Monday, September 28, 2009


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Goodbye Coney Island

Monday, June 29, 2009

Like A Wave

Like a wave watermyth is back. Again another turn in the river. Watermyth is going switch it up a bit and start to reflect my experiences in a little part of Philadelphia called Fishtown. I will still cover some basic bases in relation to water, which really I see Fishtown being a part of that struggle historically.

Fishtown is an old working class neighborhood just Northeast of Center City. It sits on the borders between the the baby carriages and bar goers in Northern Liberties, the renowned [warning, the video is produced by the BBC and is representative of a certain view on the area Kennsington, for a fuller view of this area I recommend this video project produced by David Kessler], and Port Richmond, which seems sort of quiet as I have not heard much about it.

Fishtown is White. This "White-ness" traces its roots back to Polish, Irish, and German immigrants who fished the endangerd shad. Though it was also the home to English shipbuilders and currently home to Ukrainian immigrants, and the vanguard of gentrification--it'd be tough to throw a rock and not hit a musician or filmmaker.

The day that I moved in to my house I read an article in one of the weekly papers how in the 1970's black movers moved a white family into a house on my block. That house was later fire bombed. I questioned whether I should tell my friend who was coming to help me move this nugget of information. I decided it was best to, and also told her that if my house were to be fire bombed I will hold her responsible. But times have changed and there is one African American family that lives on my block. Fishtown even voted for Obama, though I hear it was close.

I am still trying to get a handle on Fishtown. I do feel a bit like a fish out of water. We will see what turns up.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fertile Water

By now I am assuming most people have read or heard that Nicole Kidman is talking of the virtues of the water in the outback that led to her pregnancy. To be sure I am not doubting her sincerity. But for some reason it make me feel a bit sick in my stomach. Perhaps instead of Keith Urban being the biological father she was knocked up by immaculate conception by swimming in the water. It's not unheard of. The thing that will be interesting is when the bottled water companies get thier hands on this miracle water.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

water fight

It seems in Thailand they have a huge water fight to celebrate the new year:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bottled Water

Monday, August 04, 2008

Unhealthy thirst for profit

from: The Wall Street Journal Digital Network

Unhealthy thirst for profit
Commentary: Water, water, everywhere, but so is the need to curb speculators
Thomas Kostigen, MarketWatch
Last update: 7:40 p.m. EDT June 26, 2008

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- A majority of U.S. mayors voted to stop paying for bottled water with taxpayers' money. Instead, they are opting to use tap water at city meetings and for city employees.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom introduced the idea at the U.S. Conference of Mayors that took place earlier this week in Miami, and it was quickly embraced by others.

To be sure, the beverage industry isn't happy about the move. "A few mayors have chosen sound-bite environmentalism over sound public policy in their zeal to appease liberal activist groups that are pedaling misinformation about bottled water," the Associated Press quoted Kevin Keane, a senior vice president of the industry's American Beverage Association, as saying.

But the mayors' move is smart. About 25% of bottled water comes from municipal sources anyway -- the same municipal sources that provide tap water. They also regulate and monitor water quality more regularly, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Moreover, considering that municipal sources are often city sources of water supply, why should these municipalities pay for their own water along with the $70 million that Corporate Accountability International estimates it costs to dispose of the plastic bottles every year?

Tap the tap

I salute the U.S. Conference of Mayors for its action and think others should enact similar measures. Many restaurants have banned serving bottled water altogether, and offer tap only.

It isn't so much the water that is the problem with bottled water, it's the plastic waste. We in the U.S. consume 81 million plastic bottles per day, according to the Container Recycling Institute. With less than one-third of these bottles getting recycled, that leaves a lot of waste. And plastics don't biodegrade.

Now while I say that water use isn't so much the problem with bottled water, it's a growing one -- both in terms of tapping supplies as well as in precedent.

The $15 billion-plus bottled-water industry has grown out of nothing over the last couple of decades. The water used to supply it amounts to far less than 1% of supply. However, the idea that water itself can be owned is disturbing.

We can only survive about three days without water. Like air, it should be made available to us as part of what many organizations call the "commons." We don't pay for air, why water?

The amount of private water providers has grown more than 100-fold since 1990 and they now supply about 10% of the world's population, according to water activist Maude Barlow, founder of the Blue Planet Project. And water ownership is growing with people, and investors seeing it as a ripe commodity.

T. Boone Pickens, the famous oil investor, for example, is betting big on water, buying up rights in the Southwest.
I'm not saying that people shouldn't have the right to buy premium water (some wingnuts have opened oxygen bars after all), but there should be a limit on the amount of water profiteers can own, then let speculators have at it.

We need look no further than our food supply to see the dangers speculation has on prices -- and therefore those who cannot afford to pay; they starve.

We should set a water policy that assures people have ready access to it as part of their right to exist. Sure we trade taxes for rights all the time. And I think that is exactly the point of the U.S. mayors who voted to end taxpayer funding of bottled water: It's ours to begin with. Water should not be made into a total commodity. That would have life and death consequences, and markets don't care; they operate without conscience.