It's time to protect our water supply!

We can't survive without clean water, but we're completely irresponsible when it comes to protecting this vital resource. This week, a half a million people in Ohio were told that their water was so toxic that they should avoid any contact, and more than a billion gallons of mining waste poisoned drinking water for many Canadians. Sewage plants, factory farms, and other industries dump tons of phosphorus into our waterways, which is an excellent source of nutrients for toxic algae blooms. And of course, we all know the Fossil Fuel industry's horrendous track record of polluting our lakes, rivers, and ocean.

We have the power to enact regulations to prevent these disasters, but our politicians opt to please Big Business instead of protecting The People. This week is a terrifying example of how easily our water supply can be destroyed, but it wasn't the first time corporations put profits over people, and it certainly won't be the last. Corporate power has corrupted our democracy, devastated our environment, and destroyed our middle class, and now it's threatening a resource we need just to survive.

The same toxic algae that poisoned drinking water in Toledo could soon pop up in other states with similar agricultural runoff, and the Fossil Fuel industry is always working to get their hands on more land. If we don't fight back, more and more of our water supply could be contaminated. We need to stand up to corporate power to save our democracy, our planet, and our economy, but protecting our water supply may be one of the most important fights we have ever faced.


DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 46 weeks ago

Other than air to breath there is nothing more important than clean water. We cannot expect corporations to police themselves. All they are interested in is profit and respecting the water supplies of others cuts into that profit. Poisoned water is other people's problems. We have to grab the bull by the horns when it comes to our vital natural resources and not take them for granted. It is an insane national disgrace that our government allows any fresh water supply to be endangered by anyone for any reason.

dianhow 9 years 46 weeks ago

People are distracted, confused , working hard, worrying, just getting millions are clueless to problems of our country / world. Students are not taught civics so how can they vote intelligently ? Corp media ran for huge profit Fox CNN MSNBC gives 1/2 the story & few facts They do almost NO fact finding follow up. I watch pbs news hour M-F 6 pm central . sometimes BBC / A.P. Frontline is excellent . Read USe logic & reason Its in very short supply . Online .. folks love to ' name call, smear , wildly speculate, exaggerate which accomplishes Nothing !

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 46 weeks ago

I just listen to Thom.

johnbest's picture
johnbest 9 years 46 weeks ago

Good luck with that. Most red states don't give a damn about "stinkin regulations".

In the 1990's most Central Valley towns in California dumped their treated sewage into either the Sacramento River or the San Joaquin River. The EPA was getting after us in Tracy, Califiornia for contributing too much Nitrogen to the rivers.

Some cities now are creating wetlands to filter the treated sewage then depositing it into drinking water reservoirs. Here is a story of one in Texas of all places.

One Southern California city had built a series of lakes many years ago. Treated sewage is pumped into one of the higher lakes and the water makes its way down through two other lakes where it is purified. Last I heard, Los Angeles dumps their treated sewage into the ocean through a very long pipeline as far from shore as possible. When I lived in L.A. in the 1960's I used to swim in the ocean at Santa Monica. I used to see what looked like toilet paper floating in the water. That may have been before they started treating the sewage and they were just dumping raw sewage into the ocean. I know when I was a kid in San Francisco in the 1940's they didn't treat the sewage and just dumped it into the bay. I used to see prophylactics floating around near the outfall. Now they have modern sewage plants. In fact they named one the George W. Bush Sewage Treatment Plant.

Some cities pump the treated sewage deep into the ground which makes a lot of sense.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 46 weeks ago

Down here in Texas we don't worry about water quality 'cause we're running out. Our local water source is only one third of full while our population still grows rapidly. At least I can still water my lawn even when the algae make the water non-potable.

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 9 years 46 weeks ago

Declare access to clean water an inalienable human right. There is an international movement happening. We the people buy out the private well owners. Operate our water common on a regional basis with public municipalities. Utilize new 21st century water science technology to produce more pure water.

