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Water and the Lobbyist Culture

Cross-post from The Daily Kos.

We as an American human species have developed ourselves rather nicely, wouldn’t you say? OMG, we are a bunch of KNUCKLEHEADS, and I’m not exactly sure when or what will adjust this progress, which is actually leading towards our final demise. Simply stated, health care ain’t our Armageddon.

We have volumes of information available to all readers and thinkers and believers. The access to almost any kind of detail, except possibly the ingredients of FRAC juice and Bin Laden’s whereabouts ( I just want to meet him, ya know?) is at the tips of our fingers and retinas. Yet, how many people want to know where water comes from? Or, what’s in it? And even better, how many people can’t “live without” their hand-held or 500 channels of surf capability?

Ponder this wee tidbit of information, sourced online, from an excerpt of The Case for Water Investing 2010, written by Steve Maxwell and Matt Dickerson of Summit Capital Management:

“Water is the most essential life-sustaining substance on earth and the most critical industrial input to the world’s economy. Demand for clean water has expanded unrelentingly as populations soar and societies modernize, and now we face crisis-level shortages.”

Yet, paradoxically, water remains absurdly undervalued. In many regions, utility prices come nowhere near the life-cycle costs of actually providing water…But public outrage predictably results when local water rates are raised by even a few percentage points. This, despite the fact that most people…pay much larger monthly bills for non-essentials such as cable television and cell phones.”

We know Washington is overflowing with lobbyists. Here is an alphabetical listing of a few “Big” ones: agriculture, banks, drugs, insurance. Wow, is this also reflective of influence on policy? So, where does a Water Lobbyist line up? Just behind the hawkers for, say, Pro Life, Religious Right or Sex Scandals (I’m sure there’s a few of these)? Unfortunately, I performed a quick search for “national water lobbyist” and came up with basically nil, except for a few articles about how states rejected hiring such a thing.

If you’ve made it this far in my diary today, I thank you. Please know that I may rant about things as they are, yet I’m not a complainer. I vie for change and betterment. We humans are a smart and resourceful folk, yet have been blinded by centuries of distraction: more wealth, stuff, progress at the expense of the less fortunate. This approach to living MUST CHANGE, or our species is burnt toast. And I think it starts with a WATER LOBBYIST in WASHINGTON. The reality that water seeps into most aspects of governance is an understatement. It’s time to focus on our essentials for existence and resilience on planet earth.

Maybe that’s my next role in life…hmmm. Peace and safe hydration to all.

Photograph courtesy of Patrick Noltey.

  • JamesOConnor

    I fully recognize that 70% of fresh water is pointed in Big Agriculture’s direction– in a desert, no less, where AZ & CA are concerned. And I strongly agree with you that this governmental regulation must be significantly altered.
    At the individual level, living in water abundance is good fortune, yet it’s not an undeniable right to waste this precious resource. It’s estimated that 95% of fresh water for human consumption is used to hydrate front lawns, wash dishes & flush toilets. In this area of water distribution, that is remarkably wasteful, especially when considering the 1 billion people who lack adequate and safe access.
    Thanks for your comment.

    • Stephen Reiss

      Government regulation of water must be killed, not altered. If water were a freely traded commodity (as it should be) then price would ration its use. In addition, a global trade in water would mean that less fortunate places could import it. Until then, I refuse to be cowed by calls for conservation at my expense.

  • Stephen Reiss

    As long as water is a government price controlled commodity nothing will change. The overuse of water stems from subsidizing agricultural use. In the deserts of Arizona, for example, 70% of the state’s water is consumed for agriculture. This is one reason why I strongly object to your earlier intimations that I should use less water! Until you realize that only an unregulated market for water is the solution, you are wasting your time.