Water overconsumption


Who didn’t see Steven Soderbergh’s movie Erin Brockovitch?  Raise your hand and go watch it before continuing this article.
This famous movie with Julia Roberts is inspired by a real story explaining water pollution in the USA by a power company. Industries pollute water which is giving cancer to the population.
I was thinking that this movie filmed in 2000 (16 years ago) was obsolete, but this proved me wrong. Erin Brovovitch still has her role to play in the U.S. water problems today. Here is her company’s website if you want more information : http://www.brockovich.com/
Last Call at the Oasis was showed at the SCAD film festival in 2012
Inspired by Alex Prud’homme’s book The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the 21st Century, this documentary shows the water problems in the U.S. and sometimes compares it to the world. The writer-director Jessica Yu’s documentary reaches people who aren’t familiar with all the problems of water in the U.S. like overconsumption of the water, tape water, pollution or drought issues of the southern states.
Overconsumption :
Water is the new gold and if we don’t stop wasting it we will soon fight to have access to it in the developed world like it is already happening in the developing world. In the U.S., the increasing lack of water is now a political matter because of territory. This documentary raises one question : how do people reduce the vast amount of drinkable water that wealthy societies squander in toilets and urinals ? The documentary shows some numbers that make us understand that to create one t-shirt in cotton it uses as much water as filling a medium size swimming pool. People do not see the direct link that overconsuming objects also means overconsuming water.
The Jordan River is an example of a declining water resource that is being rehabilitated despite major political differences between Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians.
Humankind should also be careful about overconsuming medicine pills. Everything that you are eating is also in your waste. An analysis of a U.S. lake shows that we found traces of birth control and other chemicals. This is polluting water, fish, animals, and ecosystems. Everything that people are doing has an impact and few are conscious of that and try to reduce their activity.
Agriculture is also a pollution problem. Overconsuming meat leads to the increase of numbers of cows. Cows wastes are really polluting the soil and so the groundwater but also the air with methane. One cow is producing as much waste as 23 people per day.
American tap water :
The documentary explains how the principle of recycled water is not working in the U.S. because people do not want to drink water which was in contact with human waste. Even if the studies prove that water in bottles are a lower quality than tap water, America is the first country in terms of bottle of water consumers.
The documentary links this problem with Singapore’s “new” water, which is recycled. This country used strong marketing tool and inform people clearly in order to make tap water popular. Recycled water or new water is treated sewage.
Pollution of water by industries and agriculture :
The University of California, Berkeley, biologist, Tyrone Hayes, explains the difference between European laws and U.S. laws concerning chemical substances. In Europe, a company has to prove that their products are healthy and ecofriendly to sell them. In the U.S. it is the opposite– a company can sell their product until someone else prove that it is damaging the health, the environment or both. He also explains the effects of atrazine, an herbicide that may cause human birth defects and is banned in Europe, although it’s made by a Swiss company.
Brockovich teaches small communities about hexavalent chromium and its consequences. These chemical are the same than the one in her fictionalized 2000 movie. These chemical are still killing people today. People feels like nobody are listing to them excepting her. Agriculture is using so many pesticides that the soil is saturated and contaminating the only water that is left.
Southern states problems :
Las Vegas is one of the worthy examples concerning water issues. This town is literally emptying the Lake Mead and so it’s dam which will soon lead to shut off both the water and the lights. All that for entertainment, fountains and green front yards. The central Valley in California is also a bad example because of its agricultural techniques, which is dwindling water supply to grow 25 percent of the food Americans eat.
This documentary shows that we should start reducing our consumption of resources and start being conscious of it. Unfortunately, we cannot be ignorant anymore about these issues and simple actions like sustainable education should be mandatory for the next generations.
Documentary here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLE3i92LkQk

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