Monday, 29 June 2009

Water Water Nowhere and Not a Drop to Drink

There are areas in Karnataka and Kerala that I have read about that are facing a serious water shortage thanks to beverage companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi Co. These companies continue to dig their bore wells deeper and deplete water resources as if they owned water. Water is the asset that they sell. Why should they be allowed to get it for free and sell it at a premium at the cost of the blood and life of an India farmer?

A farmer gets very little electricity because, people like me, need electricity to stay networked, refrigerate beer and sleep under a fan. With the little electricity that the farmer gets, it is close to impossible to tap water from the existing bore wells. A farmer is now forced to dig deeper because the Cola c are sucking the water out from under their feet faster than they can sink a bore-well. I am tired of seeing companies make massive profits out of assets that are not theirs and deny the farmers a right to existence (forget livelihood).

My wife is unable to drink bottled water because it tastes awkward. She drinks straight from the tap and has never had a stomach upset. I invariably fall ill with a stomach flu once every two months. If people like me would put the fear of infection behind them, people who are thirsty will probably have more water to drink.

While the exploitation of water resources continues by the stars of the “market”, India is on the brink of a drought and rumors have started about at El Nino taking root. If this climate change becomes a reality we will be in a deep mess.

While all this happens, the Government of Karnataka has said there will be no water to TN from the KRS dam. I guess the legal and verbal water wars between the two states will commence shortly. There will be a few skirmishes as Karunanidhi and Yedyurappa try and consolidate their positions in the their respective states. Farmers on both sides of the border will, in the meanwhile, get screwed for water. Pepsi and Coke will continue to bottle and sell Pepsi and Coke.

My frustration is increasing day-by-day. The magnitude of problems is growing and the solutions seem nowhere in sight. Finding optimism in the middle of all this seems a challenge.

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