Privatizing water shortsighted

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, July 29, 2015

To the editor,

In light of the majority on our Board of Commissioner’s plans to throw the baby (Green River water source) out with the bathtub (Lake Adger), I am sending these excerpts from The Nation, Aug. 3-10, 2015 issue: The California Drought Is Just the Beginning of Our National Water Emergency.

“The United Nations reports that we have 15 years to avert a full-blown water crisis and that, by 2030, demand for water will outstrip supply by 40 percent. We need a new ethic that puts water and its protection at the center of all of the laws and policies we enact. Already, they reported, a majority of the world’s population lives within a 30-mile radius of water sources that are badly stressed or running out.

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(With) the trend of privatizing water services, the rates for water and sewer services rise dramatically. Unlike government water agencies, corporate-run water services must make a profit for their involvement.

Water must be much more equitably shared, and governments must guarantee access by making it a public service provided on a not-for-profit basis. The human right to water must become a reality everywhere.

Likewise, water plunder must end: Governments need to stand up to the powerful industries, private interests, and bad practices destroying water all over the world. Water everywhere must be declared a public trust, to be protected and managed for the public good. This includes placing priorities on access to limited supplies, especially groundwater, and banning private industry from owning or controlling it. Water, in short, must be recognized as the common heritage of humanity and of future generations.

It is time to see water as the essential element of an ecosystem that gives life to us all, and that we must protect with vigor and determination. We need to change our relationship to water, and do it quickly.

We must do everything in our power to heal and restore the planet’s watersheds and waterways. In practice, this means we need a new ethic that puts water and its protection at the center of all of the laws and policies we enact.”

Unless these four commissioners have some kind of special power that allows them to foresee a different future for Polk County, it appears to be very shortsighted to sell off this valuable natural resource for 75 years ahead and to ram this project through seven years before the current contract expires. Such choices defy logic and reasoning.

From what I have seen, 100 percent of the people in Polk County who have expressed an opinion about this in Commissioner’s meetings and in the public forum are opposed to all or some of the terms of this proposed agreement, and questioning the great rush. Where is the representation?

Merri Dacey
Green Creek, N.C.