WATER: AMERICA’S LOOMING CRISIS
At a whopping 36 million on its way to 56 million people in the next 30 years, California leads the nation as the site of the next water crisis. In Arizona, it’s so hot and dry, a man can’t spit on a 110 degree summer day. Like lemmings jumping over a cliff, Colorado follows as it doubles its population by four million people at mid century.
In a recent documentary, "THIRST," by Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow, the filmmakers explain how scarce supplies will cause water costs to rival oil prices as global corporations take over public resources.
Doubtful, you say? It’s already happening in Sandy Valley, Calif., where residents contest Vidler Water Company over water rights. In Colorado, already under restrictions from several drought years, knowledgeable Front Range residents wonder where future generations will find water as the state doubles its population from four to eight million in 50 years. Arizona draws water from underground aquifers as if there’s no tomorrow. That ‘Hot Climate State’ expects a doubling in population by mid-century.
On the international scene, a full 35 percent of people on the planet do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. If you at the current 6.2 billion humans, and then see the projection for world population reaching as high as 9.8 billion by 2050, you may grasp that humanity explodes into an intensifying crisis.
Communities throughout the U.S. may face international corporations taking over their local water supplies within the next five to 10 years. "Once they get hold of the water, be prepared to pay gas prices," Dean Cofer, a Sacramento engineer, said in the documentary. The producers traveled to three continents to make the documentary that asks if water is a public right or is ripe for commercial profit. They concluded that privatization of public services is an alarming trend that now includes water, as urban developments demand more reliable supplies.
So, whether you live in Utah, Texas or Arizona, a water crisis stands looming and "dry" in your future. It’s already creeping into the crisis stage for California and Colorado. "People take water for granted until the supply is threatened," the filmmakers said. "Then it is a life and death issue." Vidler Water Company searched for water in Sandy Valley four years ago. Vidler hopes to move water from rural and agricultural areas to urban developments throughout the West. In Nevada, Vidler’s sister company, PICO, is the state’s largest private landowner. "At what point does population and our need to grow crops and feed animals exceed water availability?" one resident asked. "It’s not like we can make it rain by doing a little dance."
Sandy Valley residents mounted a bitter fight against Vidler to protect their water rights, just as Stockton, Calif., residents opposed OMI-Thames Water, a German-based corporation, from partnering with the city to deliver water.
"They are going to go where they can make the most money," filmmaker Snitow said, "then suck the groundwater out of the entire environment. Water is up for grabs in the United States for the first time in a century. Water is one thing people are willing to get active about."
The film documented a story on the other side of the planet in Rajasthan, India, where a modern-day Gandhi leads a poor people’s movement for water conservation. That crisis includes 1.1 billion people, which is an irreversible crisis with unsolvable problems. At some point involving population, there is no more water and no way to provide it for such a massive society.
What does this water crisis mean for America? Will we experience the same shortages as India, China at 1.3 billion or Bangladesh with 129 million in a landmass the size of Ohio? Do we explode our population until we face water shortages because we have used up available sources? What happens when the aquifers dry up in Arizona? It takes hundreds of years to replenish those underground lakes. How do we force more rain and snow out of the clouds in Colorado to increase the Colorado River flow? At what point do we work in harmony with nature instead of overwhelming her?
Colorado Governor Bill Owens wants to build more dams to catch more water as a short-term solution. However, by doubling his state’s population, he simply doubles the inevitable crisis 50 years from now when rain and snowfall do not double. His Third World approach and 20th century thinking for solving the dilemma makes a rational thinking person’s head hurt.
"THIRST" concludes with suggestions for worldwide conservation efforts and public discussion on how to work for plentiful water. However, as India grows by an estimated eight million annually, nowhere does the film discuss population stabilization as a problem-solving method. What good are solutions that neglect the core crisis: overpopulation?
Albert Einstein said, "The problems in the world today are so enormous that they cannot be solved with the level of thinking that created them."
We must step away from old thinking. After having seen what is happening in the Third World—where population has created unsolvable problems—we must exit from traditional paradigm thinking in America and move toward solutions that will ensure our children’s future. Old ways of thinking or traditional solutions will not solve our water crisis. Stabilizing population is the only viable answer to America’s and the world water crisis. Otherwise, we'll all be dying of thirst.
Review by Mary Manning Las Vegas Sun
Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents in the past 26 years.
He has written hundreds of articles (regularly) for 17 national and 2 international magazines. He has had hundreds of editorials published in top national newspapers including the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post, Albany Herald and Christian Science Monitor.
His first book, "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS" by Falcon Press is available nationwide. His second book "STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE" by the Brookfield Reader published in January 2002. His bicycle books include "BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD."
His latest book. ‘IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION—DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.’
Frosty Wooldridge has guest lectured at Cornell University, teaching creative writing workshops, magazine writing at Michigan State University, and has presented environmental science lectures at the University of Colorado, University of Denver and Regis University. He also lectures on "Religion and Ethics" at Front Range College in Colorado.
At 10,000 illegals per night with their children crossing unchecked and unscreened for diseases, they invade our schools, communities, churches and restaurant food supply.