Professor Dr. Helma de Vries-Jordan
Introduction to International Affairs
8 September 2014
Analyses of Flow: For Love of Water
“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water” W.H. Auden
Water, just like air and sun, is a requirement for a human being to be able to exist on this planet. Without water life would cease to exist on the planet Earth. Water is also one of the most unvalued resources of human kind because a great part of humanity thinks that water will never run out. Unfortunately, that is far from the truth. Flow: For Love of Water is a documentary that focuses on the issues of water both far from home in Africa and here in our local communities in United States. It brings the attention of the viewer to a global issue of water shortage. Not only is water a resource that is limited and one day will run out, but it also is a resource that is either not accessible or not affordable to millions of people. For so many communities around the globe clean water is the most precious thing that they long for. It is the means to live.
According to the website “Only 2.5% of all the water on Earth is fresh water and more than 97% is saltwater” (Water: a limited resource?). That means that all of the human kind, the animal world and the plants are sustained by as little as 2.5% of the world’s fresh water supply. These numbers put the issue in perspective. If that is all the water that there is available, should it not be our goal to preserve it and encourage inventions for water technologies that would sustain this so valuable resource? Supporting the bottled water businesses puts the lives of our descendants in jeopardy. The authors of the documentary reveal to the viewers that this is the third biggest industry in the world, and it not only sells the water that does not belong to them, but they also pollute the environment in the process. Another side effect of this business is that the neighborhoods where the bottling factories are located at, run out of water. The streams cease and leave muddy areas behind. Water resources are not renewable so the neighborhood is left with water shortage.
Once polluted with the chemicals the water returns back to our environment and pollutes the environment, which, in return, is the same environment where we grow our food, raise animals and our own children. It means that we pollute and poison ourselves. Water is a limited resource. Once used, it never returns back to us in the form of fresh and clean water. The documentary brings the attention of a viewer to the poorest neighborhoods in Africa. As it is explained in the documentary, it is considered that the water is accessible if it is in the walking distance of 2 kilometers, which takes a little less than 30 minutes. People in the United States usually don’t even walk to the store 30 minutes, but people in Bolivia and India walk this distance to get the precious clean water. Unfortunately, walking to get clean water is not the only issue poor people in Africa or India have; they are also required to pay for the water.
Multimillion dollar companies move into the neighborhoods of the poor nations and promise to make water more accessible and cleaner. People in the poor neighborhoods are used to drinking dirty, unsanitary water, and the companies promise to purify and make it accessible. As the documentary uncovers, they privatize the sector and make profit on selling the same water to the local communities. Water is purified. Water becomes accessible. However, it is not affordable. It raises a question of why did they build the facilities to begin with. Companies come into the neighborhoods with promises to improve them, but in all reality they just want to make a profit. The poor neighborhoods now have no access to fresh water and no money to purchase it either.
This is also an extremely important subject here in United States. The water bottling business is thriving better than ever before. With the money