resources from the devastating impact of global warming, pollution, and toxic waste. From Bangladesh to Burkina Faso and Mali to Mozambique, activists reminded the world that there are still more than 1 billion people who have no access to safe drinking water and another 2 billion–one third of the world’s population–without any access to adequate sanitation. Experts say if appropriate actions are not taken on time to deal with the threat of global warming, this figure could increase to more than 3 billion in less than 20 years.

A Drop In The Bucket
Currently 1.2 billion citizens of the planet lack access to safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing. By 2025, the United Nations estimates this number could swell to more than five billion unless we change the rules by which water is distributed. The unquenched thirst of corporations for water is one of the reasons for the water crisis. Agriculture, much of it fueled by profit-driven, industrialized food systems around the world, uses about 70% of the world’s available water. Industry uses another 20%, leaving just 10% for people and their communities. As corporations have claimed a growing share of water in recent decades, the water remaining available to people has rapidly diminished. Coke, Nestlé and Starbucks are each part of the new water-industrial-complex, buying water cheaply, then bottling it and selling it as a high profit-margin consumer product. Bottled water is the fastest growing – and one of the most profitable – segments of the beverage market. Nestlé has responded to critics of its water practices with the argument that the corporation doesn’t really use that much. In reality, Nestlé is the world’s leading bottler of water, using 1.86 liters of water for each 1 liter bottle it sells. This extra .86 liters of wastage, multiplied by the 22 billion liters of water that Nestlé bottles annually, would provide enough water to meet the annual needs of more than one million desperately thirsty people around the world.

Bush Administration Marks World Water Day by Shirking Responsibility to Fund Clean and Safe Water for America
Just four years after one of the nation’s most ambitious private water contracts collapsed in Atlanta, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a conference there to promote the private sector involvement in water. The Bush administration’s focus on the private sector flies in the face of a long-standing federal commitment to partnering with states and municipalities to provide safe and affordable water for Americans. Many cities across the country are operating drinking water and sewage systems designed and built before World War I. As our nation’s pipes and treatment systems age, more and more sewage spills into our streams, rivers, lakes and ocean, creating serious public health hazards. And population growth puts even more strain on our water systems. According to EPA’s most recent assessment, 45 percent of America’s are “impaired” – unsafe for fishing, swimming, or drinking.

Dirty Water Kills 5,000 Children a Day
Nearly two million children a year die for want of clean water and proper sanitation while the world's poor often pay more for their water than people in Britain or the US, according to a major new report. The Middle East is the world's most "water-stressed" region, with Palestinians, especially in Gaza, suffering the most. Climate change is likely to hit the developing world hardest, reducing the availability of water, lowering agricultural productivity and leaving millions hungry. Changing weather patterns are already causing drought in countries such as Kenya, Mali and Zimbabwe, but wet areas are likely to become wetter still, causing devastating floods and loss of life.

The Water Barons: A Handful of Corporations Seek to Privatize the World's Water
The privatization of public water systems around the world, driven by a handful of European corporations and the World Bank, is dramatically increasing despite sometimes tragic results, according to a new study by the Center for Public Integrity. The report, by the Center's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, shows that the world's three largest private water utility companies have since 1990 expanded into nearly every region of the world, raising concerns that a few private companies... 

Corporate Water
Threats to Our Water NAFTA, SPP, Atlantica, Super-Corridors is based on extensive research by Dr. Janet M Eaton, SCC Canadian liaison to the Water Privatization Task Force. This 55 slide presentation lays out the nature of the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America (SPP) agreed to by the US, Canada and Mexico; NAFTA Super-Corridors; and cross border regions like Atlantica; and shows how each of these threaten our water.

Water for People and Nature: The Story of Corporate Water Privatization
This power point presentation has been developed by the Sierra Club's Corporate Accountability Committee as an educational tool for interested citizens and activists wishing to learn more about water privatization issues and for use by communities mobilizing to prevent corporate privatization of their water services and resources.

K Street Lobbyists Carry Water for OPEC
Disclosure filings indicate massive spending on lobbying by oil-rich countries. As a trading bloc, The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is one of the world's most powerful. Yet political influence here in Washington, even for the oil-rich nations, does not come cheap. Since mid-2003, OPEC members will have spent at least $13.3 million in lobbying the U.S. federal government and currying favor with the American public, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of foreign agent lobbying disclosure records filed with the U.S. Department of Justic... 

The Bottled Water Lie
The corporations that sell bottled water are depleting natural resources, jacking up prices, and lying when they tell you their water is purer and tastes better than the stuff that comes out of the tap.

All Wet
A debate on water privatization. Everyone knows that water is the stuff of life. But is it best viewed as a commodity or as part of the commons? Should providing safe, affordable water be the role of governments, corporations, or partnerships between the two?

Metered to Death: How a Water Experiment Caused Riots and a Cholera Epidemic
Every morning, as the sun rises over the Indian Ocean and paints the sky a brilliant yellow, David Radebe crosses the N2 freeway into another world. Winding like a black snake through green sugar cane fields and over rolling hills, the freeway divides two very different communities along KwaZulu-Natal's spectacular Dolphin Coast. Thirty miles (50 kilometers) north of the harbor city of Durban, the turnoff to the right leads to the resort towns of Ballito Bay, Salt Rock and Tinley Manor...

Inter-American Development Bank Water and Sanitation Sector Loans Promoting Privatization
The IDB is the “world bank” for the Latin American and Caribbean region. It is the largest and oldest regional development bank in the world. For the last decade the IDB has been the largest multilateral lender of development finance for Latin America and the Caribbean – larger than the World Bank – with a cumulative lending of $128.5 billion and an annual lending capacity of $8.5 billion. In 2003, IDB lending operations totalled $6.9 billion in the region while World Bank lending operations equalled $5.8 billion. The IDB holds about $58 billion of debt in the region, giving the institution tremendous power to impose lending conditions such as privatization, trade liberalization and de-regulation. The project pipeline for 2003-2005 includes about $3.1 billion for water and sanitation. A recent review of the IDB water and sanitation portfolio from 1996-2003, undertaken by Public Citizen’s Water for All campaign, yielded the following conclusions.

