I Stick My Neck Out a Little Bit More

Posted on 22nd December 2010 by admin in Rivers of the world

After going to two meetings (one city council and one utilities meeting) about the selling of the water in Minor Hill TN, I didn’t feel much satisfaction.  So I wrote the following letter to the editor of the county news paper.. This is the first time in my life I’ve written a letter to the editor. It feels good. I feel like I’m going the distance to warn the people not to sell their water rights to a bottling company. Here’s the letter:

Hello, Friends —

As a resident of Lawrence County who has been working in Pulaski for 10 years, I have been studying the water situation in Giles county, and beyond, for a number of years. There is a disturbing new trend going on around the world — the waters of water-rich areas are being bought, bottled, transported and sold by corporate firms, draining local area aquifers for sale elsewhere. This privatization of natural resources can create disaster with the drinking water of local communities.

Only very recently, Campbellsville Spring was in danger of being sold to a company, but a few brave folks kept that from happening for the time being. Right now, the town of Minor Hill is close to making a deal to sell their underground waters to a bottling company contracting with local officials to drill a well, in order to address the local water supply problem. If water is found, the agreement will be a trade-off of residents’ water rights, in return for the same water to be sold back to Minor Hill’s citizens. The following are a few talking points concerning what has happened in other places, where the waters have been privatized:

Points for citizens of Minor Hill, TN, concerning the sale of water to Amnisos — a bottling company:

  1. The water in the Giles County watershed is a natural resource in-place since the beginning of time. When large quantities of water are removed from an aquifer, it is not replenished by seasonal rains.
  2. Most of the streams and creeks in Giles County are either polluted, or are on the Seriously Compromised list. If the “sweet water” from underground is removed, it leaves the toxins in the water above ground more concentrated.
  3. Have local residents — the voting public — been made aware of both the pros and cons of this proposal?
  4. Small towns with good water all over the world have been dealing with the issue of water privatization. Here are some of the problems that residents have to deal with, after their waters have been privatized:
  • The Pacific island nation of Fiji sold its water to a bottling company of the same name. Now, after years of having their water transported far away, 51% of Fiji’s population does not have access to clean drinking water. Waterborne illnesses are now rampant on the island.

 

  •  Atlanta, GA sold the water rights to Lake Lanier to the Coca-Cola Company. During the last three- year drought, when Atlanta residents were on very strict water rations, Coca-Cola Co. refused to stop taking water in abundance. Everyone reading this knows someone who has had to truck their water during a recent drought. Dry wells were a fact all over Giles County. Once we start removing large volumes of water from underground, expect dry wells to become more of a problem.

 

  • Towns that were promised local jobs from water companies in the past, have found that the bottling plants are highly automated, and do not provide the many job opportunities that were promised.

 

  • Please protect future generations from want, and keep local waters in the hands of the local people. The water is part of our commonwealth, not to be sold to private companies for their enrichment.

 

  • Many small towns have traded water rights for well-digging, and have then found that the bottling companies wind up selling the water for a high price, while paying relatively little for it.

 

  • Even with a contract clause stating that the city of Minor Hill is to have first rights to buy the well, should the company decide to sell, Minor Hill may not have time to raise enough funds, and the water rights will be out of local control forever.

 

  • This is not just an issue for residents of Minor Hill alone, it is a problem that could eventually affect us all. We must find alternative solutions.

 
*** An Idea ***

There is so much musical talent in this area that I often wonder if it’s due to something in the water. Why not have a few fundraising concerts/festivals, invite some noted musicians and songwriters to perform, and call it WATER AID? This could be a source of funds to purchase the much-needed well for the city of Minor Hill, keeping the local waters in the hands of the community.
Sincerely,

Bernice Davidson

3 Comments »

  1. A letter to the editor is a perfect way to get the word out! I love it.

    Comment by Dharmaja — December 23, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

  2. Is the paper the Lawrence County Advocate?

    Comment by Dharmaja — December 23, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

  3. The paper is the Pulaski Citizen. Today I heard someone read the article over the radio in Pulaski. The snow ball is growing.

    Comment by admin — December 27, 2010 @ 4:08 am

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