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Water issues

Protect Water - Join Water Allies
03-Sep-04
Water issues

"We, people of many cultures and colors from across the United States, have come together to say that secure and equitable access to clean water is a human right and must be protected for all generations and for all living things. We have come together, joined by the water which sustains us all, to learn from each other and support each other in our struggles to keep water and water services from being controlled by multinational corporations and other profit-seeking entities. We commit to continue working together in solidarity and mutual respect, to growing in ever-widening circles, and to joining with our brothers and sisters throughout the hemisphere and throughout the world. As Water Allies we are committed to working in a nonviolent manner to achieve justice for all peoples in the sustainable management, conservation and use of this most precious resource, our water."

Got Drought? Say Hello to the Water Profiteers!
05-Sep-02
Water issues

"I suppose that Homeland czar Tom Ridge is too busy ... to notice or care that dozens of American communities presently find themselves under assault by foreign powers with names like RWE, Suez, Vivendi and Perrier," writes Jim Hightower. "The water profiteers are seizing control by using weaselly politicians, campaign contributions, outright bribery, hordes of lobbyists, multimillion-dollar propaganda campaigns, NAFTA, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. An example of their reach can be found in the Water Investment Act moving through Congress, a generally worthy bill to provide funds for local cities to upgrade or expand their water systems. But industry lobbyists have tucked two little bombs into it, which remain in the House version: (1) a city cannot get federal financing unless it "has considered" privatizing its water system; and (2) private water corporations could get public subsidies for their water schemes."

Who Owns Water? (Hint: According to the WTO, It's Not You)
05-Sep-02
Water issues

"Until the past decade, the study of fresh water was left to highly specialized groups of experts," says The Nation in this in-depth report on the looming global freshwater crisis. Well, this report should be a wake-up call for all of us: "Quite simply, unless we dramatically change our ways, between one-half and two-thirds of humanity will be living with severe freshwater shortages within the next quarter-century... At the same time, governments are signing away their control over domestic water supplies to trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, its expected successor, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and the World Trade Organization... Already, corporations have started to sue governments in order to gain access to domestic water sources and, armed with the protection of these international trade agreements, are setting their sights on the commercialization of water." Gulp!

The Water War You Probably Never Heard About
05-Sep-02
Water issues

The water privatization crisis isn't really new, just unreported. Two years ago in Bolivia, the term "water war" became more than just a rhetorical device. "The army battled civilians in the streets on and off for three months, hundreds were arrested, a seventeen year-old boy was shot and killed, the government of Bolivia nearly collapsed. The issue was water. The spark was privatization. A private consortium, dominated by the Bechtel Corporation of San Francisco, had taken over Cochabamba's water system and raised water rates... Although a major American corporation was at the center of the conflict, not a single U.S. newspaper had a reporter on the scene." There was some coverage on the internet, but most Americans never even heard of Bolivia's water war until PBS aired "Leasing the Rain," a co-production of NOW with Bill Moyers and Frontline World. How can we heed these lessons if we don't even hear them?

Dianne Feinstein Condemns Enron-Style Water Scheme as Environmentally Disastrous
31-Aug-02
Water issues

The Cadiz project is an Enron-like scheme that will suck water out of a desert aquifer and sell it to a desperate California water district for a major profit, making a single man a multimillionaire. This NY Times article doesn't mention that Keith Brackpool stands to make $500 million off water he doesn't own, that the aquifer lies under one third of the Mojave National Preserve, that a similar pumping project near Owens Lake has caused chronic air pollution from dust, nor that Enron was poised to go into the water business out west just before getting busted. But Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) knows these nasty facts and is fighting the project - an uphill battle now that Gale Norton and Bush have stepped in. If they win, the Cadiz project will be just the start of a nightmare come true: water, the stuff of life, turned into a commodity folks like Lay and Brackpool can use like poker chips.

Move Over Ken Lay! Here Comes Keith Brackpool, Corporate Water Pirate
31-Aug-02
Water issues

The Cadiz Project in California is set to become the next Enron. Only this time, the commodity being wheeled and dealed is not California's heat, AC, and lights – it's the state's drinking water! Unlike the Bush- Lay relationship, (corporate criminals in cahoots), Cadiz baron Keith Brackpool deceived Gov. Gray Davis, manipulatively misrepresenting the project. Now Bush has stepped in to help Brackpool- a British investment banker, no less! Californians, now hip to the real scheme, are protesting big time. As Public Citizen reports: "This project has lots of environmental problems...like destruction of desert tortoise habitat and creation of dust bowls." Equally appalling, "It is ripping off the U.S. taxpayer by permitting private profits selling resources on and under public lands." Do Bush or Brackpool care? About like Ken Lay and Cheney care! We will be investigating rumored ties between Bush, Lay and Brackpool. Stay tuned!

 


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