Water scarcity is a topic we like to discuss often, because one it is a reality we are going to have to face and two in some instances you can help elevate the issue with water filtration systems. As the climate changes, temperatures rise, and prolonged droughts become more frequent, we have to consider how we conserve what we can and reuse when needed. Environmental causes to water shortages are currently something we have no control over.
But what about the causes to water scarcity that we can control? Clean water sources are a prized possession in some parts of the world and people will fight for control or to maintain them as best they can. Sometimes that fight is between tribes or organizations. Sometimes that fight is between man and beast.
Sometimes the fight is between a community and a corporation. This type of conflict over clean water is one that could be avoided but recently the frequency in which corporations are trying control or subvert clean water is increasing. As is the case in Flint Michigan and Nestle’s CEO who thinks clean water is not a right but a privilege.
In the most recent case of clean water conflict between a community and a corporation we only have to look to middle America. The Dakota Access Pipeline project was shifted from going through a community in North Dakota and redirected to the Standing Rock. The Stand Rock Sioux Tribe is standing up to $3.8 Billion dollar project that was redirected to go through their burial ground of their ancestors and cross under their water source.
The project was rerouted to cross under the Mississippi River north of the Sioux territory. The pipeline would run the risk of contaminating the water source for the community and those downstream. The pipeline is the clearest example of how a clean water source can be threatened by a corporation. Given the frequency of incidents caused by oil pipelines, it is easy to understand how the community would protest the decision to take the risk in the name of profit.
In 2010, a single pipeline spill poured 1,000,000 gallons of toxic bitumen crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. The cleanup cost over one billion dollars and significant contamination remains. And in January of 2015, more than 50,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil spilled into the Yellowstone River in Montana. It was the second such spill in that area since 2011. – earthjustice.org
That type of contamination would need more help than a water filtration system could provide. A filter would be inadequate in dealing with the problem. This type of water scarcity is one that could be avoided. The people of the Sioux Tribe are suing to stop the project, but it would be even better if corporations took the concerns of communities and their water sources into consideration during a project.
Water supplies are fragile and the delicate balance needed to preserve them is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It comes as no surprise that we take these things seriously, not only because we love clean water but because we want the future to be one where water filtration is needed in some cases but not all. The protests and legal action taken by those at Standing Rock are for the good of everyone who values clean water.