Man cannot live without necessities, such as air, food, shelter, and water. It has been said that man can live for many days without food but only a few without water. It is, therefore, a comforting fact that like air, water is free. No one owns the water, and because of that fresh and potable water is easily accessible by anyone. Rich and poor, strong and weak no can be denied the right to drink water from wells, springs, and other natural sources of this important fluid. But in the documentary titled “Flow,” this may not be the case for long.
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In the said documentary, two major things are preventing people from having access to fresh water. These are the proliferation of companies that use a manufacturing process that destroys water, and the second is the emergence of multi-national companies that attempt to control the flow of water. They want to control water to force people to pay for it. It is what happened to Bolivia when an international company called the Suez found a way to force one particular region to privatize.
It has to be made clear that Suez and its subsidiaries cannot do this without help from politicians. In this case, the World Bank forced Bolivia to agree to privatization, or else the country will never receive loans to build facilities that can, in turn, improve water services in the country. However, the residents reasoned out that privatization can significantly increase the cost of water consumption. But that is just a minor issue compared to the fact that businessmen and politicians can control the flow of water.
Another important issue discussed in the documentary is the propensity of food companies to become “water hunters,” and this means pumping thousands of gallons of freshwater from underneath towns and communities. Companies like Coca-Cola and Nestle are not only extracting water and depriving the townspeople of this precious resource, but these same companies are also pumping out wastewater and polluting the groundwater in places like India where residents have no power to challenge erring companies that are destroying their way of life.
It is difficult for me to accept the idea that companies can do whatever they want for the sake of profit. It is absurd to think that the World Bank can be in collusion with the corrupt leaders of Bolivia and, at the same time dealing with companies specializing in providing water services for people. It is easy to see how politicians and certain world leaders are corrupted by money. It is a big money-making scheme to force nations to privatize and, by doing so, force people to pay for water that in the first place is theirs to share, use, and enjoy.
It is also a mind-boggling thing for me to know that food companies like Coca-Cola and Nestle can go in and destroy the environment and not being made responsible for their actions. If the producer of the said documentary was able to access this type of information, then it means that others can also have access to the same information. The question is, why is it that there is no concerted effort made to limit the destructive capabilities of these companies? More importantly, why is it that no laws are forcing these companies to treat wastewater or, better, yet to develop recycling facilities so that they can re-use water and not take more than they need from nature? It is time to act before the flow of water is permanently cut-off.