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Privatization of Water as an Owned Commodity Rather Than a Universal Human Right
By Joachim Hagopian, April 10, 2014
There is no greater natural resource on this earth than water. As the sustenance of all life, water keeps every living and breathing organism, every plant, every animal and every human being on this planet alive. In the same way that without air to breathe, without water we humans cannot sustain life for more than a few days.
Due to global warming, widespread drought and increasingly polluted water systems, the projected availability of clean freshwater in years to come to meet the rising demands of a growing global population is among the most daunting human challenges of this century. By 2015 a 17% increase in global water demand is projected just for increasing agriculturally produced food. By the same year 2025, the growing global population will increase water consumption needs by a whopping 40%. While oil played the keenly critical role during the twentieth century, water is being deemed the most valued precious natural resource of the twenty-first century.
As such, several years ago the United Nations declared access to clean drinking water a universal human right. Conversely, willfully denying it is considered a serious human rights violation that denies life itself. And any calculated decision denying people their universal right to life is nothing short of a murderous, shameful crime against humanity.
Despite the human air pollution that has long been dirtying our lungs, while also causing global warming, climate change and increasing catastrophic natural disasters, not to mention the growing global health hazard for us humans, the very thought of making clean air a precious commodity that can opportunistically be packaged and sold by the same corporations that have been ruining our air, that very notion would instantly be criticized, scorned and ridiculed.
Yet that is exactly what has been happening for the last thirty years now all over this planet with the earth’s preciously dwindling freshwater drinking supply. The World Bank has been financing global privatization of the earth’s water supply making clean water that is so necessary for survival an unaffordable private commodity for the poorest people on earth to even access. They are literally dying of thirst and disease because of greedy psychopathic corporate profiteers once again placing theft and greed over human welfare and life itself.
But then that is the globalist agenda – thinning the human herd down from near seven billion currently to as low as just half a billion. That means 13 out of 14 of us alive today according to their diabolical oligarch plan simply must die within the next few years. And what better way to rapidly kill off the human population than taking full ownership and control over the earth’s limited diminishing water supply.
More people on this planet are dying presently from waterborne disease from dirty water than are dying from all wars and violence worldwide combined. Every hour 240 babies die from unsafe water. 1.5 million children under five years of age die every year from cholera and typhoid fever due to unsanitary water conditions. These incredibly sad, alarming facts illustrate just how significant and critical a clean freshwater supply is to staying alive on this planet. Taking control over the earth’s clean water supply is achieved by turning water into a privately owned commodity that only the largest corporations and banks control. Simply making water unaffordable and thereby inaccessible to the poorest people on the planet is one extremely effective, albeit most sinister way to reduce the so called overpopulation problem.
Three primary ways that the human population decreases significantly every year is death caused by starvation and malnutrition (including lack of drinkable water) at between seven to eight millionpeople, diseases that kill between two to three million (with mounting threats of infectious diseases becoming pandemics) and upwards of near a half million dying each year from war.
Behind closed doors oligarchic globalists periodically meet and discuss what is best for humanity and the planet according to them and their megalomaniacal self-interests. For many years now this all important topic of water privatization and control as a convenient and most effective means of addressing the overpopulation problem has been regularly tabled for discussion… along with related topics like geo-engineering, GMO’s, vaccines, overuse of antibiotics, planned wars over oil and water, devising global policies designed to increase political destabilization, poverty and undermine economies, nuclear radiation and a host of other means for culling the human population.
Time Magazine reported how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been financing research at the University of North Carolina among 78 others to develop ultrasound infertility contraception techniques to sterilize male sperm. At a 2010 TED conference Bill Gates spoke openly of depopulating the total of 6.8 billion people living on earth by up to “10 to 15%” using both of his heavily funded vaccine and contraception programs that will render much of the global population infertile. Meanwhile, billionaire Ted Turner went even further, offering his public opinion to decrease the world population by 70% down to “two billion.” It too is on tape.
Calls to begin sterilizing the human population began surfacing back in the mid-1970’s with Henry Kissinger as former Secretary of State and high ranking Bilderberg member in his declassified National Security Council document (1974) entitled “The Implications of World-wide PopulationGrowth on the Security and External Interests of the United States.” This document emphasized highest priority given to implementing birth control programs targeting thirteen Third World nations mostly in South America. Extraordinary resources were allocated through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) pushing the carrot stick of additional financial aid to countries willing to enact sterilization and depopulation programs.
