Water, Water Everywhere...
Most people don’t realize that only 10 percent of the world’s fresh water supply is used for homes. The remaining 80 percent is used by agriculture (70 percent) and industry (20 percent).The average American uses 150 gallons of water every day, yet those in developing countries can scarcely find five gallons. Of the six billion people on Earth, 1.1 billion don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water.1 Water-related disease kills more people than wars, and nearly half of the victims are children.2It’s estimated that between 500,000 and seven million people get sick each year from drinking contaminated tap water.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate the 51 “known” water contaminants.3 But those are just a drop in the bucket compared to the vast number of human-made chemicals finding their way into the public water supply. There are more than 116,000 human-made chemicals now detected inpublic water systems, according to William Marks, author of the bookWater Voices from Around the World.Even if your water seems plentiful, it may not be as pure as you’d like. And the water quality is getting worse as industries continue dumping their toxic sludge back into rivers and streams, all in the name of the almighty dollar. Even if you drink only purified water, you’re not immune. Many of water’s more volatile pollutants enter your body through your skin and lungs while you shower.
Water and Its Contaminants Are Circling the Globe
According to FLOW, the most common water contaminant is a chemical calledAtrazine. Atrazine is an herbicide manufactured by the Swiss company Syngenta. It has a number of terrible biological effects and has been completely banned in the EU – which is interesting, since that’s where it’s made. But the ban doesn’t stop the EU from selling 80 million pounds of it to the United States every year, where it’s sprayed on crops from coast to coast.Atrazine has been shown to “chemically castrate” frogs, feminizing the males and even causing them to grow ovaries. This demasculinization can diminish sperm counts in animals and humans, and has been linked to breast and prostate cancer. You don’t want this sprayed on your food – and certainly not 80 million pounds of it!The Earth has a water cycle, with weather systems and ocean currents dispersing and moving water, in its various forms, all around the planet. Whatever is dissolved in the water circles the globe as well... pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals likemercury, pesticides, etc.This water cycle has returned Atrazine to the EU, where it’s turning up in their rainwater. All sorts of pollutants are being found in remote locations, such as the arctic, far from their points of origin. Pharmaceutical drugs are turning up in fish and wildlife. For example, in Texas, toxicologists have discovered high levels of Prozac in the tissues of every fish they sampled. Clean water is becoming harder and harder to find, even in remote and “pristine” regions of our planet.
The Emergence of a Water Cartel
Traditionally, governments have delivered water to the public as a service. But over the last decade, with growing economic pressures and water shortages, water is turning into a commodity to be bought and sold. A few large multinational corporations have begun delivering water on a “for profit” basis and making big money, as a result.According to FLOW, the three largest players in the water industry are Suez, Vivendi, and Thames Water. In fact, water is now a $400 billion global industry – the third largest behind oil and electricity!4Unfortunately, when you make the shift to commercialization, the product goes to the highest bidder. And this means that millions of people who can’t pay the price go without. Water privatization has placed human health in peril. Bad water kills more people worldwide than anything else.