“In less than ten years, two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.” — one of the last lines of the documentary spotlighted in this article
“[It is] the most pervasive, most severe, and most invisible dimension of the ecological devastation of the earth.” — Vandana Shiva commenting on the worldwide water crisis in her Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution and Profit
Water & Power: A California Heist reveals the story of how a handful of water barons gained control of the state’s most precious resource, while drought and a groundwater crisis left local homeowners with dry wells. From a 1990s backroom rewrite of the State Water Project through a breaking investigation into illicit transfers of groundwater, the film peels back the layers on a complex world most of us know nothing about and would never question unless our taps ran dry. I should say, “will never question meaningfully until our taps run dry.” Meaning, action must be taken post haste in California… but that is not being done at present.
What’s, arguably, the greatest single issue facing California citizens right now — a million residents already not having access to potable water regularly (if at all) — is not being addressed properly. Locals all over the so-called Golden State are noticing that many wine-growing estates are springing up, but they’re not tuning into the fact that the land is being bought not for farming purposes, but — ultimately — to secure land to control the water supply.
California supplies half of the nation’s produce and is the world’s fifth largest food supplier. With THAT breadbasket at stake, Americans and the world should be waking up to the very grim prospect of violent clashes centered on water wars. No hyperbole there; where folks cannot access sufficient potable water in the U.S. (where they’ve been conditioned forever to expect it), nothing short of violent interaction can be expected. And that terrible scenario is coming down the pike… unless folks mobilize ASAP to secure significant reins of decision-making power in California. And that will necessitate taking over the Sacred Seat of Sacramento, the state’s gubernatorial office.
Water is the next commodity, and it is rapidly growing more valuable. As a California resident in the film warns us, “You’re going to be next. Just watch, you’re going to be next.” I’m in the process of relocating to a realm in the San Joaquin Valley which is not very far from that fellow’s immiserated and deeply challenged community, and I have every intention of recruiting concerned citizens to take fresh new kinds of action designed to overthrow the powers that be in the state.
Whether or not you reside in California, I can assure you that you face the same daunting challenge. It does no good for anyone to relax who fancies that their community — for whatever reasons — is unlikely to run out of water. For if you and yours have water, those who do not will be coming your way to have some say about how the water from your source is distributed.
The law? Don’t you know what happened when gold was discovered in California?
Rachel Oxman can be reached at [email protected]. She’s thirsty for interaction.