More overt evidence of the callous contempt that globalist oligarchs have toward us 99%-ers is captured in a statement written by Prince Phillip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband in the forward of his book, “I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus” to reduce the human population. It seems readily discernable that an explicit globalist agenda for a New World Order openly propagated with repeated references by President Goerge Bush senior includes depopulation through various means, water control through privatization just one of many in the power elite’s arsenal.
Humans have been dying from lack of clean water for a long time now and will only continue dying at an even greater frequency if the plan to privatize water continues to unfold unchecked and without opposition. Fortunately forces have been mobilizing to combat water privatization. Just last week on the heels of the World Bank annual convening in Washington DC for several days ofconferencing, an international coalition of anti-privatization water rights groups from India and America sent a formal message calling on the World Bank to end its destructive practice of privatizing water around the world under the guise of developmental progress. The Bank’s DC meetings had been touting lies and disinformation in an attempt to paint a glowing report showcasing the so called efficacy and successes that turning water rights over to the private sector have accomplished in recent years. The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) as the planet’s largest funding source for water privatization provides loans and financing to Third World nations for private water management companies to take charge of municipal, regional and national water rights.
The director of a global advocacy group called Corporate Accountability International, Shayda Naficy, pointed out that 75% of expenses for running a water utility company should go to infrastructure. In nation after nation private companies have placed the priority of making a profit over the need to invest in necessary infrastructure to connect and adequately service water customers. In efforts to maximize cost efficiency as well as profits, water prices invariably go up and fast become out of reach for poorest customers. Cutting off the water supply to thousands of low income families unable to pay for their rising costs has become the all too frequent inevitable result. The World Bank’s 34 percent failure rate for all private water and sewerage contracts between 2000 and 2010 far surpasses its single digit failure rates in the telecommunications, energy and transportation industries.
Critics maintain that the public sector is far more accountable to its public constituents than private sector businesses that only answer to its board of directors to show sufficient profits. Corruption becomes commonplace. Additionally, a conflict of interest exists when the IFC acts as both a money lender and consultant to foreign municipalities in assigning no bid contracts to favored private water utility companies.
To best illustrate typical scenarios where water privatization is either not working or already proved a failure deserve close examination. The good news is that in recent years people in various parts of the world have been mobilizing successful efforts and campaigns to stop water privatization in their own backyards. Presently in a number of regions in India, citizens are banding together to confront and fight the myriad of problems with water privatization in their country.
Recently in Nagpur, central India’s largest city where the country’s first municipal partnership with a private utility company is being played out, major tensions have erupted. Three years ago the city signed a 25-year contract with Veolia Water to supply the city of 2.7 million residents with 24 hour-7-days a week water service. Instead unforeseen delays driving up prices manyfold along with unfair water distribution and frequent service breakdowns have led to widespread angry protests in the streets and charges of corruption. City officials point to a series of serious contract violations. Again cutting corners by refusing to invest in the needed infrastructure appears to be the primary cause for this failed project. The Corporate Accountability International’s 2012 report called “Shutting the Spigot on Private Water: The Case for the World Bank to Divest” cites a number of similar cases where privatization has proven ineffective.
Bold and empowered citizens in Bolivia in the year 2000 made headlines around the globe when they were victorious in kicking out privatized water there in the form of the Bechtel, the fifth largest private corporation on the planet. Impassioned protestors in Bolivia’s third-largest city managed to oppose Bechtel’s increasing prices and demanded that the company abandon its hold on their city’s municipal water supply, eventually driving the powerful scandalous giant out of the country. Though big business efforts to buy and control water rights in many Latin American nations have each had their turn in nations like Equator and Brazil, only Chile water services are privatized. Ultimately local residents virtually everywhere privatization has attempted to take hold has been met with such strong resistance from consumers who realize their private utility company has failed miserably in delivering quality service at affordable prices.
The story is always the same. That is why advocacy groups like Corporate Accountability International is proactively working toward educating governments and citizens worldwide to ensure water remains under the public domain. The exhaustive and expensive legal process of ending long term contracts and successfully removing privatized foreign corporations once established in a city, state or country is formidable. It is obviously in the best interests of people around the world to ensure privatization of their water supply never gets a local foothold in the first place.
Nestlé corporation’s marketing campaign targeted wealthy Pakistanis in Lahore, and its brand of bottled water ‘Pure Life’ became a status symbol for the rich. To bottle its product, Nestlé busily dried up local underground springs that subsequently caused the village poor unable to buy the bottled water stolen from their springs to end up consuming contaminated water. Nestlé went on to extracting water from two deep wells in Bhati Dilwan village, forcing them to turn to bottled water. A similar story emerged from Nigeria where a single bottled water exceeds the average daily income of a Nigerian citizen. Nestlé is notorious for draining local water supplies used to bottle its water brands, then charge unaffordable prices to the local population whose clean water supply was stolen from them.