End desalination technology being pushed by the fracking corps. Desal requires the most energy causing great environmental damage. Desal is the least healthy for human consumption. Ultra-filtration/Micro-filtration is the future. This technology produces the purest, naturally alkaline water which is the best for human consumption.

I have declared my candidacy for city council for the city of Santa Cruz. Our struggle is to boot out the desal plans and implement new conservation technology.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 9 years 46 weeks ago

It's time? This is the year 2014. The protection Laws have been on the books since 1972, when DDT was discovered in bird eggshells.

"The Clean Water Act (CWA); 33 U.S.C. s/s 121 et seq. (1977)

The Clean Water Act is a 1977 amendment to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, which set the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants to waters of the United States.

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA); 43 U.S.C. s/s 300f et seq. (1974)

Safe Drinking Water Act summary and full text

Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 "

Therefore, 42 years ago the Laws were enacted and since that time enforcement has been systematically weakened by creating a no-jurisdictional loophole for local state and county environmental departments.

The EPA will only take on the biggest cases, because lawyers have to prosecute and no one wants to lose.

The only other federal jurisdiction with any clout is Army Corp of Engineers, who have already done their own share of destroying watersheds and wetlands. They work for the 5-Star General Corporation anyway.

The Permit Issuing Agency should be held responsible for any violation occurring on a permitted site. Likewise, it is the Permit Issuing Agency which is responsible for enforcing non-permitted violations.

Originally, environmental impacts for development or industry were to be signed off on by the ACOE, the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and by the environmental office in the county where the impact was proposed. There was so much bickering between state, federal, and county bureaucrats, this triumvirate was dispersed. ACOE is primarily concerned with seawalls, levees, dams, and marine construction, while each county was allowed to decide whether to maintain its own environmental office or abdicate jurisdiction to the state.

This resulted in arbitrary, disparate in severity enforcement actions, in favor of development and industry, and against individuals and the spirit of the Acts.

In my county is a big filing cabinet of proof. County Commissioners have a goal to extend the tax base. That requires development and impacts. Therefore, the Commissioners opted to have a local environmental agency, kicking the state regulators out. People with the highest positions in the agency are those who do what the Commissoners want.

The proof of corruption is the number of permits on file whose mitigation requirements have never been met. If one presents these files to the department head they refuse to review anything that has already been approved. The county collects fees for employees to monitor mitigation sites which have never been constructed.

We have not heard of any permit investigation following the last oil spill in Louisiana.

I spoke out in favor of the moratorium because the disaster stunk of permit violations, no permits, or permits improperly awarded.

These important aspects of the truth never come out unless one goes to the public records. Burying the truth is what SETTLEMENTS are all about. All we hear about is the wonderful things that have been done to ameliorate murderous violations and public impacts which should never have happened.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 46 weeks ago
Quote johnbest:Now they have modern sewage plants. In fact they named one the George W. Bush Sewage Treatment Plant.

johnbest ~ Personally, I can't think of a better name for a facilities that is full of raw sewage! Can you?

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 46 weeks ago

Personally it blows me away that those unbelievable engineers can produce enough safe drinking water to hundreds of millions of people from that crap nature gave us. the place I spend almost every weekend backs onto a small creek coming right off the Rockies. I feel much safer drinking the treated water provided to me then drinking out of that creek. Ever heard of beaver fever?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 46 weeks ago
Quote Kend:Ever heard of beaver fever?

Kend ~ Is that what they call puberty in Canada?

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 46 weeks ago

Protecting clean water sources with regulations just makes good sense. I know that conservitives say that regulations are bad, but regulations are laws that are put in place to protect us, all lof us, even conservitives. As a plumber I took a course on backflow prevention and was a licensed backflow preventer tester. Sometimes business owners would complain about having to pay to have their backflow preventers tested every year, saying it was just a way for somebody to make money. Many business owners including farm owners don't care who gets hurt by their business practices, All thy care about is making the most money they can make. These are the people who make regulations nessessary.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 46 weeks ago

Marc, thanks for a nice hefty dose of comic relief. That was great. Between that and George W. Sewage, I'd say you're on a roll, ole buddy! - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 46 weeks ago

Mr. Ford, if those conservative business owners were forced to drink, eat and/or breathe their own toxic crap, that would put an end to their bitching and whining in a hurry. Then maybe, just maybe, they might stop treating Mother Earth like a sewer. - AIW

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 46 weeks ago

Something like that Marc. I am just saying we should appreciate our infrustuture a little more. We have it pretty good compared to the rest of the world.

