It was raining this morning, and that sets me into a mood of musing about water. I grew up on the middle of the bayous of Louisiana, and water always seemed plentiful. Then I moved to California in the mid-70s. I began to understand the delicate balance between water and our human needs.
There is a good amount of water in northern California from the snow pack of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and a system of reservoirs. Much of this water is sent via an aqueduct to the farming regions of the San Joaquin valley and the population centers of the southern part of the state.
There was great tension over who got the water that was, more often than not, resolved by the power brokers in the state capitol. This system was never particularly fair, and we just accepted it as the fate of living in a less populated part of the state.
In my water musings, I started listening to a Business Matters interview from October of 2008. In it, I talked with Alan Snitow, the executive producer of the documentary Thirst and its companion book.
Now, I always thought that water was something that was “owned” by the people. I found that to be changing rapidly with grave consequences. When private interests “own” the water, they can set whatever price they choose, for a commodity that we can’t live without. My sad realization was that this situation has continued on this path over the past 3 years.
Hmmm…what do I want to do about that? I’m not sure. I invite you to listen and see what you think.