Corporate Watch released a report exposing some of the unethical and illegal practices that Nestlé has long been committing around the globe, completely disregarding public health concerns while destroying natural environments to ensure huge annual profits of $35 billion just from water bottle sales alone. In Brazil’s Serra da Mantiqueira region where the groundwater is rich in mineral content containing medicinal properties, over-pumping has depleted its valuable water resources and caused permanent damage to the natural environment. and long-term damage.
Nestlé has also allegedly been involved in human trafficking of child slave labor. A BBC investigative report claimed that “hundreds of thousands of children in Mali, Burkina Faso and Togo were being purchased from their destitute parents and shipped to the Ivory Coast to be sold as slaves to cocoa farms.” Yet Nestlé likely bought the cocoa from the Ivory Coast and Ghana knowing it was produced using child slaves.
Finally, Nestlé owns or leases fifty spring sites throughout America. Nestlé controls a third of the domestic market for bottled water in the US. The company is notorious for unlawful extraction of spring water while engaging in price-gouging and reeking havoc in numerous communities. An example of the trouble Nestlé typically causes is Colorado where 80% of the citizens of Aurora were opposed to Nestlé’s presence, fully aware of the company’s terrible reputation for damaging communities and natural environments. Yet the city council voted in favor 7 to 4 to let the devastation begin and over the next decade Nestlé extracted 650 million gallons of precious Arkansas River valley water that went into its Arrowhead Springs brand of bottled water. For years the embattled townspeople of Aurora fought to rid the company predator from destroying their precious aquifers. Additionally, the plastic non-biodegradable bottles are major pollutants that stay toxically intact for a full millennium.
The cumulative grave effects of privatizing water as a global commodity are appalling. The underprivileged residents of Jakarta, Manila and Nairobi pay 5 to 10 times more for water than those living in high-income areas of those same cities. People living in the Third World slums even pay more for water than upscale New Yorkers and Londoners. This kind of unfairness and inequity is obscene. Women in places in Africa where privatized water is beyond their limit walk miles to obtain dirty water from rivers and then too often die along with their children from contamination and disease. Asian farmers are losing their livelihoods if they are unable to receive state funded irrigation. The human suffering caused globally by wealthy private corporations from North America and Europe exploiting people from Third World nations for pure profit is nothing less than pure psychopathic evil.
Taking on global privatization of water for the well being and greater good of the people is but an example of the monumental work that needs to be done. Only if informed, caring and committed human beings collectively come together worldwide to take a global stand against this gravest of life and death issues facing humanity can this oligarch agenda be stopped dead in its tracks. As global human rights activists it is up to us to end the global corporate malevolence and malfeasance from further damaging and afflicting our planet like never before. With the recent formal finding that Americans no longer live in a democracy but an oligarchy, as if we did not already painfully know, it becomes even more “formally” imperative now that we as ordinary citizens of the world take the vested interest in preserving life on our only planet before it becomes too late. It is high time we take back our planet once and for all from the oligarchic corporatocracy bent on insidiously making our earthly home increasingly uninhabitable for all life forms.
Mass extinction of plant and animal species that have thrived on this planet for millions of years is silently, invisibly taking place every single day right before our eyes. At ever-perilous stake now is our own human species as well as all living species inhabiting this earth, suffering at the hands of national governments that have corruptly co-opted with the banking cabal-owned transnational corporations and for too many decades been systematically destroying the richly diverse natural ecosystems of all earthly life forms on an unprecedented scale.
Since governmental co-opting with global fortune 500 corporations has been polluting and poisoning the earth’s skies, its waters, food sources and seeds for so long, global theft and destruction has us humans and all life forms teetering now on the brink of complete self-annihilation and extinction, human-induced for the first time on a massive never before seen scale. It is time to hold the oligarchy in the form of corporations responsible for all the damage they have reeked on this earth. No more grotesque “Abama-nations” of bank and Wall Street bailouts at taxpayer expense. Since the 99% in debt to the hilt have been squeezed dry, while the 1% have made this planet nearly unlivable as the only ones filthily richly profiting from their plundering this earth, the transnationals are the sole entities with the financial capital and means to clean up the very mess they created. It is only fair then that after an entire century of mucking the planet up at our expense, that they now need to finally be held accountable for repairing the destruction they directly caused and obscenely profited from.
Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former Army officer. His written manuscript based on his military experience examines leadership and national security issues and can be consulted at http://www.redredsea.net/westpointhagopian/. After the military, Joachim earned a masters degree in psychology and became a licensed therapist working in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now focuses on writing