Half an Olympic-size swimming pool per person
Few of us realise how much water it takes to get us through the day. On average, we drink no more than five litres. Even after washing and flushing the toilet, we usually consume no more than 150 litres. But when we add in the water needed to grow what we eat and drink, the numbers soar.

Water Peace VS Water Wars
The right to water is common to all beings and this right is a gift of creation, it is a natural right, a birth right. Common rights go hand in hand with common responsibility -- a common responsibility to conserve water, use it sustainably, and share it equitably. The culture of conservation, and the commons have supported human life and all life on earth for millennia. Maldevelopment, which increased commerce but decreased life's renewable potential and created huge social and environmental externalities has left us with polluted rivers, depleted ground water, desertified soils and thirsty people. Even the Sacred Ganges is not safe from the privatization madness. Suez the world's largest water corporation is setting up a plant in Delhi at Sonia Vihar to sell 635 million litres of Ganges water to the rich people of Delhi.

Bottled water industry is the thin edge of water privatization
The United Church of Canada is urging its three million members across the country to avoid bottled water as a way of taking a personal stand against water privatization. Thunder Bay (22 August 2006) - The United Church of Canada Delegates at the general church council in Thunder Bay passed a resolution declaring water "a sacred gift that connects all life" and proclaiming that its "value to the common good must take priority over commercial interests."

Turning on Canada's Tap?
When Prime Minister Stephen Harper sat down with President George W. Bush in their first White house meeting July 6th, one 'unmentionable' items on their agenda may well have been the question of bulk water exports from Canada...

Taking Action for basic services in South Africa
On Wednesday (6 September), thousands of residents from Orange Farm (a township south of Johannesburg) blockaded the Golden Highway, a major arterial road in Gauteng, demanding that the Mayor of Johannesburg, Amos Masondo, avail himself to residents in order to address the lack of service delivery in the township. Over many months, residents, with the help of the Orange Farm Water Crisis Committee (OWCC), have been coming together in house meetings to share their problems around accessing basic services. While Orange Farm was declared a township in 1997, with the promise of improved access to basic services, almost ten years later there are still parts that do not have electricity or access to proper water supplies.

Water Wars of the Near Future
A good many prominent people have recently forecast, with a sort of gloomy relish, that wars will one day, probably soon, break out over water. These forecasts come not just from the environmental movement, which has long become accustomed to fits of Malthusian soothsaying, but from officials of so sober an institution as the World Bank. Ismail Serageldin, the bank's vice president for environmental affairs and chairman of the World Water Commission, stated bluntly a few years ago that the wars of the 21st century will be fought over water."Everywhere you look, there are signs that the global water supply is in peril.

Stop Suez
A global campaign against the water transnational Suez has now been lauched in many countries around the world! For more information on the Suez campaign go to www.stopsuez.org . One of the first coordinated global actions was at the Suez annual meeting in Paris, France on May 13th where representatives from countries struggling against the exploitative policies of Suez gathered to protest, hold press conferences and meet with French civil society groups. Boston Common Assets, a Suez shareholder, used their proxy to present a declaration of grievances from civil society groups in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, the Philippines and Uruguay at the Suez Shareholder meeting. The website is trilingual: Spanish - www.fuerasuez.org , French - www.arretonssuez.org , and English - www.stopsuez.org

Liquid Gold?
Oil used to be called liquid gold. Not more than a week after I started this series on investing in Wood, Water and Air, articles began showing up all over the place about the shortage of all three

Save America's Water
A national a website dedicated to helping people in the United States prevent damage to their communities' water supplies by multinational water bottling companies.

Satellite quartet to track Earth's most precious resource
A successful launch next month of a nearly $1 billion satellite would mark the fourth spacecraft NASA has sent into orbit recently to follow the global movement of life's most precious resource: water.

States fear being drained by bottled-water giants
There is a growing national backlash against bottled water companies, especially market giant Perrier, by communities that fear local wells, wetlands and streams will be drained dry in the quest for corporate profits.

GOP floats tough rules for Lakes
A state Senate task force proposed a sweeping plan to protect the Great Lakes by regulating ground water withdrawals, pumping more money into ending sewage overflows and putting a moratorium on oil and gas drilling, among other steps.

Spin the Bottle
Perrier didn't reckon on an angry citizenry when it looked to expand into the Midwest

Can You Drink It?
1995 Humans can go for a month without eating food, but see what happens if they are denied water for even a week. According to scientists, water is the single most important element in supporting human life.

As bottled water sales rise, so does opposition to plants
Bottled water companies are facing some opposition in communities across the nation that fear local wells, wetlands and streams are being drained dry in the pursuit of corporate profits.

Is There Enough Groundwater?
In “Groundwater 101,” you learn that when you pump groundwater from a well, the groundwater levels in and around the well decline. This “drawdown” in the water levels is the driving force that brings groundwater to the well from the surrounding ground. The size of the “drawdown cone,” which results from pumping, depends on three main factors: the nature of the geologic formation (called an “aquifer”) that provides the groundwater, the pumping rate from the well, and how long the pumping continues. Drawdown cones commonly range in depth from a few to hundreds of feet at the pumping well and extend to thousands of feet away from the pumping well.

