Journal: Alaska Selling Her Birthright…Water

12 Water, True Cost

Newsweek Story Online

The New Oil

Should private companies control our most precious natural resource?

Sitka, Alaska, is home to one of the world’s most spectacular lakes. Nestled into a U-shaped valley of dense forests and majestic peaks, and fed by snowpack and glaciers, the reservoir, named Blue Lake for its deep blue hues, holds trillions of gallons of water so pure it requires no treatment. The city’s tiny population—fewer than 10,000 people spread across 5,000 square miles—makes this an embarrassment of riches. Every year, as countries around the world struggle to meet the water needs of their citizens, 6.2 billion gallons of Sitka’s reserves go unused. That could soon change. In a few months, if all goes according to plan, 80 million gallons of Blue Lake water will be siphoned into the kind of tankers normally reserved for oil—and shipped to a bulk bottling facility near Mumbai. From there it will be dispersed among several drought-plagued cities throughout the Middle East.

Phi Beta Iota: The commercialization of Earth has already resulted in enormous costs most of which are barely understood today, at the same time that changes to the Earth that used to take 10,000 years, now take three.  The “true cost” of shipping bulk water is already known to be much higher than the engaged parties recognize–these are costs to the environment, the balance of nature, and ultimately to the sustainability of the very water supply being looted.