Water Distribution and Blue Gold Movie Discussion

Water Distribution and Blue Gold Movie Discussion

.What is happening to the world’s water supply?

Please summarize this as thoroughly as possible, not just that the water supply is diminishing. You should include specific examples from the movie. You might even quote the young girl who is explaining what is supposed to replenish the supply and why that is not working any more. Please give examples of lakes that have dried up, areas where people have to walk long distances to obtain water, the nature of the pollution of rivers and lakes.

2.What are the implications, short and long-term, of this difference between supply and consumption?

That is, what will it mean for societies and relations between people and nations if the demand for water cannot be met with the availability of water? How can we reconcile some people having pure water easily accessible and some people having substandard water and even that not very accessible. Is that a potential source of discord, even war? What are the repercussions to society if the population of a city or country is drinking contaminated water?

3. What does the privatization of water mean?

The movie has a lot about this and I find that students’ do not take advantage of all the information given in the movie to answer this question. It may be necessary to watch the movie more than once to get all you need out of it to answer these questions well. Start with the idea that originally all water was publicly shared. With the rise of Capitalism, water became a source of profit so individuals became the owners of water sources and sold it to members of the community. When this ended up being uneven, that is, some people got more and better water than others, the state stepped in and made water distribution public. Now there is a move to go back to the private system. Why? What wasn’t working about public facilities? What are the incentives to a community to sell their public water works to a private company? What have cities experienced when they did this? Who are the people who are going out to find sources of water to buy and sell? What are the consequences of private companies bottling water and selling it? What is the quality of that water? Who monitors it?

4. What are some of the actions individuals and groups are taking?

This question is particularly important because it places a responsibility on all of us to do something concrete about the situation. More than just watching how much water we use and not letting water run when we’re not using it, please think of how people have resisted in a positive way privatization, lack of water in developing countries, big business take-over. Please go over all the examples in the movie, especially the story of Ryan’s Well. What groups are taking matters into their hands? What communities are organizing to stop the crisis of water quality and supply? What ideas have worked the best? Is direct action such as what took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia effective? Do you have any other experience or ideas to share?

5. How does all of this impact us?

Even in the United States there are great differences in the quality and availability of water. Look into the situation in Flint, Michigan which remains unresolved in spite of the publicity given the horrible discovery of high levels of lead in the water supply several years ago. Is it only a matter of time until even those with lots of water will be affected? Is it a moral and ethical problem as well as political and economic? Has this movie made you more aware of the crisis? Do you believe it is a crisis?

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