Our Dying Planet: Oyster Bay Listed As Endangered Refuge
N.Y. -- The Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge, near Theodore Roosevelt's summer White House, is among the nation's 10 most endangered wildlife refuges, according to a new report from an environmental group. The area was on the second annual list because of environmental threats from storm water runoff and sewage discharge from motorboats, as well as inadequate septic systems. Defenders of Wildlife blamed air and water pollution, overdevelopment and government neglect for many of the problems at the refuges across the country.

Engines of Ecotourism, Understaffed Wildlife Refuges Still at Risk
National Wildlife Refuges in the continental United States contribute $1.4 billion to our national economy and create nearly 24,000 jobs, the secretary said. "They generate $151 million in tax revenue for local, state and federal government. But conservationists issued a stern warning about threats to many of the refuges. At Nevada's Moapa National Wildlife Refuge, a proposal to drill for water for Las Vegas may suck dry the refuge’s springs, which are vital for endangered species. A massive water diversion in California could completely alter the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. Oil and gas wells in the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge have killed vegetation and polluted marshland habitat, while the Bush administration and many in Congress push plans to permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Annex Revisions 2005 and the Diversion of the Common Waters of the Great Lakes: Ban or Flood Gate
Imagine the eight governors of the Great Lakes Sates agreeing that the waters of the Great Lakes Basin are not a public resource or that the citizens’ right to boat, fish, and swim and enjoy these waters is no longer protected by the public trust imposed on these waters by the U.S. Supreme Court over 100 years ago. Imagine that governors were charged by federal law with the responsibility of coming up with a standard to guide them in any decision to prohibit diversions and exports out of the Basin. Imagine that the governors agree to allow diversions to counties outside of the Basin. Imagine later the county boundary is ruled illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court under the commerce clause, so the water can be diverted even further away from the Great Lakes. Imagine the Chicago diversion has been turned into the Illinois diversion. Only a tiny sliver of Chicago and Illinois is within the Great Lakes Basin, the rest of the state drains to the Mississippi and western U.S. Imagine that the governors agree that private corporations, who pump or withdraw water, put it in small containers and truck or ship it anywhere they want, are not diverting or exporting the water. Well, guess what? Your imagination may turn into reality in the form of federal law and an international agreement with the provinces of Canada, if citizens of the Great Lakes States do not email, fax, or mail comments to the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

Bad to the Last Drop
It's summertime, and odds are that at some point during your day you'll reach for a nice cold bottle of water. But before you do, you might want to consider the results of an experiment I conducted with some friends one summer evening last year. On the table were 10 bottles of water, several rows of glasses and some paper for recording our impressions. We were to evaluate samples from each bottle for appearance, odor, flavor, mouth, feel and aftertaste - and our aim was to identify the interloper among the famous names. One of our bottles had been filled from the tap. Would we spot it?

BBC: Face the Facts
Nestle stand accused of plundering valuable water supplies in a unique Brazilian spa resort in order to supply its Pure Life brand of table water. Locals say they are suffering as the quality of the spa waters diminish, despite Nestle's reassurance that its operations would have a negligible effect. [NOTE: The same thing has happened at the Nestle Waters Michigan division by the name of Ice Mountain]

Ten Thirsty Children
The world's children feel the burden of the world's water crisis more than anyone. Each day it is estimated that 6,000 people lose their lives to diarrheal disease. Most of these people are children under the age of five.

Cholera and the Age of the Water Barons
When cholera appeared on South Africa's Dolphin Coast in August 2000, officials first assumed it was just another of the sporadic outbreaks that have long stricken the country's eastern seaboard. But as the epidemic spread, it turned out to be a chronicle of death foretold by blind ideology.

Lead Levels in Water Misrepresented Across U.S.
Cities across the country are manipulating the results of tests used to detect lead in water, violating federal law and putting millions of Americans at risk of drinking more of the contaminant than their suppliers are reporting.

Groundwater regulations guard against overuse, misuse
Water moves in a cycle, falling from the sky, percolating into soil, flowing to river or lake, transpiring through leaf and evaporating back to sky. Drawing on the reality that it is movable by its nature, as a basic legal principle water is not owned by anyone. We do have the right to use it, but the right must be exercised reasonably. It is in effect a commons to be shared. As with any common or public resource -- such as air, parkland or cultural heritage -- its shared use requires limits, the most fundamental of which is to ensure the public resource is not diminished or destroyed.

$160 billion needed to offset water wars
The annual $80 billion global investment in water infrastructure needs to double.

Water firm sued for contaminated water deaths
The lawsuit filed by the victims' families says that water is a product, not a service.

Western water interests engage in tug-of-war
Colorado River states want to protect their water source, which may be at Nevada's expense.

Great Lakes Water Management Initiative
A central and continuing issue of common concern to the Great Lakes Governors is the health and maintenance of the waters of the Great Lakes. To this end, the Council assists the Governors in coordinating activities under the Great Lakes Charter of 1985, a voluntary agreement through which the Great Lakes States and Provinces cooperatively manage the waters of the Great Lakes

Dry West Sends Out for Water
From here to El Paso, communities in the midst of huge development booms expect to spend fortunes to lay pipes from new water sources, some of them hundreds of miles away.The proposed projects also reflect a hard fact about the driest region in the USA: All the water in the West's rivers, creeks, lakes and reservoirs is taken, committed to present needs. To fill the taps of burgeoning cities and suburbs, the West is looking elsewhere - and in many cases, looking deeper.

Public Citizen: Water for All Web Site
As the world's water becomes scarcer and corporations seek to exploit this scarcity for profit, people around the world are losing ownership and control of water resources on which they depend. Water is a human right; to the extent one has the right to live, one has the right to water.

