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> Monday, February 1st, 2010 > Opinion > Separate water and profit
Separate water and profit
Nexus (Camosun College)
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Erin Sanderson
Published: Monday, February 1st, 2010
VICTORIA (CUP) – Students vote three times a day.
In fact, students vote as many times as they eat or drink in the day. As students, we also have that many chances each day to change the world. After all, our consumption is what keeps corporations rolling.
When we purchase bottled water, we vote for the privatization of water. This means we vote for companies like Coca-Cola to go into places like Plachimada, India and set up a bottling plant where they aren’t necessarily wanted.
The people there know the value of their water and don’t want to see it pumped out of the ground and bottled up by a company whose main goal is profit.
If students buy bottled water it means they vote for companies like Nestlé, who have been sued in numerous states for continuing to extract water, even after large public outcry and significant localized environmental harm.
Buying bottled water means that we support the basic idea that it’s okay for corporations to make money off a resource that was here way before all of us and is, like oxygen, a basic necessity of life.
What happens when water management becomes private? Motivation becomes profit. Not people, not the environment, not equal access.
Companies like Suez Environment go into really poor countries in the developing world and, with the help of the International Monetary Fund, force them to give up the management of their water supply.
They then increase the price, put locks on the wells, and leave people with two options: either spend a large portion of their meagre earnings to get that water, or – for those who don’t have that option – die.
Students vote with their wallets whether they know it or not and some things are worth voting against. Water and profit should be kept separate, for the benefit of all.