[Market-farming] OT Thought Provoking (water)

Leigh Hauter lh at pressroom.com
Mon Jan 27 19:32:02 EST 2003

I have heard that besides running traditional farmers off from their 
land that the multinationals also received guarantees of 'impossible' 
quantities of water. Do you know anything about this?

Well, since my two inch blue layflat pipe coming down from the spring 
on top of the mountain froze this morning and I spent all day 
replacing it/ getting soaked, here are my thoughts on water.

This is a major issue everywhere, including here in the US.  Recently 
a subsidiary of a French water company (I think it was Suez) tried to 
buy New Orleans water system.  The reason why?  They sure didn't 
think they could make a profit off of NO's crumbling water system, 
what they did want was control of the Mississippi for future private 
water sales.

This is happening throughout the world, mostly being led by French 
transnationals.  As many of you know in your area where the aquifer 
is being pumped dry, this is happening in other counties too. 
China's big agriculture boom is being  supplied with non renewable 
water.  Did you know that China is about to become the largest 
producer of hogs in the world with an eye on major exports to the US? 
And they are putting their hog factories in land that is almost 
desert, pumping water from an ancient aquifer.  Not very sustainable 
there.  But then, a lot of US farming practices are just as guilty.

One view that I have heard about global trade and farming is that 
ultimately when we grow fruits and vegetables for overseas markets 
what we are really doing is exporting water.

People already pay more money for potable water than they pay for 
gas.  And if we are about to spend billions of dollars on a war to 
control an oil field which contains 25% of the worlds known reserves, 
what will we be doing about water in the future?  (one view of what 
is happening in Israel/Palestine is that it isn't a religious/ethnic 
fight at all but a fight for water.  Israel is now getting almost 2/3 
of its water from Palestinian land).

And Allan is right about the transnationals that moved to Mexico 
getting the rights to massive amounts of water.  Water that peasants 
and family farmers were using.  This is happening everywhere,  all 
over South America and Africa.

Of course if you want more information on this you can go to my 
wife's website  www.citizen.org and look under Critical Mass (the 
group she runs).

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