Monday, March 27, 2006

Stop Privatization of Public Water!

Today, more than one billion people around the world do not have access to safe water to drink, and unless something is done today, this problem will only get worse.
Corporate conglomerates like Coke, Pepsi, and Nestlé are exacerbating the global water crisis by turning water into a profit driven commodity, like oil. Bottled water corporations are threatening local control of water supplies in communities across the US and around the world.
Coke, Pepsi, and Nestlé are actively working to mislead consumers into believing that bottled water is better for you than tap water. These corporations have spent tens of millions of dollars to convince us that bottled water is cleaner, healthier and safer than tap water. But in fact, bottled water is actually less regulated than public systems. So, as these corporations profit off our water, they are undermining support for our public water supplies and paving the way for corporate privatization of our public water systems.

Water, like air, is so essential to life that throughout history most societies have treated it as a common, shared resource. In this country, most of us have received our water from a public utility. Public water systems have been one of the great equalizers in our country and in societies around the world. But the landscape is rapidly changing. Industry and big agribusiness are depleting water at an alarming rate. Many rivers, lakes, wells and aquifers around the world are drying up. Big Business contaminates waterways with pesticides and chemicals. We are on the brink of a global water crisis. We now live in a world where more than one billion people don't have access to enough water and over a million children die each year from water-borne diseases. This is projected to get even worse.

Lack of access to water is devastating wherever it occurs--and it is happening more and more around the world. Corporate control of our water makes this problem worse. There are several villages in India where people have lived for generations off the community's groundwater. The water has been a shared resource, owned by no one. But now Coke drains water from these communities by pumping it out of the ground in some cases for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Public wells are drying up, local farmers don't have enough water for growing the food that the communities depend on and many people don't have enough water to meet their basic daily needs. People's lives are threatened. It's more than ironic that Coke promotes its Dasani bottled water with the slogan "can't live without it."

Join the growing international solidarity movement and support these communities. Take action today!

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