Reckless Abandon: How the Bush Administration is Exposing America's Waters to Harm
Every region of the country contains unique types of aquatic ecosystems — some so rare that they are found only in part of a single state. These wetlands, ponds, lakes, and streams support a wide variety of life, supply clean drinking water, sustain imperiled species, provide natural flood control, and perform a host of other functions important to both human and wildlife communities. These waters are varied in their names and descriptions — including arroyos, prairie potholes, intermittent and ephemeral streams, bogs, playa lakes, forested vernal pools, and desert springs — but all are an important part of our natural and cultural heritage.

Water and Sustainability
Water is one of our most precious and valuable resources. Without a gallon a day, you will perish. Plants and animals need a reliable supply, and it is critical to growing crops and etching chips. Despite its importance, over 1 billion people around the globe still lack access to clean water and thousands perish daily for lack of it.

An Idyll Interrupted
After a Hiker Noticed That a Local Creek Had Dried Up, He Suspected His Neighbor Was Operating a Commercial Spring-Water Business. And Then Things Got Ugly in Idyllwild.

Stuporfund
According to the U.S. EPA's own data, some 111 of the nation's 1,230 Superfund toxic-waste sites may pose ongoing risks to nearby residents of exposure to health-threatening chemicals, and 251 may pose ongoing risks to groundwater.

Batting Cleanup
According to a federal audit released yesterday, efforts to clean up the contaminated groundwater around the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southern Washington state have basically sucked -- "largely ineffective" was the report's more delicate phrase.

The New Economy of Water
What's driving privatization? Who are the main players? What different forms of public-private partnership are possible? Tackle this complex issue in our primer on the dynamics of water privatization.

Privatization: A Fight Back Handbook
It may be possible to stop privatization through litigation. States such as Washington, Ohio and Hawaii have used pre-existing laws to mount successful legal challenges to contracting out public services. In two of these states, the supreme courts ruled that contracting out public services violated civil service regulations or relevant state constitutions.

Mother Earth Water Walk
"In about 30 years, if we humans continue with our negligence, an ounce of drinking water will cost the same as an ounce of gold." Water is essential to survival and health. Everything is related to water. This is proportionate to Mother Earth. Our food sources use water to be nutritious. The medicine wheel teachings are about balance in life.

Nestle Waters Corporation: a World View
What we have learned is that international trade agreements can be invoked once an international corporation (like Nestle) has negotiated a deal to extract water and sell it. It becomes a commodity on the international market and cannot be later protected by state or local law.

Women Challenging Water Privatization: Country Testimonies
Over many years women have disproportionately experienced the burdens of water privatization policies in the form of enormous price hikes, water cut-offs, deteriorating water quality, and health and sanitation hazards. In response, women have been central to the struggle against the sale of public water services to corporations, through lobbying local authorities and national ministries, forming local women's associations, and organizing marches, pickets, public education campaigns, and direct actions.

Billions of water bottles
Last year alone, more than 93 billion plastic water containers wound up in U.S. landfills. Laid end-to-end, that's enough bottles to:

  • Reach the moon and back 38 times;
  • Circle the equator 371 times;
  • Stretch the length of the world's longest river, the Nile, 2,222 times;
  • Line Interstate 80 from New York to San Francisco 3,196 times;

Despite the hype, bottled water is neither cleaner nor greener than tap water
Whether a consumer is shopping in a supermarket or a health food store, working out in a fitness center, eating in a restaurant or grabbing some quick refreshment on the go, he or she will likely be tempted to buy bottled water. The product comes in an ever-growing variety of sizes and shapes, including one bottle that looks like a drop of water with a golden cap. Some fine hotels now offer the services of "water sommeliers" to advise diners on which water to drink with different courses.

Appeals court says Ice Mountain plant can continue water withdrawals (for the time being)
Mecosta County Circuit Judge Lawrence C. Root ruled Nov. 25 that Ice Mountain's water use endangered streams, lakes and wetlands, and ordered the Nestle subsidiary to stop pumping by Tuesday. On Friday, Root denied Ice Mountain's request to temporarily suspend his order during the appeals process, which he said could take three to five years. The appeals court granted the stay of Root's order Tuesday with the condition that Ice Mountain's pumping output not exceed 250 gallons per minute on a monthly average basis.

Judge Orders Shutdown at Nestle Waters Operation in Michigan (USA)
November 25 – Judge Root’s ruling sets a precedent and clarifies many critical facets of Michigan water law, including important protections for the State’s lakes, streams, and wetlands, which form an essential role in Michigan’s natural resources, recreation, tourism, and economy. The ruling confined itself to the specific relationship between the pumping and diversion of water from the shallow unconfined aquifer that is part of nearby wetlands, two lakes, and the Dead Stream, a stream that Judge Root said “is not dead” but “a complex and beautiful ecosystem.”

Judge Orders Nestle Corporation to Shut Down the Pumps Feeding the Ice Mountain Water Bottling Factory
A judge on Tuesday ordered the company that produces Ice Mountain bottled water to stop drawing water from wells in a Michigan county, saying the operation has damaged the environment.

Water for All
Access to clean and affordable water is essential for life, yet the world’s largest corporations are seeking to increase their profits by commodifying and privatizing this precious resource. Public Citizen is campaigning to protect universal access to clean and affordable drinking water by keeping it in public hands.

Billions May Suffer Severe Water Shortages as Global Warming Melts Glaciers
Billions of people will face severe water shortages as glaciers around the world melt unless governments take urgent action to tackle global warming. "Increasing global temperatures in the coming century will cause continued widespread melting of glaciers, which contain 70 percent of the world's fresh water reserves.

Bottled Water Fraud
Is the bottled water that cost you $1.79 really any better than filling your cup from the tap? It may not be. During the dramatic rise in bottled water consumption in the last ten years, some bottling companies have stretched their original water sources so thin they began to use common groundwater and wells near hazardous contamination, all the while touting their bottled water as naturally pure and pristine.

