“Water is the oil of the 21st century.” Spoken by Andrew Liveris, CEO of DOW Chemical, in 2008.
Also in 2008, Goldman Sachs called water “…..the petroleum for the next century.”
The biggest purchasers of aquifers, lakes, and water rights worldwide today are banks. They are buying at an unprecedented pace. The same banks that gave us the 2008 economic disaster. Like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and HSBC.
The individually rich are in the game, also. T. Boone Pickens is the largest owner of water rights in the United States.
Bank plans are to monopolize water in every regard. They are promoting the privatization of water utilities. Municipalities are susceptible. There is never enough money. If a bank wants to buy a water company, why not.
I was under the impression that banks had to do with money transactions. It seems in the water situation, the banks are going afield. A step outside their normal jurisdiction.
Banks are pigs. I have been saying it for several years. Can you imagine what water is going to cost once the banks and rich get rolling. The price of water will increase dramatically. Prices will reach astronomical heights. Just as gasoline did.
I worry. You should worry.
California’s drought problems have brought to every one’s attention the involvement of the banks and the rich. California is taking a beating. And the banks are not yet directly involved. California’s current problems can be laid at the feet of major corporations.
California’s Governor Brown is trying to take the bull by the horns. He has started to do the necessary to assure the continued availability of water. He has not done enough. No where near enough.
Brown’s first step was to cut back on residential water consumption. A drop in the bucket. Agriculture is where controls are required. Heretofore California, the land of sunshine, has been a huge farm. The big corporations grow everything there. The problem is what is grown is then exported out of state to nations worldwide and to other states.
One example is alfalfa. The United States is the biggest alfalfa producer in the world. Alfalfa is hay. California grows alfalfa on 22 million acres. Most of the alfalfa is exported to China. Alfalfa is water intense.
Almonds grown in California are exported worldwide. Almonds require a lot of water. Ten percent of California’s water goes to growing almonds. It takes one gallon of water to grow one almond.
California is a major grower/exporter of lettuce. Much of which is grown on desert land. Tremendous amounts of water are required to turn barren desert soil into a lettuce growing complex.
Budweiser has major beer brewing facilities in California. Beer has to have water. Ninety two percent of beer is water. It takes additional water to clean brewery tanks. The tanks use significantly more water than the beer itself.
Budweiser is trying to be a good citizen. It has taken steps to cut back on water use. Tank cleaning water is being reclaimed. Landscaping has been ripped out and replaced with drought tolerant plants.
It is anticipated that breweries will not be able to survive in California and will be moving out over the next ten years.
Nestles is a real problem. They take the water and bottle it. The bottles that are bought in super markets nationally and worldwide. Nestles has a special financial arrangement because they buy so much water. Nestles buys cheap and sells each bottle at a significant profit.
No one knows how much water Nestles uses. California has no laws requiring Nestles to reveal water numbers. There was a time when water bottling companies were required to obtain an annual permit to bottle water. Most companies have not requested such a permit in 27 years.
The California legislature in 2008 and 2010 sent bills to then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bills would require bottling companies to disclose the volumes of water bought and sold. Schwarzenegger vetoed the bills.
There are many more examples. However, space does not permit a thorough listing.
The drought has effects not contemplated by most. It is not merely not enough water to go around.
Land above aquifers are sinking. The aquifers are dropping. In two instances 200 feet and 80 feet. Most have been dropping at least one foot a year.
Stratford is a small farm town. Its underground aquifer dropped 80 feet in three years. As a result, Stratford cannot sustain itself as a community. Its Main Street is boarded up, people not working, there is no money to spend, gas stations and restaurants are closing. Merchants for a while were taking IOUs from customers who no longer had cash to pay.
Clovis is a community that once had a lot of water. No more. Poor governing one of the reasons. Entrepreneurs recognized the need for water. They came in with 2,500 to 5,000 gallon tank trucks. Clovis filled the tanks for $5. The truck owner went elsewhere and sold the water for $200 to $500. Clovis is closing the money making machine. Too late, however.
The California drought has many facets. My purpose has been to provide a small sample of what is going on in the water world. The banks, mega corporations and rich profiting. These same entities to make tons more money in the future. I also wanted to share the impact of water going dry on a community. The community dries up.
I hope I have succeeded in making you aware.