We consider appropriate responses, in the wake of a tidal wave of negative news about water quality and pollution
Water is essential to all life and survival. Our bodies are unable to survive without it for more than 3 – 5 days. Yet reports of unacceptable levels of water pollution by industry, insufficient water quality regulation and oversight by governments, and inadequate infrastructure or inappropriate purification processes on the part of water utility companies abound. Lest you think that this is only occurring in developing countries, think again. The USA, is far from immune to these issues, with the likes of US environmental activist, Erin Brockovich still fighting the good fight for cleaner drinking water. At the heart of the majority of reports appears a common theme: corporate greed and corruption, something with which Ms Brokovitch is intimately acquainted.
Raising awareness about the issues is the precursor to ensuring a less polluted or contaminated water supply for a healthier future. There is valuable work being done by various groups (see also below), as well as high profile individuals like Erin Brokovitch.
It’s time for utility companies, industry and governments to be held accountable and to put people and the environment before profits.
An unpalatable tidal wave
Problems with water supply infrastructure, inadequate water purification and unregulated chemicals have been brought to the fore recently in Flint, Michigan, where people were expected to the drink foul, lead-contaminated, brown water that came out of their taps. There have been similar reports of polluted drinking water elsewhere in the USA recently. Last Summer saw the tragic discharge of millions of gallons of contaminated water from a disused Gold mine in Colorado, which is now polluting the lands of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. This was followed by the devastating collapse of a dam at an iron ore mine in Brazil. Then there are regular reports of contamination of waterways by glyphosate and toxic agricultural run-off including in the USA and in Europe. There are also very real problems with low level, chronic exposures to thousands of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), as well as residues from pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
Share this article widely to help others understand the perilous state of water supplies worldwide
Value, respect and don't waste the water resources around you, and encourage others to do the same
Eat organic, support organic farms and ethical and responsible businesses and industry
Remember, with everything you buy, you are making a stand for the kind of world you want e.g. avoid personal use of pesticides in your garden
Contact relevant local businesses and ask them about whether their business practices respect and preserve the local waterways and environment
Contact your political representatives and let them know how you feel, encouraging others to do the same
Find out about any campaign groups who are active locally, as well as nationally, and offer your support. There many non-government organisations doing important work around the world in this area. Some examples include:
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