Poland Spring Settles Class-Action Lawsuit
Poland Spring Water Co. agrees to settle a class-action suit alleging that its water doesn't come from a spring and isn't pure. (a division of Nestle Wates) agrees to step up quality control and pay $10 million over the next five years in discounts to consumers and contributions to charities.

Nestle is sued for false claims about bottled water
Food giant Nestle has duped Americans who buy Poland Spring bottled water into thinking it comes from a lush spring tucked deep in the woods of Maine, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday. Instead, most of the sources for Poland Spring are either surrounded by asphalt parking lots or potentially dangerous contamination, according to the lawsuit filed against a subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle SA.

Thirst for profit
For the past few years, the WTO have been trying to expand its snappily titled General Agreement on Trades in Services (or GATS), whose “privatise everything!” small print is a wet dream for corporations. The EU is using GATS to target everything from public healthcare, welfare, water, energy and transport networks in the developing world as its new golden goose. Its 109 ‘requests’ for developing countries was a strictly classified document that got leaked onto the web. But why do they want to keep it a secret? One of those requests from the EU is that 72 developing countries make commitments to pen up their water supplies to competition.

Blacks oppose water privatization, from Detroit to South Africa
Two years ago, 300 people died from the worst outbreak of cholera in modern South African history. Bowing to pressure from behemoth international corporations that want to provide water to the world for profit, time-locks had been placed on public water pumps and the citizens of Ngwelezane, a rural township, were forced to use the polluted water of a nearby lake from which they contracted the cholera. Two hundred thousand more people were impacted by the crisis. This past year in Detroit, Mich., a city that is 83 percent Black, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department shut off water service to 40,000 households in the middle of the winter.


Evian or Naive?

Your Bottled Water May Not Be What You Think
Is the bottled water that cost you $1.79 really any better than filling your cup from the tap? It may not be. During the dramatic rise in bottled water consumption in the last ten years, some bottling companies have stretched their original water sources so thin they began to use common groundwater and wells near hazardous contamination, all the while touting their bottled water as naturally pure and pristine.

Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?
This is the online version of NRDC's March 1999 petition to the FDA and attached report on the results of our four-year study of the bottled water industry, including its bacterial and chemical contamination problems. The petition and report find major gaps in bottled water regulation and conclude that bottled water is not necessarily safer than tap water.

Eau, Neau!
Ever wonder what's in those little bottles of water you pick up at the health club or those gallon jugs you lug home from the supermarket?

Few Fined for Polluting Water
About a quarter of the nation's largest industrial plants and water treatment facilities are in serious violation of pollution standards at any one time, yet only a fraction of them face formal enforcement actions, according to an Environmental Protection Agency internal study.

Don't pollute the enemy's water
I have a suggestion to make, a very serious suggestion, that at the next big Security Council meeting the United States put up a resolution binding all member nations to renounce from now on one weapon of war - the useful tactic of shutting off or polluting an enemy's supply of drinking water.

Alternative water future outlined
The world's water resources must become a common global good under a new international system anchored in a constitutional right to water for all, an alternative water forum resolved here at the weekend.

'Real conflicts' over world's water
Former USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev has told the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto that a failure to reverse the global water crisis could lead to "real conflicts" in the future.

'Ideological battle' over world's water
Pressure groups have claimed that private companies are unlikely to provide the solutions for the millions of poor people without adequate clean water and decent sanitation.

Water shortages 'foster terrorism'
A lack of water is a key factor in encouraging terrorism, the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto has heard.

Dams stir water arguments
The debate, as ever, is centred on the seemingly polarised conflict between the needs for a clean source of energy and the massive social and environmental damage that dams can cause.

Golf 'is water hazard'
The United States is the most wasteful water user in the world, according to figures released at the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan. And a key reason behind America's placing is the country's love of golf.

"Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil."
The report documents the collapse of showcase privatizations in Buenos Aires, Manila, and Atlanta. Controversial privatizations in Bolivia, Indonesia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are also analyzed.

"Suez: A Corporate Profile" "Suez: A Corporate Profile"
An inside look at the water strategy of the global water conglomerate, and how the fiascos in Manila, Buenos Aires, and Atlanta are re-shaping the corporate strategy.
An inside look at the water strategy of the global water conglomerate, and how the fiascos in Manila, Buenos Aires, and Atlanta are re-shaping the corporate strategy.

"The Myth of Private Sector Financing: Global Water Corporations Seek New Public Hand-outs"
This is a critical analysis of the report of the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure, chaired by Michel Camdessus, ex-managing director of the IMF.

Water Scarcity Could Affect Billions: Is This the Biggest Crisis of All?
Glug-glug: Not normally a sound of foreboding. But mankind's most serious challenge in the 21st century might not be war or hunger or disease or even the collapse of civic order, a UN report says; it may be the lack of fresh water.

Forum tackles world water crisis
One in six people has no access to safe water. The third World Water Forum has brought together about 10,000 delegates from 150 countries to debate solutions to the crisis facing more than one billion people without access to clean water.

Water is a Matter of Public Debate
Every human being has the right to clean water. In the United States, water has long been considered a vital resource and thus managed in the public interest by local governments accountable to their constituents.

UN warns of future water crisis
A world short of water cannot grow enough food for all It believes the goal of halving the proportion of hungry people by 2015 may be unattainable. By 2020, the average water supply per person worldwide is expected be a third smaller than now. The UN says political inaction and a lack of awareness are worsening the crisis.

Why Does the WTO Want My Water?
Up for grabs at the negotiating table is worldwide privatization and deregulation of public energy and water utilities, postal services, higher education and state alcohol distribution controls; a new right for foreign firms to obtain U.S. Small Business Administration loans; elimination of a list of specific U.S. state laws about land use, professional licensing and consumer protections, and extreme deregulation of private-sector service industries such as insurance, banking, mutual funds and securities.