Vegasman56 9 years 46 weeks ago

Quote DAnneMarc: Personally, I can't think of a better name for a facilities that is full of raw sewage! Can you?

I vote for the Ronald Wilson Reagan sewage Plant! Better yet, the Reagan-Bush raw sewage plant!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 46 weeks ago

Really, Kend? Maybe it's time you do a little traveling abroad. Sounds like you can afford it. It also sounds like (as usual) you don't know what you're talking about. - AIW

Greenthumb's picture
Greenthumb 9 years 46 weeks ago

I agree with dianhow. Most Americans don't bother to tune in and don't have the time to if they wanted. And most Americans that do tune in are in separate camps that preach to their own choirs. It seems that most Americans only respond to crises. They do not like to think and plan for the future. Sorry to say that in America, change requires crisis. Too bad.

And I agree with this part of Kend's message: "engineers can produce enough safe drinking water to hundreds of millions of people..." We are truly lucky in the developed world.

I do not agree with Kend that nature provides us crap. Drinking from an open water source (like lakes, rivers, pools and streams) is not safe because open water can always be polluted by whaterver falls, washes into it. But drinking from what nature provides - springs and groundwater SHOULD be safe, except that human activity/crap (over grazing, mining, fracking, list goes on and on...) can pollute an otherwise safe, natural water supply. Too bad.

Once again, the real problem is human overpopulation and the solution is depopulation. Too bad we can't do it rationally, but seem to require crises(drought, famine, wars, disease...) to handle the problem. Too bad

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 46 weeks ago

GreenThumb, I agree totally. Just a few points I’d like to add: (1) most “news” nowadays, in print as well as through the boob tube, amounts to little more than corporate drivel; (2) Many if not most Americans are feeling too disempowered (consciously or unconsciously) to plan for the future; and (3) If fossil fuel oligarchs continue having their way with us, safe drinking water in the developed world will soon be a thing of the past.

I think it’s mighty hypocritical (and ironic, and downright silly!) for a fossil fuel cheerleader like Kend to tag unprocessed water in our natural environment as “crap”, when the industry he’s so gung-ho about (along with human stupidity in general) is what has polluted so much of it. - Aliceindunderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 46 weeks ago
Quote RFord: Protecting clean water sources with regulations just makes good sense. I know that conservitives say that regulations are bad, but regulations are laws that are put in place to protect us, all lof us, even conservitives.

RFord ~ Very well said! I might add that the mantra of conservatives is that regulations and taxes cut into profits and therefore cost jobs. Of course, this could not be further from the truth. Higher regulations means stricter standards. Clean water standards may even cause factories to relocate far away from fresh water supplies. Companies don't want to do that because proximity to water drastically cuts down their transportation costs. However, not only will locating further away create more jobs in the delivery and hauling industry, it will also facilitate the need for better road maintenance and transportation systems requiring more transportation engineers, more packagers, more loaders, more drivers, more frequent inspection, more inspectors, and more quality and safety managers and technicians. Such a safety infrastructure also justifies higher taxes which force companies to reinvest in more jobs; or, pay the man. Let Uncle Sam put that wasted tax money to good use generating his own jobs if employers don't want too. Either way, more jobs get created. The conservative mantra that regulation and taxes cost jobs is an outright lie. They actually create jobs as well as benefit the common needs of everyone else at the same time.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 45 weeks ago

It seems to me we need to point out more often that conservatives are the synchophants of the billionaires. Billionaires are the only ones that want to do away with regulations.

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