Screw the people of Flint, or so goes the mantra of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), which last month approved a controversial permit that will allow Nestlé to pump and bottle 400 gallons of fresh water per minute from the state’s White Pine Springs, near the Osceola Township. Meanwhile, back in Flint, residents still aren’t buying the Governor’s bullshit that their water is safe to drink.
The privatization of the public’s water is only becoming more prevalent as reservoirs dry up around the globe. Bottled water sales have skyrocketed in the last ten years while access to fresh, affordable H20 has decreased. In places like Cape Town, South Africa, which is in the midst of a dire water shortage, it’s not just climate change that’s making the city quench for thirst — the impoverished can’t afford private water but residents with money are able to subsidize their meager rations.
“Many of the rich own water-bottling companies, they can afford to buy water,” Ebrahiem Fourie of the Cape Town Housing Assembly recently told journalist Dahr Jamail. “The available ground water [springs] are usually in affluent areas, which makes them easy to access, and with the current water restrictions the rich have cars to load their water.”
Mega-corporations like Coca-Cola and Nestlé may seem like a nice solution for communities that don’t have access to clean drinking water. Their water is…