Depleted uranium found in reservoir
A local professor has discovered depleted uranium in an old Albany reservoir.

Leaked European Union Trade Documents Confirm Municipal Water/Sewer Systems Under Attack
Despite frequent denials by European trade officials, they are targeting public services in the current round of services negotiations. The Alliance for Democracy has received leaked official European Commission documents confirming that municipal water/sewer systems in the United States are on the negotiating table.

The Secret Behind the Sanctions
Over the last two years, I've discovered documents of the Defense Intelligence Agency proving beyond a doubt that, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country's water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway.

EPA´s Water Quality Trading Policy: States Take Center Stage
The United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") issued its long-awaited final Water Quality Trading Policy ("Policy"). Water quality trading allows one source to meet its water pollution control obligations by using pollutant reductions achieved by another source that has lower pollution control costs. [Let's ask the aquatic life who are living in the still polluted water if they support this plan.]

Low Rates, Needed Repairs Lure ‘Big Water’ to Uncle Sam's Plumbing
Foreign private companies are gearing up to control a multibillion-dollar market to upgrade the nation’s aging water system, after spending millions of dollars over the last six years to sway Congressional votes on privatization laws. Americans have the safest and cheapest public water systems in the world. But, as foreign companies flex their financial muscle, America’s drinking water may not be so cheap or public for long.

Atlanta, water firm part ways
The city of Atlanta and its private water provider parted ways Friday, leaving the city government with the monumental challenge of getting in position to run the beleaguered system after four years of private operation. City officials expect to have full control of the water system by mid-June.

Water a Hot Commodity : U.S. waterworks lure investors Montara residents fight to seize system from overseas buyer
With business analysts predicting that water will be in short supply worldwide in the coming century, European megacorporations are paying high premiums to control delivery of a product that consumers literally cannot live without.

Radioactivity, salt taint goundwater as inland areas dig ever deeper
Communities already are pumping so much out of the sandstone that historic groundwater flows have been reversed and water in and beneath Lake Michigan is now being drawn west to fill the void.

Water, like air, is a necessity of human life
It is also, according to Fortune magazine, "One of the world's great business opportunities. It promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th." In the past ten years, three giant global corporations have quietly assumed control over the water supplied to almost 300 million people in every continent of the world.

The Water Barons: A Handful of Corporations Seek to Privatize the World's Water
The explosive growth of three private water utility companies in the last 10 years raises fears that mankind may be losing control of its most vital resource to a handful of monopolistic corporations. In Europe and North America, analysts predict that within the next 15 years these companies will control 65 percent to 75 percent of what are now public waterworks. The companies have worked closely with the World Bank and other international financial institutions to gain a foothold on every continent. They aggressively lobby for legislation and trade laws to force cities to privatize their water and set the agenda for debate on solutions to the world’s increasing water scarcity. The companies argue they are more efficient and cheaper than public utilities. Critics say they are predatory capitalists that ultimately plan to control the world’s water resources and drive up prices even as the gap between rich and poor widens. The fear is that accountability will vanish, and the world will lose control of its source of life.

Promoting (Requiring) Privatization
An analysis of World Bank lending policies shows that the bank has increasingly linked aid to privatization.

Cholera and the Age of the Water Barons
The explosive growth of three private water utility companies in the last 10 years has raised fears that mankind may be losing control of its most vital resource to a handful of monopolistic corporations. Analysts predict that within the next 15 years in Europe and North America, these companies will control of 65 percent to 75 percent of what are now public waterworks.

County Water Board Sues U.S. in Dispute Over Colorado River
The Imperial Irrigation District, which provides the farmers with irrigation water, has asked a federal judge to block a decision by the secretary of the interior that reduces the district's allocation from the river. Imperial officials said a lawsuit was filed on Friday in federal court in San Diego.

Calif. Water Users Miss Deadline on Sharing Pact
Efforts by water officials in Southern California failed today to reach a deal on water usage from the Colorado River before a midnight deadline. As a result, the Bush administration said it would cut flows from the river to the state's cities and farms beginning in January.

Coming Soon to Your Water Supply: England's Worst Polluter
A multinational energy conglomerate that prefers paying fines to obeying environmental laws is snatching up public water utilities around the country, and public officials are only too happy to oblige.

Worst Polluter in England and Wales Brings Rotten Record to United States
Thames Water, the giant company that is involved in taking over water and sewer systems in communities across the United States, ranked as the worst polluter in England and Wales for two of the three past years and likely will rank as the worst again in 2002, according to the Environment Agency in England.

Profit Streams: The World Bank & Greedy Global Water Companies

Top 10 Reasons to Oppose Water Privatization

New Orleans Water Privatization Bids Defeated
Citizens won a landmark victory over corporate greed today when the largest proposed municipal water privatization in the nation was rejected by the New Orleans Water and Sewerage Board.

CADIZ Project Defeated!
At today's meeting of the Board of the Metropolitan Water District, the Cadiz Project was killed. Testimony by representatives of the Western Environmental Law Center, Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Alliance for Democracy, and the Citizens Trade Campaign, among others, urged the board not to delay a decision on the controversial water project, but to put it out of its misery. Coalition members National Parks Conservation Association, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and Desert Survivors are ecstatic.

Water for All
Around the world there is a growing social movement to protect water as a common resource. Because many large private corporations have come to realize that water scarcity and pollution are going to define the next century, a tremendous surge of activity is taking place around the world to commodify and privatize water. Public Citizen is campaigning to protect universal access to clean and affordable drinking water by keeping it in public hands.

