When Multinationals Privatize the Planet’s Water

In hydrogeology, an aquifer refers to a layer of permeable rock sufficiently conducive to groundwater that allows a significant flow of groundwater and the capture of a significant amount of water. They are very important in the water cycle on Earth and can also refer to the water table itself.

 

The Guarani aquifer, located below the surface of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, is the largest water reservoir in South America. It is also the second largest known aquifer system in the world.

 

We have learned that multinationals such as Coca-Cola and Nestlé are in the process of negotiating to privatize this aquifer system, particularly with Brazil, whose territory is home to two-thirds of the reserve. They are also trying to define the procedures necessary to exploit the sources of water by private companies. The contracts are for deals which will last for more than 100 years.

 

While local human rights groups are mobilizing, it is important to understand that this issue goes beyond South America, because all human beings will be affected by the decision to privatize the second largest aquifer system in the world.

 

It is imperative to oppose these multinational leaders on flourishing via the “blue gold” market, and who are also pushing cynicism up to a pseudo-ecological discourse and completely contradicting the reality of the fight against poverty.

 

Indeed, their actions are regularly denounced on all continents, including in so-called developed countries.

 

For example, in the United States, several municipalities have recently opposed Nestlé, the world leader in the field, such as in Osceola, a small community of 900 inhabitants 300km from Detroit. The municipality tried to prevent the group from increasing the pumping of water from the small local river, Twin Creek, which, since the beginning of its operation in the 2000’s, has shrunk considerably, becoming narrower, shallower, and warmer. They appealed Nestlé’s favorable decision in January saying the project would affect the river bed of the Twin Creek river.

 

Other small towns have also decided to stand up to the multinational company, sometimes successfully as in Shapleigh and Newfeld, where a citizens’ association passed a constitutional decree accepted by the state’s High Court of Justice, stating that water from the aquifer and springs of the communes belonged to the local inhabitants and could not be used for commercial purposes.

 

But, if in western countries the nuisances of the water giants are limited by controlling and demanding environmental standards, it is not the same in underdeveloped countries.

Thus, whether in India, Pakistan, or Niger for example, the Nestlé Group is responsible for multiple attacks on the environment and the health of the population.

The process is as follows: Nestlé pumps the clean, deep, water from under the natural water beds, at no cost, leaving the local inhabitants with only the dirty and unhealthy wells due to a now-lack of water from the depths of the river.

 

Indeed, the company pumps so much water in these water tables that the level of the wells that supply the water to the villages drops, leaving only surface water, which is not drinkable. The inhabitants, who are too poor, cannot always clean their water and are even less likely to pay for pure bottled water from Nestlé … Consequences: children fall ill, cholera and dysentery have become the main causes of infant mortality.

 

In addition to pollution, there is another problem in terms of ecological risks: the depletion of water resources in some countries.

 

This is the case in India, where the American multinational company Coca-Cola has been repeatedly condemned to close some factories for ecological reasons. Thus, the authorities demanded the closure of a production unit of the group, located next to Benares, which was accused in June 2014 of extracting an excessive amount of water from the water table, leading to possible ecological risks. In this agricultural region, peasants have seen their wells dry up and their hand pumps became useless. Coca-Cola factories are very water-hungry, a resource that is sorely lacking in India, especially that a quarter of the country is in desertification.

 

The same phenomenon is taking place in Mexico, a country with a cruel lack of drinking water, but it is where Coca-Cola thrives. Mexico has 119 million inhabitants, 12 million of whom have no access to drinking water.

 

The presence of the soda giant has a dramatic impact on the country’s water resources, as making one liter of Coca-Cola requires at least two liters of water.

 

However, the company has chosen to set up its bottling plants in strategic locations, negotiating 27 concessions all over the country to pump water and 8 others to discharge its wastewater, along with the pollution it generates.

 

One of its main factories is located in the heart of the Chiapas region where the company pumps more than 100 million liters of water each year, which is a real environmental and human disaster. This overexploitation of the water table is not only an ecological disaster, but also deprives local populations of precious water resources.

 

But when we know that the former Mexican President Vincente Fox was the president of Coca-Cola for Latin America before being elected, we better understand the massive establishment of the group’s factories in this country in defiance of all humanitarian considerations.

There are so many examples, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, and many others; these multinationals take advantage of a natural resource that should be freely accessible to all, and are plundering the planet, without any consideration

The common good.

Their behavior is unacceptable and dangerous to the ecology and health of humans, but unfortunately, politicians are so corrupted by these greedy companies that they let it go. As long as governments remain inactive, hundreds of millions of people’s access to “safe and clean drinking water” will take many, many years.

The Anti-Zionist Party protests against this situation and calls on all citizens to put constant pressure on our leaders to change this state of affairs, which sees greedy and unscrupulous individuals exploit the environment and extract valuable resources from the Present and future generations.