Water Water Everywhere and Ne'er a Drop to Drink

by: EJ on 07/15/2009
Posted in: Collapse

This morning I found this blog post by R.A. Vaughan on ActionSpark, a portion of which is reprinted here with permission. You can see the whole entry here.

On Saturday a friend and I drove through coastal California, from Santa Barbara to San Francisco. Before we left, she began to fret about not having filtered water. I commented that since most of the world's people have to worry about shit and bugs in their water, at least our water is clean.

Not three hours later I found myself eating my own words.

We stopped at a gas station in King City. A hand-made sign over the wash basin read, DO NOT DRINK THE WATER, AS IT IS CONTAMINATED: HIGH NITRATE LEVELS. It seemed that I had been wrong.

Why aren't we horrified at the fact that our water-in a rural area of one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world-has already become poisonous? What do people in King City do? Buy all their water bottled? Install filters?

The survival of our planet is continually sold to us as consumer choice. Buy organic. Buy green. Choose this water, in these bottles. But this is a prime example of how much vaster the issues are. This is not a matter of consumer choice; it's a matter for government, a matter for vast and sweeping changes of policy on a national and an international scale.

While I waited in line in front of the sink in that gas station, I had a sudden flash vision of a post-apocalyptic America, in which desolated people wander over a dead landscape, where nothing grows in the exhausted, salinated, eroded soil and even the water-surely a gift of god if there ever were one-is unfit to drink.

I too have been wondering, what is it going to take to get people to react? Should we continue to demand the government come to our rescue with legislation and policies to protect us from our collective stupidity or should we take Dmitry Orlov's advice and ignore the government and invest in a lifetime's worth of water purification tablets which we will trade for food in the not so distant future?

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