S.1961 "Water Investment Act of 2002"
S.1961 was introduced in the U.S. Senate in February 2002 to reauthorize federal funding for the water and wastewater state revolving fund programs that help communities to finance systems upgrades. The bill's original language contained a provision that made eligibility for this funding conditional on the community's consideration of privatization. Public Citizen was successful in having the pro-privatization language removed from the bill. However, its companion bill was reported out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with similar pro-privatization limit intact. Public Citizen is working to ensure that the final legislation merging these bills in the House-Senate conference does not include pro-privatization provision.

EPA sets first National Water Monitoring Day
WASHINGTON — Individuals and local water monitoring and watershed groups around the country are urged by the EPA to test water supplies and record results.

Water wars tipped to flow from shortages
A report issued at the United Nations-sponsored World Water Forum in Stockholm, Sweden, said that one in three people would not have enough access to water by 2025. It was unlikely that traditional agriculture could feed the world's population by then.

The Global Water Crisis
Water as an environmental topic is a bit like climate change. Until you reach for your winter coat on a grey August day in New York City, you will not believe things are as bad as they say. Same goes with water. When you turn on the spigot and hear the pipes clank but see no water, only then will your concern be palpable.

Water quality at risk if TMDL rules change, House Democrats say
WASHINGTON — Several Democratic members of the US House of Representatives have urged the EPA to implement the TMDL as is, because changing it would weaken the Clean Water Act.

The status of water in the law of armed conflict
The lack of a proper and autonomous legal framework for protecting water would appear to be explained, on the one hand, by the many roles that water can play – for example, as a weapon, target or victim – and, on the other, by the very manner in which it is treated in international humanitarian law.

Mineral Waters of the World
Water is the most important liquid in the world. Without water, there would be no life. This source of life makes up about three quartes of the human body. MineralWaters.org is a non-profit consumer web site that offers information about and around bottled water. Over 2'500 brands from more than 100 countries are presented with their contents.

Rocket Science
Perchlorate and the Toxic Legacy of the Cold War -- Sources of drinking water for more than 7 million Californians and unknown millions of other Americans are contaminated with a chemical that disrupts child development and may cause thyroid cancer, but is unregulated by the state or federal government.

Three Hundred Citizen Groups Call on Secret World Bank Trade Court to Open Up Bechtel Case Against Bolivia: Case called a "Preview of the Free Trade of the Americas"
More than three hundred citizens groups from 41 countries presented a petition today to a World Bank-affiliated court, demanding that it allow public participation in a controversial case in which Bechtel Corporation is suing Bolivia for $25 million. (Petition and support letter available at: http://www.earthjustice.org/news/display.html?ID=435

Water, Water, Everywhere, But Owned by Someone Else
"Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink." The old familiar saying -- thought to have come from a shipwrecked sailor adrift on the open seas -- could take on an even more ominous tone during the coming decades, as the world wakes up to the fact that our growth is starting to outpace the supply of our most precious liquid resource.


Water Bottling Factory Control Panel

Who Owns Water?
As the World Summit on Sustainable Development draws closer, clear lines of contention are forming, particularly around the future of the world's freshwater resources. Government and corporate delegates to the September meeting will gather in the lavish hotels and convention facilities in the fabulously wealthy Johannesburg suburb that houses huge estates, English gardens and swimming pools. There, they will meet with World Bank and World Trade Organization officials to set the stage for the privatization of water.

Reports from Around the World
In countries around the world grassroots groups are working to improve access to clean and affordable water. In the developing world, more than 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water and 2.5 billion lack access to sanitation services. The result is that over 2 million people, mostly children, die annually due to preventable water-borne diseases. IMF and World Bank policies pushing privatization of water are exactly the wrong solution.

'The next world war will be over water'
For those of us who can turn on the faucet confident that there will be steady stream of clean water for bathing, drinking, cooking, washing dishes, the thought that the world could go dry seems incomprehensible. But the reality we face is sobering: water -- nature's most essential element -- is becoming dangerously scarce. Terri this section will also include the battles in the various states and around the world.

Who Owns Your Water?
Who's who in water privatization schemes?

Stop the Corporate Takeover of Our Water
Taking our common wealth and selling it
The greater villains are loose in our world today, literally thirsting to take things that are yours and mine—and this time they might make off with the greatest plunder of all: our water.

Monopolies on the Local Water Front
For most Americans opening a tap to receive fresh, clean water is as basic as a flush toilet. But the nation's water and wastewater infrastructures are aging, creating an opportunity for multinational corporations that have recognized the profit potential for buying up cash-strapped municipal utilities.

Liquid Gold?
Oil used to be called liquid gold. Not more than a week after I started this series on investing in Wood, Water and Air, articles began showing up all over the place about the shortage of all three

Concern over foreign ownership of key public utility aired in hearing
Wilma Davis was taken aback when she read about plans to sell her local water company to a multinational conglomerate based in Germany... "I just could not believe it, that we would let the most precious resource we have and let it be sold to a foreign company,''

The Biggest Pump Wins!
Bart Sipriano's well dried up four days after Ozarka started pumping massive amounts of water nearby. Under the state's archaic "rule of capture," the East Texan has no right to complain.

Deceptive Advertising
Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water was depicted as "nature's perfect beverage" which "begins as the pure snow and rain that falls on 12,000-foot Olancha Peak in the towering Sierra. In response to such extravagant advertising, the North Carolina Agriculture Department in ordered Crystal Geyser and seven other bottled waters, including the popular Naya and Poland Springs brands, taken from store shelves in the state. The agency claimed "false and deceptive labeling" saying companies actually drilled underground wells to pump water to the surface for bottling.

Bottled-water biz all wet, say critics
There is a growing national backlash against bottled water companies, especially market giant Perrier, by communities that fear local wells, wetlands and streams will be drained dry in the quest for corporate profits.

Perrier / Nestlé bottles water at 50 locations throughout the U.S.

