Cape Town residents lining up for water at the beginning of April 2018. The water shortage in Cape Town is so dire that the government posted an on-line map that details the water consumption of every household. [They removed the interactive map January 2019.] During the fall and winter of 2018, the South African government shared a phone number on-line that residents can call to report water wasters.
Does our respect for water mirror our respect for life? This is our guiding question.
- bottled water
- conserving water
- cotton + the Aral Sea
- drought and water scarcity
- rising sea levels
- the Great Barrier Reef
- the Great Lakes
- virtual water
- women and water
The idea of bias becomes important, especially when we evaluate water issues. Where is this person or organization coming from? Do they have an agenda? Are they trying to persuade you to adopt a certain point of view? Consider the following very different viewpoints about water:
Bottled water: the Canadian Bottled Water Association, Nestlé, and Evian have a different view of bottled water, along with a different view of the micro plastics that are found in bottled water, compared to Health Canada, Dr. David Suzuki, the Pacific Institute, the Wellington Water Watchers, and the Plastic Pollution Coalition.
Three Gorges Dam / Yangtze River Diversion: the Chinese Government, with the Three Gorges Dam being China’s largest mega project since the Great Wall, has a different view of dams and diverting rivers compared to National Geographic, the BBC, and the 1.4 million water migrants who had to move because of the dam.
Exxon Valdez: the United States National Park Service and the Coastal First Nations peoples have a different view of the environmental effects of oil spills compared to Exxon Mobile , a company that successfully appealed a $5 billion dollar payout to Alaskan residents living in Prince William Sound in order to have the payout reduced to $508 million. To put this in perspective, Exxon’s quarterly profit this year alone was over $8 billion, thanks in part to President Trump’s corporate tax cut.
White Gold: The government of the Republic of Uzbekistan has a different view of the necessity of growing cotton in a parched land—along with the amount of water (and pesticides) needed for its cultivation—compared to the teenagers that are forced to harvest cotton to graduate, or the teachers and doctors that are forced to harvest cotton to avoid losing their jobs.
You need to reach your own conclusions about these and other social justice issues based on your research.