For some time now huge companies have been taking water from the ground, bottling it and selling it to make big profits. For the most part these companies like Nestle don’t pay all that much for the right to draw this water out of the ground and they do a good job of marketing it all across Canada.
Many people believe that water as a resource is becoming the new gold and that future wars will be fought over it. We see wars now all over the world fought to control resources like gold, other precious metals and of course oil. As good drinking water becomes more scarce the demand by the public for water has become an opportunity to make lots of money.
Some estimates declare that global water shortages will be a problem in a decade and that things will only get worse from there. I can tell you that it makes no sense to me that huge water companies are taking water from the land and making incredible profits while many First Nations across Canada don’t have decent drinking water. How can it be that this situation exists in Canada which is supposed to be a first world country. The truth is that too many First Nations are living in poverty and don’t have access to clean drinking water.
In Canada we are fortunate to have so much fresh water. Although, nearly 70 percent of our planet is covered by water only 2.5 percent of it is fresh water while the rest is saline or salty and is contained in the earth’s oceans. Three quarters of that fresh water is trapped as groundwater or is held as glacial polar ice or permanent snow. That leaves less than one percent of the water on the planet being accessible as drinking water for us to use. Brazil, Russia the United States and Canada are the top countries when it comes to fresh water resources.
Bottle water companies lobby governments and promote their industry even though they realize that they contribute so much plastic waste that is detrimental to our environment. You would think our federal and provincial governments would take issue with this but obviously they have not. In Ontario it is estimated that one billion plastic water bottles end up in land fills every year. Incredibly these plastic bottles take hundreds of years to break down and pose threats to all kind of animal, bird and fish life on this planet. Some parts of the ocean have islands of plastic water bottles floating around and many beaches and coastal areas are covered in plastic bottles that are swept up from the sea in storms.
The world wide bottled water industry is worth about $200 billion dollars so it is a very powerful bunch of companies that are involved in this resource development and they lobby governments all over the world to get their way. Some of the top bottle water companies include Nestle, Dasani and Aquafina to name a few. There are so many operating here in Canada, I don’t have room to list them. This is in stark contrast to so many of our First Nations who have very poor access to clean drinking water.
Recently, Six Nations of The Grand River through Chief Ava Hill and her council voiced opposition to the continued bottle water extraction by Nestle in its territory. The Chief and council were outraged that the company was extracting millions of litres of water a day while many residents of the Six Nations reserve are without access to clean drinking water in their homes. This makes no sense at all and I commend Chief Hill and her council for having the strength and foresight to make a stand on this important issue.
Like many people, I often reach for bottled water over tap but that is a mistake. Bottled water is not put under the same stringent demands made on tap water and in most cases it is not any better for you than what is coming out of your tap. The exception of course is in many First Nations where good and clean running water is not even available. For many people a good idea to make sure they are getting good water can be accomplished by buying a water filtration kit that you can install in your home. This ensures you will have top quality water and it is economical to buy and install. I am going to do my best to choose tap water over bottled water just for the fact that it makes good sense.