By Lorraine Mull
Blue Gold: World Water Wars
Producer/Writer/Director: Sam Bozzo
The study of our food system often lacks a key component: water. Where would any of our food come from without water?
Blue Gold, an extraordinary documentary that is equal parts ‘Water 101’ and ‘Water Politics’ is based on the book Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water and tops the list of scariest films ever, though it is unfortunately non-fiction.
The amount of usable fresh water on our planet is getting smaller. Besides the obvious problem of pollution, corporations, private investors and governments around the world are swiftly taking control of water supplies and reducing access to this essential nutrient.
You may or may not remember the hydrologic cycle from your middle school science class. Technically, the amount of water on the earth will not change because of the cycle, but access to fresh water can change. If you take water out of our aquifers, pour it into nutrient-depleted soil to grow a commodity crop (20,000 liters of water are needed to grow a bushel of corn), massively pollute it with fertilizer and pesticide runoff, or claim it as yours to bottle and ship it away, it is no longer accessible within the ecosystem in which it comes from.
We are currently pumping ground water at 15 times the rate at which it can be replaced; in some cases we are literally sinking communities. Desalination seems like a logical answer to the problem, but requires massive amounts of fossil fuel energy. Simply put, the rates at which we exploit our water supply combined with the battle for control foreshadow a very grim picture for the future. Can you imagine a world where you cannot get water from your faucet or the river near you?
We have to learn to live within the limits of a renewable water supply in order to protect ourselves along with our food and water supplies. Everyone interested in studying or changing our food system should watch this film.
This film is currently available on Amazon and Netflix streaming.