States fear being drained by bottled-water giants
There is a growing national backlash against bottled water companies, especially market giant Perrier, by communities that fear local wells, wetlands and streams will be drained dry in the quest for corporate profits.

As bottled water sales rise, so does opposition to plants
Bottled water companies are facing some opposition in communities across the nation that fear local wells, wetlands and streams are being drained dry in the pursuit of corporate profits.

Is There Enough Groundwater?
In “Groundwater 101,” you learn that when you pump groundwater from a well, the groundwater levels in and around the well decline. This “drawdown” in the water levels is the driving force that brings groundwater to the well from the surrounding ground.

'The next world war will be over water'
For those of us who can turn on the faucet confident that there will be steady stream of clean water for bathing, drinking, cooking, washing dishes, the thought that the world could go dry seems incomprehensible. But the reality we face is sobering: water -- nature's most essential element -- is becoming dangerously scarce.

Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill You: Report
A new review highlights the dangers of drinking too much water. Previous cases of water toxicity have been noted in athletes who consume excessive amounts in order to avoid heat stroke. In addition, certain psychiatric patients may drink too much water in an attempt to wash away their sins, or flush out poisons they believe have entered their bodies.

MEDline Guide to Drinking Water
Everything you might want to know about water. Including, but not limited to, a guide to bottled Water ... Conditions/Aspects, Arsenic in water resources, and much more.

Water Does a Body Good
The more water you drink, the better your body functions. Water is the main ingredient in all cells and in all chemical reactions. All the work is done in the cells.

  • Water regulates your body temperature and makes it possible for us to stay outside during hot, humid Midwestern summers. Sweating is healthy; when you sweat, the water in your body evaporates on your skin, releasing excess heat and allowing your body to cool. The next time you head to the lake or pool, grab a bottle of water along with your beach towel.
  • Vital nutrients including calcium, potassium and magnesium can be found in water. We need calcium to form healthy bones and magnesium to produce energy.
  • Water is a natural appetite suppressant. It helps the body metabolize stored fat and works to keep muscles and skin toned.
  • Water helps your kidneys function properly. When they aren’t able to work to their capacity, your kidneys pass on the work to the liver. But your liver is supposed to metabolize fat into energy, and it doesn’t have enough time to do that if it’s working for your kidneys. This causes less fat to be metabolized and more to remain in the body. By increasing water intake, you can reduce the size of fat deposits in your body.
  • Sore joints? Try drinking more water; this lubricates the areas around your joints. Water also acts as a natural shock absorber for the eyes and spinal cord.
  • When you don’t drink enough water, your body does its best to hold on to every drop. That water is stored outside the cells, giving you swollen hands, feet and legs. If you give your body what it wants —plenty of water—the swelling will go away. Increasing your water intake can also cure water retention caused by excess salt. Water passed through the kidneys removes extra sodium from your body.


Bottled Water May Not Be Your Best Bet
Over half of Americans drink bottled water, spending 240-10,000 times more per gallon for bottled water than they do for tap water. Of 103 brands of bottled water sent to be tested at certified water-testing laboratories, one quarter of the samples contained chemical or microbiologic contaminants, including toluene, phthalates, and nitrates. Other statistically significant contaminants include arsenic, and samples from around the country contained coliform bacteria. One brand advertised as "pure glacier water" came from a public water supply, and another touted as "spring water" was pumped from a parking lot next to a hazardous waste site. In addition, phthalates from plastic water bottles can leach into the water when exposed to high temperatures and sunlight.

Perrier Group of America ... had revenues exceeding $1.6 BILLION last year in the US bottled water market.

Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?
Sales of bottled water in this country have exploded in recent years, largely as a result of a public perception of purity driven by advertisements and packaging labels featuring pristine glaciers and crystal-clear mountain springs. But bottled water sold in the United States is not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water, according to a four-year scientific study recently made public by NRDC.

Bottled Water for All?
U.S. households are water hogs. On average, each man, woman, and child uses an average of 100 gallons of tap water per day. In fact, the United States consumes more water than any other country—even ones that are equally well developed, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

What's so healthy about bottled water?
We see them everywhere-Evian, Vittel, Perrier etc, the ubiquitous bottles of water. Bottled water is a big time industry. Worldwide, the industry generates between $20 billion and $30 billion globally. The packaging of bottled water represents a major environmental concern. Every year 1.5 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water and toxic chemicals can be released during the manufacture and disposal of the bottles.

Spring Water vs. Borehole Wells
Well water bottlers have consumers believing there is no difference between water that is already flowing freely in nature and water that’s pumped out of the ground. But, geologists, chemists, microbiologists and even the Environmental Protection Agency say there is a BIG difference.

Why Spring Water?
There are way too many documented cases of companies "mining" for water and labeling it as natural spring water. Drilling holes in the ground constitutes tapping a source — just like drilling for oil, gas or coal.

Is Bottled Water Better?
The Thirst For Safe Water: A fascinating transcript from 1998
Over the last couple of months, Living on Earth has been exploring the problems confronting America's drinking water supply. We tried to visit water bottlers. They all said no. We began to wonder if water bottlers had something to hide?

Satellite quartet to track Earth's most precious resource
A successful launch next month of a nearly $1 billion satellite would mark the fourth spacecraft NASA has sent into orbit recently to follow the global movement of life's most precious resource: water.

Can You Drink It? 1995
Humans can go for a month without eating food, but see what happens if they are denied water for even a week. According to scientists, water is the single most important element in supporting human life.

Perrier to build third bottling plant in the US
Perrier Group of America has recently begun construction on a new bottled water plant in Hawkins, Texas.

Worldwater
The World's Water, a global clearinghouse for information on freshwater problems and solutions. Provides up-to-date water information, data, and Web connections for those interested in worldwide water issues.

The Griffin Letter

 

 

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