WATER STOLEN – Mexico quietly hands its water supply over to transnationals | Green Left Weekly



Mexico quietly hands its water supply over to transnationals

While many in Mexico are distracted by World Cup matches and the upcoming presidential elections, something big and strange has been going on under the radar.

Earlier this month, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed 10 decrees that essentially give transnationals like Coca-Cola and mining companies even greater access to the country’s water supply.

But there was little in the news about it. The media framed the measures as “guaranteeing water (supplies) for the next 50 years”. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) also got behind the decrees, under the pretence that they protect the environment.

After academics and water rights activists analysed the legal content of what had been passed and declared their opposition, the WWF again defended the measures. It claimed the “water reserves don’t represent in any way the privatisation of a resource, nor the extinguishing of any right to use water. Rather, [the decrees] clearly establish volumes of water that should be intact for biodiversity.”

WWF greenwashing

But the WWF is not impartial in Mexico, given its alliance with Mexico’s top billionaire Carlos Slim. Author Wilfried Huismann denounced the WWF saying it has been “selling its soul” and “greenwashing” business operations for companies such as Coca-Cola, Shell, Monsanto, HSBC, Cargill, BP, Alcoa and Marine Harvest.

“WWF is a willing service provider to the giants of the food and energy sectors, supplying industry with a green, progressive image … On the one hand it protects the forest; on the other it helps corporations lay claim to land not previously in their grasp. WWF helps sell the idea of voluntary resettlement to indigenous peoples,” said Huismann.

An analysis by Water for All, a Mexican grassroots organisation that campaigns for water rights, found that the recent decrees allow the government to guarantee water for mining, petroleum and private companies, at the expense of rural workers, indigenous groups and urban communities. The decrees lift a prohibition on extracting water from about 300 catchment areas.

They also declare that any water rights that have not been renewed are now invalid – meaning 50,000 towns, common land holders and communities, not realising they had to renew their right to access the water on their own land, have lost that right.

Furthermore, for the next 50 years, some states will be in charge of distributing water for public urban use through concessions. As seen in Puebla already, these concessions are essentially a privatisation of water, putting its management into the hands of corporations through a bidding process.

The Puebla government was the first state to successfully award a 60-year deal to a consortium to manage the local water. That consortium is run by corrupt business owners and money launderers — and as a result of the privatisation we have seen our water bills rise to 13 times what nearby states pay.

The company, Waters of Puebla, surprises residents with random water bill debts; refuses to fix broken connections while still charging water rates; restricts water access to some suburbs, seeing them go without water for months; and limits water to most poorer areas to just 60 minutes a week, while providing unlimited supply to wealthier suburbs and businesses such as Walmart.

In response to the WWF’s claim that the decrees have environmental goals, Water for All pointed out that the water the decrees reserve for conservation is expressed in millions of cubic metres a year, but “protecting rivers, catchment areas and their ecosystems depends more on regulating the water flow”.


The decrees also come in a context of expanding “megaprojects” in the country. Huge construction, energy and mining projects are carried out at the expense of rural and indigenous communities, and the environment.

With the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, extractive industries took off in Mexico. Mexican researchers have warned that 70% of the country’s rivers are already “seriously contaminated” by extractive industry. Indigenous and rural communities suffer, as their only water sources are flooded with toxic chemicals. Already, of the 731 drainage basins, 104 are undersupplied due to overuse.

In response to Water for All’s analysis, Mexico’s private media has published several articles calling the claims of privatisation “fake news”. “The privatisation of water is false,” stated one article, while another was headlined “Peña Nieto privatising the water is more fake news”.

The coverage seems to be a clean-up campaign by the private media to quickly reframe the conversation.

Ultimately, none of these articles dispute that the decrees were passed; instead they discuss whether it is correct to label the removal of prohibitions and the concessions to private companies as “privatisation”.

The timing of the decrees is no coincidence. Left-wing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (commonly referred to as AMLO) is highly likely to win the July 1 presidential election, but he will not be sworn in until December 1. That gives the national and state governments a few months to award irreversible decades-long contracts and permits to corporations.

[Tamara Pearson has been an activist and journalist for 17 years, writing and fighting from Australia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and now Mexico. She blogs at Resistance Words, and is the author of The Butterfly Prison.]


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TOXIC WATER ALERT: Public water in Washington, D.C., was declared unsafe to drink; warnings issued to the public – NaturalNews.com

TOXIC WATER ALERT:  Public water in Washington, D.C., was declared unsafe to drink; warnings issued to the public –NaturalNews.com

Posted on StopTheCrime.net

Public water in Washington, D.C., was declared unsafe to drink; warnings issued to the public 7/17/18

Image: Public water in Washington, D.C., was declared unsafe to drink; warnings issued to the public

(Natural News) Many Washington, D.C., residents spent the weekend under a boil water advisory due to a contamination risk. On Friday, DC Water began advising tens of thousands of homes and businesses across a big area of Northeast and Northwest D.C. to boil their tap water before drinking or cooking with it.

Around 34,000 people were affected by the problem initially, although the actual number could be much higher because, for example, all of the residents in an apartment complex are often counted as just one customer.

The issue stemmed from a problem with the city’s water system that allowed contaminants to get into the water in the affected areas. The source was an open valve at the Bryant Street pumping station, which is situated to the east of Howard University.

