Sunday, March 22, 2009

Keep the Faith - In Your Public Water System

Here is an amazing news item, almost as sizzling as “Man Bites Dog!”

“For $1.88 a year in London [City of London, Ontario Canada], you can drink the eight the glasses of water a day nutritionists say you need, right from the tap. Instead, more and more Londoners are chugging bottled water from vending machines that costs them about $2,190 a year -- less, if they buy in bulk at a big-box store.” “The cost of bottled water” Fri, March 20, 20009 The London Free Press.

Countless people have lost faith in our public water supplies so the bottling water industries are raking in our money for our water. That’s a bit odd, when you think it through. Sure, questions have arisen about water quality and pollution: check out these recent items I posted in this week’s Newslinks: House Approves Funding for Clean Water, Sanitation Upgrades and this report WATER QUALITY OF THE FINGER LAKES, NEW YORK: 2005 – 2008.

But, there’s lots of water around and we have the money to clean it up if there’s a water quality problem, so why would we pay for water? What would cause people to lose faith in a resource so fundamental and plentiful in our area as water? For, essentially, our water is free. Yes, we pay a bit for public water; we pay municipal taxes on the energy, purification, and infrastructure to deliver us our water, but we don’t pay for the actual water itself, like we would pay for a hamburger.

So, why buy your water that comes in a plastic container made from a polluting energy source, costs you more than a bag of potato chips, that cannot be deposited and if it doesn’t land in a landfill gets blown about your neighborhood and, at the end of the day, probably came from another community’s tap water anyway? Doesn’t it strike you that something is wrong here? You get that sort of dirty feeling you get when you find out your hard-earned pay in the form of a bailout has just paid for a hotshot’s ludicrous bonus.

I’m going to avoid all usual arguments as to why you should stop drinking bottled water because you have probably heard them and I’ll just bore you. If you haven’t heard about the privatization argument, about the ungodly amount of plastic bottles going into our landfills argument, you can go here: Bottled Water - Corporate Water Privatization - Sierra Club

My point is this: The Great Recession is going to force us to make radical changes because our money—our ‘congealed energy’—is now more dear to us. By necessity, we are going to stop doing wasteful things—that’s what recessions do. One simple, yet profound change we can make is to cease the silly devotion to bottled water and embrace our public water systems. It will save you a lot of precious cash in a time when that is critical. It will also force your community to stay focused on the absolute right all of us have to free and clean water.
Think about how things work in this world: If you have lost faith in your public water system, contact your elected official and get your water cleaned. If you keep allowing the bottled water industry to grow with your cash, you will lose that right.

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