Lake Michigan

June 2014: Water Issues

We met in June to watch an excellent film about water, and followed that with a lively discussion of the many issues presented in the film, as well as a few more which weren’t covered (like “Fracking,” which has recently arrived in West Michigan). Take-aways:

  1. Bottled water is bad news (secret: it’s just tap water from somewhere else, and is less-regulated and less-tested than municipal drinking water). Moreover, people often pay more for it per gallon than gasoline, even while they have perfectly safe water freely available to drink!
  2. Water privatization is a huge issue, especially in the “developing” world, where people’s rights are being undercut by ruthless corporations, who are forcing them to either pay dearly for what used to be free, or drink from polluted streams and lakes, with many getting sick and dying from the latter.
  3. There are a lot of concerns locally about aquifers and wells being ruined by the “fracking” process, as well as the wastefulness and unsustainability of large-scale irrigation pumping by industrial agriculture to grow commodity crops (humans don’t generally eat GMO field corn / soybeans directly). The aquifers are being pumped down at a much faster rate than they’re being replenished, which has already caused thousands of wells to run dry in the more arid west—this will happen in Michigan if we don’t change our ways!

Here’s a trailer for the movie we saw:

Water Meeting Poster

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