In Land Down Under, Wracked by Drought and Fires, Are ‘Leaders’
Undermining an Entire Continent?
EDITORIAL / By Awakening News Staff
In Australia, when commercial water miners who supply bottlers such as Coca Cola “slurped” the last drop of available groundwater. the Tamborine Mountain State School in the hinterland of Queensland’s Gold Coast literally ran out of water
Local authorities told Mount Tamborine residents that they are allegedly powerless when it comes to giving the people priority over mining and bottling interests which are “sending millions of liters to commercial bottling operations,” the UK-based Guardian newspaper noted on Dec. 11, 2019.
And try this sheer irony on for size: The bottled water that was hauled to the school as part of an emergency supply delivery was from the very same groundwater supply that had been accessed for the school’s direct use.
“Trucks sent by the Queensland government carrying emergency supplies to the school, including Mount Tamborine bottled water, have been passing trucks heading in the opposite direction taking local water to bottling plants for beverage giants such as Coca-Cola,” The Guardian added.
Thus, as unusually aggressive wildfires continue to engulf Australia, driving huge swaths of people from the hinterland to the coastal regions—with deaths and injuries mounting—all eyes are on Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham to use emergency powers to prioritize local water supplies over the needs of commercial bottlers.
“As I have previously said, groundwater is not regulated on Mount Tamborine and so my department does not have the power to limit take,” Lynham was quoted as claiming. “I do have the power to limit take in a declared water shortage, but that is everyone’s take, including local farmers, households, and businesses”
Meanwhile, while Mount Tamborine-area water miners supply roughly 130 million liters of water each year to commercial bottling operations, the local bores are running dry. “The school’s bore is 50 meters deep and has never ever had these issues before,” a local resident said, amid reports that the government is actually buying water back from Coca-Cola.
In North America, as this website, AwakeningNews.ca has reported over the years, water bottlers such as Nestle have been given tremendous legal latitude in places like Evart, Michigan and Guelph, Ontario.
In Evart, Nestle was recently granted a water-mining increase up to 400 gallons per minute. That’s 24,000 gallons per hour. In 24 hours, that’s 576,000 gallons. Take that amount times 30 days and you get, 17,280,000 gallons per month. Multiply that over a year and you get 207,360,000 gallons.
Awakening News (AWN) also has warned repeatedly that in Guelph, the most recent available figure was that Nestle is mining water for $3.71 per million liters!
Notably, Guelph University is the source of badly needed groundwater-recycling technology that AWN co-founder John Devine used in the early 1990s to develop a fish hatchery and retail outlet (Coldwater Fisheries and Fisherman’s Cove in Ontario). That recycling technology could’ve fully replaced the wasteful, pollutive “water-in, water-out” fish-farming systems still common today.
Such technology would re-use up to 90% of the water with a mere 10% withdrawal of new groundwater. Perhaps the world needs to hear more about and discuss such technologies, given the severe fires that have ravaged California and Australia—especially the ultra-intense fires with unusual characteristics that have arisen as of late.
However, the Canadian government under a fraudulent land-acquisition process 25 years ago, bulldozed most of Fisherman’s Cove to widen an adjacent road for a casino and effectively destroyed a business devoted to applying this caliber of groundwater preservation—which, if broadly applied, would be a long-term insurance policy against the kind of water shortages happening in Australia, California and beyond.
Certainly, there are huge lessons to be learned here. Chief among them is that, like money, water is too fundamental to human existence to be turned over to such extensive control by private entities like Nestle and Coca Cola, even while elected authorities fail to place a moratorium on water and soft drink bottlers amid Australia’s extreme crisis.
Water miners and bottlers are akin to the “bankers” of their realm, securing riches, advantages and resources for themselves well ahead of the public while making sweet soft drinks that contribute to ill health.
Conventional climate change—whether it involves human-induced changes from our daily lives, solar variations, or likely a bit of both—apparently is a factor in the tragic fires and odd weather conditions in Australia, California etc. But human greed, exploitation. and in some cases, cowardice, seem to be more immediate factors that could, and should, be confronted in order to get the situation under control.
Nature’s “climate” may be bad. But sometimes the political “climate” is worse, since it involves things that are within our immediate control, yet leaders who won’t lead or listen to the people simply stand in the way.