Living in the Great Lakes Region, it is very easy to take water for granted. It is all around us and on a daily basis, we are inundated with news of invasive species that may harm the local fishing economy, industrial pollutants that can harm our water supply and municipal pollutants that disrupt our recreation activities. Each of these issues points to ways that large groups of us need to come together to solve these problems. They are city-wide, state-wide and sometimes international. To some people's dismay, this means that we are responsible.
Given the current political cries against government intervention in everything from banking to education, it is easy to see how public necessities like water treatment and supply are on the table for privatization discussion. In many ways, in a free market, this is the easy solution. We don't really have to think about the problem at all. As long as we, as consumers, continue to insist on clean water, industry can step in and provide us with what we want. Some may call the privatization of water ridiculous and say that it "can't happen here". Other's may dismiss the notion with stories of the worst case scenarios of what happens when unbridled industry has it's way
(insert photo of Bhopal, Copiapo, the Gulf of Mexico, etc. here).
As individuals, there are small things that we can do every day to conserve our natural resources but these actions alone do nothing if larger entities like businesses and governments work against these goals. I don't have any big answers but think that its worthwhile to consider this when exercising one of our most important rights this November. Also, it is worth checking out what others have to say about the issue at the Blog Action Day website.