After detecting a drop in water pressure at around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday evening, the emergency alert was issued at 4:35 a.m. on Friday morning. The area covered by the boil water advisory was reduced just after noon on Friday. However, a new area of land near the border with Maryland was added to the advisory.

Experts weren’t initially sure if any water had been contaminated, but they put the advisory in place as a precaution. Although the water was safe to use for bathing, customers were advised to use boiled or bottled water for purposes such as preparing food, feeding pets, drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and preparing baby formula.Those who accidentally ingested the water need to look out for digestive issues. One area out of 13 tested positive for contamination with total coliform bacteria, but it has since been cleared. Washington, D.C., officials also closed all of the pools, water fountains and spray parks in the areas affected, despite temperatures reaching into the 80s. Bottled water was delivered to those living in area homeless shelters.

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Was the boil water advisory handled poorly by authorities?

Some residents were outraged that they only learned about the problem through the news and social media instead of being informed directly by the government or DC Water. The general manager of DC Water, David Gadis, insisted that the utility did everything it could to reach customers using methods like email and robo calls.

Washington, D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency warned residents of the advisory through Twitter and its Alert DC system. However, only those who sign up for these alerts will receive them, so many people simply didn’t get the word that their water was unfit for consumption.

The alert was lifted on Sunday, but residents were warned to run cold water through the taps for 10 minutes before getting back to their usual water usage.

Cities across America covering up crumbling water infrastructure instead of fixing it

Although this problem was reportedly caused by a valve issue, crumbling infrastructure in aging water delivery systems remains a huge problem throughout the nation. When water passes through corroding iron pipes, it can become contaminated with rust. These pipes can also rupture, allowing diseases and pollutants from the ground to get inside the water supply. Many waterborne disease outbreaks can be attributed to distribution system problems.

Across the nation, municipalities spend in excess of $50 million every year to bring residents “clean” drinking water. However, some experts say there is little point in cleaning up water but then delivering it to people using dirty pipes. The cost of replacing aging pipelines around the country in the decades to come could cost water utility companies hundreds of billions of dollars.

This is why people who care about their health avoid drinking tap water, regardless of how clean their municipality says it is. Aging infrastructure, the addition of fluoride, and possible contamination are just some of the issues that are driving people to increasingly turn to gravity water filters so they can feel confident that the water they are drinking is safe and clean.

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USA, Inc. WATER – Controlled by Goldman Sachs, General Electric and World Resources Institute . . .



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WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow)

The American West faces serious water challenges. Wide-spread drought, increased populations, aging infrastructure, and environmental requirements all strain existing water and hydropower resources. Adequate and safe water supplies are fundamental to the health, economy, and security of the country. Through WaterSMART, Reclamation will continue to work cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts.


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Americans are conserving water like never before, according to the latest federal data – The Washington Post


Americans are conserving water like never before, according to the latest federal data

Americans are conserving water in their homes like never before, according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report released this month.

In per capita terms, domestic water use has plummeted from 112 gallons per day in 1980 to just 82 gallons in 2015, a 27 percent decrease. Take 30 gallon-sized milk jugs, fill them up with water and set them aside — that’s how much water you’re saving, every day, relative to the average American in 1980. For a typical family of four that means about a half-ton of water saved, or eight cubic feet, every single day relative to 1980.

For the purposes of the USGS data, domestic water use encompasses everything we do with water at home. “Common indoor water uses are drinking, food preparation, washing clothes and dishes, bathing, and flushing toilets,” the report explains. “Common outdoor uses are watering lawns and gardens or maintaining pools, ponds, or other landscape features in a domestic environment.”

The report credits a number of federal policy interventions with reducing home water use. The National Energy Policy Act of 1992 is a big one. It established efficiency standards for toilets (the now ubiquitous 1.6 gallons per flush), bathroom faucets (2.2 gallons per minute at 60 psi) and shower heads (2.5 gallons per minute at 80 psi). The legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. Further amendments to the bill, passed in 2005, improved efficiencies for water-using appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines.

The EPA estimates that 70 percent of our total home water consumption happens indoors, with the remainder going to outdoor uses. But these numbers vary considerably by region, with households in arid Western states devoting 50 percent or more of their annual water budget to maintaining lawns and landscaping. As a result, per capita domestic water use varies greatly at the state level, ranging from 35 gallons per day in Connecticut to 184 gallons in Idaho.

It’s worth pointing out that domestic water use accounts for just a tiny fraction of overall American water consumption, on the order of about 1 percent. Thermoelectric power (e.g., steam-driven electric turbines) accounts for 41 percent of all water use, while irrigation for crops eats up another 37 percent.

As part of its report, the USGS published this nifty map, breaking down the different water use categories at the county level.

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Day Zero approaches as Cape Town’s water runs out

Day Zero approaches as Cape Town’s water runs out

Cape Town – the South African city of 3.7 million people – is on the verge of running out of water. Day Zero is the day the taps will get turned off.  CLICK ABOVE FOR FULL ARTICLE

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BREAKING – WATER WARS: MOUNTAIN HOUSE, California – OUT OF WATER in DAYS? and a UN AGENDA 21 Smart Growth Community – a census designated place

MOUNTAIN HOUSE, California – OUT OF WATER in DAYS?  and a UN AGENDA 21 Smart Growth Community – a census designated place . . .  and More
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