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'A Water Emergency Threatens Every Corner of Our Country': New Analysis Shows 80% Spike in Utility Bills Over 8 Years

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/23/water-emergency-threatens-every-corner-our-country-new-analysis-shows-80-spike

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Perhaps it is better to stop reading about politics, stop reading about the collapse of civilization, stop reading about the destruction of Mother Earth… and just dedicate oneself to creating art and music and literature.

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I didn’t see any mention in the article of private companies taking over formally public water utilities. I know the argument over healthcare as a human right is now at the forefront, but WATER definitely is a human right and should be owned by the public.

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Interestingly, all but two of the cities have municipal owned water. This is probably “the chickens coming home to roost” much like state and municipal pensions. For decades, municipalities have stinted on maintenance (think Flint) and in meeting pollution standards. As a result,when it reaches crisis proportions, all of a sudden you have dramatic increases in costs.

In the late 90s there was a lot of discussion in the potable water treatment community of moving to a point-of-use-treatment-system (POUTS) plan. I told my naive colleagues that what this meant is that the public utilities would be abdicating their mandates to clean the water before distribution and put the burden of sanitation on the customer who would have no training in the matter. Naturally the customer would have to go to a private concern to get a POUTS. This privatization scheme did not offend many of my colleagues and I found that offensive. The tentacles are always probing.

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Access to clean affordable water should be a human right. I recall in Bolivia after community ownership of water was transferred to a foreign corporation many residents had their water cut off and water bills skyrocketing. So the Bolivians united, kicked the foreign owner out of the country and established ownership back to the people. This must happen in the US as well since corporations tend to monopolize every service and means of production away from families and communities. People have been forced out of the land, ranching, food production and distribution. Corporations are now moving to take over public water, public schools, public utilities power generation and distribution, national parks and forests, BLM lands, public healthcare, etc, etc…

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Two major concerns I have regarding water availability are pollution and privatization. Nestle has acquired rights to drinking water all over the globe. Here in Maine, we have an abundance of potable water. A few years ago, Nestle bought Poland Spring Water which originated in Maine. Now, truckloads of water have been leaving the state daily and Poland Spring is tapping aquifers in several towns, while I doubt that they are paying any significant amount to the state for that water. When water becomes scarce except through private companies, the price will inevitably rise to the point where shortages occur. And when life’s essential substance becomes unattainable to many people, we will see mass deaths and violent upheaval result.

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Not decrying the situation in the US but the headline could also be: “A water
emergency threatens every corner of our world”.

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Capitalism, fascism and racism are the core causes of human and environmental deaths and destruction. Capitalists are blind to everything else and only focused on their rising stock values, people and the planet be damned.

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Yes let Nestle dig it’s own grave in Maine. Power to the people!

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Note that all but two of the cities cited in in the study have their water systems owned by the city. These are not “corporate-owned” systems - they are city-owned ones. The problem is that Some of these cities are still using infrastructure that is more than 100 years old with decades of deferred maintenance, while trying to meet modern pollution standards. The result is, unfortunately, Flint.

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It is a balancing act for sure because I think many of us here would like to be informed on what is happening but yeah when the news is constant terrible news that we cannot control it might be best to take that frustration and channel it in more constructive means.

There is a clash between the concept of water as a human right and water as a commodity, like oil, etc, and the US has clearly weighed in as the biggest advocate for the commodification of water in the world. Youre right, anything that important should be owned by the public.

Natural gas is next- millions of Europeans cant afford to heat their homes. US had cheap energy because we didnt export our natural gas, but now we are. the shock of that has not hit yet but it will, soon.

So our next cold winter we may see similar problems. Millions of multiunit buildings in cities need energy upgrades but we can bet we’ll see a big push to replace them instead. Forcing poor people out of cities into rural areas with no public transportation.

~https://TNI.org is pushing for so called remunicipalisation. So they are a good place to find discussions of how communities are pushing to get back the rights to essential resources like water.

~https://www.citizen.org/wp-content/uploads/pc_gats_backgrounder_05-05.pdf
~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Agreement_on_Trade_in_Services

GATS_WaterHR_28Oct03.pdf
~http://www.ciel.org/Publications/GATS_WaterHR_28Oct03.pdf

Stealing our Water - Implications of GATS for Global Water Resources - gats_stealing_water.pdf
~https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/gats_stealing_water.pdf

Water in the WTO GATS - Ellen Gould
~http://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National_Office_Pubs/brief4_1.pdf

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There should be no corporate profits involved in a Public Water system. And ALL municipal water systems should be Publicly owned

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Drowning in the drought of a commons calamity

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This is the fruition of the Koch’s wet dream(actually, all the members of the Libertarian/Far Right Wing movements. From the Federalist Society to Mackinac Center(who ordered Rick Snyder’s takeover of Detroit, Flint, and Benton Harbor’s legally elected city governments)to the centuries old feudalism of the Virginia Dominion of the Old South, they want only a very few humans to live as rulers of the rest of us, who will be slaves and quite expendable. A sociopath named James McGill Buchanan, from a middle class Kentucky family had delusions of bringing back the Old South, found some fellow economists such as Milton Friedman and politicians like Ronald Reagan, and the Koch family…
Margaret Mead found that it took only 3% of a population to completely rechange it. Five percent of any population are sociopaths. Follow the Venn diagram, remembering that the US was founded as an oligarchy, and go out into Nature while you still can.I heard a young man in his late teens with a distinct Covid cough and sneezing spell today. It’s now attacking the young…

What they tell us to watch as the “News” is almost worthless to know whats really going on because its missing many reasons and many stories.

Big news organizations like the new york times are better in some respects but ABSOLUTELY USELESS in many others where they endeavor to never ever cover certtain important subjects.

People in some ways are better off never going to a US news site to read the news, unless they are prepared for the spin and attempt to find out the truth on some stories that always are spun.

“Clean water” is only a human right if you’re willing to go where the clean water is. You don’t have a right to require someone else to bring it to you.

Like social security and other benefits, it likely could be taken to pay a national debt

Simple answer for a simple mind.

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