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Thread: Theft of Amazon water for bottled water

  1. #1
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    Theft of Amazon water for bottled water

    From Today's Tree Hugger, by Stephanie Messenger


    A recently published report is exposing some shocking exploitation of the Amazon's natural resources--and this times it's water being stolen. Where is this water headed? According to the report, "tankers are quietly removing water" to be bottled and sold in Europe and the Middle East. This is coming at a time when regions of the northern Amazon region have been experiencing a devastating drought that threatens the livelihoods of its people. This burgeoning crime is known as hydro-piracy, and it could foreshadow a future of resource wars as clean water supplies become scarce.

    Hydro-Piracy is Illegal, But Not Uncommon
    This isn't the first time the crime of hydro-piracy has come to the attention of Amazon watchdog groups. Tankers were known to be exporting oil to South America and refilling their tanks with fresh water from the Amazon to import back to Europe and the Middle East.

    It is estimated that each tanker returns with approximately 5 million gallons of Amazon River water. For bottling companies, it is considerably less expensive to treat freshwater than to procure it through desalinization.

    But, according to the report published in the law journal Consulex, such pillaging of resources is illegal under Brazilian law and must be addressed:
    This illegal practice can not be neglected by the Brazilian authorities in order to be considered property of the lakes, rivers and any water currents on lands owned by the [Federal government].

    New Methods Arise as the Old Ones Go Unaddressed
    The report discloses a new method being implemented to illegally export the Amazon River which may be more efficient for hydro-piracy. Instead of their internal tanks, large bags are being filled with freshwater and towed back across the Atlantic.

    Journalist Von Erick Farfan was one of the first to point out the ongoing exploitation of the Amazon's water. He says that scientists and the Brazilian authorities were informed that oil tankers are replenishing their reservoirs in the Amazon River before leaving the national waters, according to EcoAgencia, but lacked the 'formal' complaint required to prompt any action.

    Farfan points out that the hydro-piracy has direct links to multinational corporations.

    Are They Taking More Than Just Water?
    The interest in preserving the Amazon River, however, goes beyond politics. Scientists argue that biodiversity is being threatened by the trafficking. Professor Ary Haro of the Federal University of Parana:
    Since it is still unknown, we can formulate theories and one of them may be linked to smuggling of fish or even of microorganisms.

    Water Shortages May Lead to Wars in the Future
    Water is expected to become increasingly scarce in the future, partly due to a change in rain patterns as a result of climate change. According to the report, between 1970 and 1995 the amount of water available to each inhabitant of the world fell 37% worldwide, and that currently about 1.4 billion people lack access to clean water.

    Some say that in a period between 100 and 150 years, global conflicts are likely to arise from a lack of available water. Estimates say that somewhere up to 26% of the world's fresh water resides in the Amazon, which is likely to make it a key strategic resource for Brazil in the future.

  2. #2
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    who OWNS rivers and oceans?
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
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  3. #3
    this same scenario used tio happen in the hudson river inb ny.
    the forign tankers would offload their liquid cargo and pump hudon river water into the tanks. i believe they first used the water to clean out the tankers hold,and would then pollute the hudson with the results. when they were finished the leaning process they would travel north of the saline freshwater line , which is usually around newburg ny/ newburg /beacon bridge being the line used to enforce fresh water fishing license in the hudson.
    there they would fill their talkers with water and travel back to their countries.
    riverkeeper caught them and documented the ships doing it , which resulted in a lot of multi million dollar fines.
    lesson learned, if you dont watch them carefully they will always try and do something like this. river keeper at that timer was a grassroots hudson river group. back in the old-days they were took a beyond the legal channels approach.
    they found the illegal outflows from the factrois along the hudson and would cement them up st night.
    the factory would get flooded and cost the comasny a lot of money to fix, however they couldnt report it, since what they weerre doing was against federal laws. sometimes people have to take the situation into their own hands, in this case the locals had complained to both the factory owners and the federal govt, and neither would do anything to correct it .
    the river keeper people did. it evolved into a big political organization that is powerful today, i believe pete seeger was one of the founders and promoters
    cauda equina

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    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    Wow Eileen what won't people steal? Now water.

    Water is and will become very valuable as days go by.
    Very interesting Thanks!

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    Thanks Mona. This is still another case of first world nations stealing from the indigenous people who rely on local water supplies for everything from drinking to farming. The sad part is that first world nations don't even need the water, but a corporate culture has convinced many that bottled water is somehow safer, has more class, whatever. Often it is not nearly as clean or as tested as what comes out of the tap for free.

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    Senior Member ColonusFan's Avatar
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    Riparian Rights and things not mentioned in the article

    Quote Originally Posted by brucec View Post
    who OWNS rivers and oceans?
    Dear brucec,

    Not to sound like a jerk but there actually is something called Riparian rights. I find it kind of like enforcing the speed limits on the Interstate highway system. Every one breaks them until some one really goes over the limit. Out in western states water is extremely scarce and Arizona and California are always feuding. In the mid-west the underground aquifers are running dry so state governments are trying to ration water and improve crop growing efficiency with regard to water usage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riparian_water_rights

    There are all kinds of international treaties about the oceans as well. Those treaties are similar to riparian rights, enforcement is rare and scarce. Look at this website about the great garbage patch between California and Hawaii.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science...tch/index.html

    I don't want to sound like Al Gore but our world has a S H I T load of pollution/ water violations. I think the original cited article stating future wars over water might be border line scare tactic and completely overlooks why China is accumulating and hoarding fertilizer in the global markets. If China continues this trend it could cause critical famine in their own country while causing food prices to rise around the globe. In short clean potable water = common overlooked economic prosperity.

  7. #7
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    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonusFan View Post
    Dear brucec,

    Not to sound like a jerk but there actually is something called Riparian rights. I find it kind of like enforcing the speed limits on the Interstate highway system. Every one breaks them until some one really goes over the limit. Out in western states water is extremely scarce and Arizona and California are always feuding. In the mid-west the underground aquifers are running dry so state governments are trying to ration water and improve crop growing efficiency with regard to water usage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riparian_water_rights

    There are all kinds of international treaties about the oceans as well. Those treaties are similar to riparian rights, enforcement is rare and scarce. Look at this website about the great garbage patch between California and Hawaii.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science...tch/index.html

    I don't want to sound like Al Gore but our world has a S H I T load of pollution/ water violations. I think the original cited article stating future wars over water might be border line scare tactic and completely overlooks why China is accumulating and hoarding fertilizer in the global markets. If China continues this trend it could cause critical famine in their own country while causing food prices to rise around the globe. In short clean potable water = common overlooked economic prosperity.
    thanks for the info, i was wondering about the rights
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Thanks Mona. This is still another case of first world nations stealing from the indigenous people who rely on local water supplies for everything from drinking to farming. The sad part is that first world nations don't even need the water, but a corporate culture has convinced many that bottled water is somehow safer, has more class, whatever. Often it is not nearly as clean or as tested as what comes out of the tap for free.

    How stupid. I hope they're punished royally!

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