Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
– from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
For a change, we’re watching a documentary.
The film Blue Gold: World Water Wars focuses on a commodity more valuable than gold – Water.
Based on the book Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water, the documentary’s central thesis is that water shortages could cause war.
The 89-minute documentary could not be more timely coming as it does when serious water shortage is already starting to show up in several countries including our very own India.
People in the U.S. (and presumably other Western European countries too) do not have a sense of the crisis at all because we have a plentiful supply of water here.
But not so in India and vast parts of sub-Saharan Africa where people in the rural hinterlands trudge miles to get water. And far too often, the water is polluted in these poor nations causing a variety of diseases.
Directed by Sam Bozzo (with a double ‘z’, folks), the film is narrated by British actor Malcolm McDowell.
In the opening minutes of the film, McDowell gravely intones:
This is not a film about saving the environment. It’s a film about saving ourselves….Because whomever of us goes without water for a week cries blood.
We’ll update this post in a few hours.
This is an important but dry documentary, not the in your face style of Michael Moore documentaries.
The experts warn that if they do not act quickly, Earth’s water sources could collapse in a mere 50 years.
The documentary covers a fair bit of ground in 89 minutes giving us a historical perspective of the water problems with illustrations such as the crisis that affected the Mayans and the contemporary crises in Africa and Latin America.
Some of the issues addressed by this documentary:
* Water is the new oil.
* Polluted waste water returns to us in the form of food.
* Mining ground water faster than it can be replenished is contributing to the crisis.
* The aggressive play of global corporations like Suez, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Veolia et al in privatizing and profiting from water. Apparently, there are already a dozen water indexes trading on the stock markets.
* Damage to local ecosystems caused by shipping water, whether in bottles or tankers to another area.
* The need to go back to a food system not dependent on global trade.
* Need to limit population growth/housing developments to water supply.
* Return water to its natural cycle.
* Conserve water in small ways like not turning on the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving, using a low flow shower-head.
* Most importantly, make water a fundamental right.
To know more, visit Blue World: World Water Wars.
Blue Gold: World Water Wars is available at Netflix as a DVD and can also be streamed via Instant Play if you have a compatible box like Roku, LG et al.