In 2008 American’s spent $40 billion on bottled water. One-fourth of which was simply repackaged tap water. Why do we spend so much money on water that we could just as easily get from our own faucet?
The documentary FLOW: How did a handful of corporations steal our water? takes viewers through a journey that ultimately asks the question, “Is access to drinkable water a basic human right?” From the riots of water privatization in Bolivia to low-cost-clean-water supporting jobs in rural India this film looks at the question from multiple sides, but with one major theme: justice. Justice for those who can’t pay, who walk long distances to water sources, who drink from dirty rivers, who are having their aquifers pumped out from underneath them.
Most of us have heard about the detrimental effects that water bottle waste has on the environment. From polluted oceans to filling up landfills at your local dump. What I didn’t know was how just pumping that water has even more direct effects, because according to the Pacific Institute, it takes three liters of water to produce one liter of bottled water. It enlightened me to the true realities of pumping such vast quantities of water out of our ground’s resources.
My reaction to the documentary was intrigue and surprise. I knew that water was a huge issue, that bottled water posed environmental problems and that privatization had caused major riots in other parts of the world – but what I didn’t know was how it all flowed together.
This film is opinionated, hard-hitting, and at times hard to imagine. What would you do if your local river was literally bloody? Can you imagine being thrilled at having 10 liters of clean water per day? Do we realize that preventing disease is as easy as drinking clean water? It may seem like water issues belong to developing countries, to areas with poor sanitation or a desert climate, but in fact they are experienced in our own American backyard, in States as far apart as California and Michigan.
Get ready to be energized and learn the little things you can do to keep water from becoming a privilege, to keep rivers flowing and to prevent disease around the world.
Prepare to never look at a bottle of water the same way again.