Why California Drought Matters to Everyone, Especially #Fracking

“I don’t even live in California. Why should I worry about the drought?” Here’s one reason why we should all be worried about California drought: Farmers in the state grow most of the food that Americans eat, such as 90% of the grapes, and 95% of the broccoli. And that’s just the biggest crops. Here’s another: The problem isn’t just limited to California drought, it’s also affecting the states of Oregon and Washington–Portland and Seattle both announced drought status in July. And finally–not to freak you out or anything–according to EcoWatch, the California drought has lead to an increase in mosquito borne illnesses like West Nile Virus, and a decrease in populations of river fish like salmon. Scared? Me, too. But along with new gadgets and gizmos designed to save water, there is some good news on the horizon.

According to excellent analysis in The Nation:

“An organized international movement has come together to fight for water justice, both globally and at the grassroots level. It has fought fiercely against privatization, with extraordinary results: Europe’s Transnational Institute reports that in the last 15 years, 235 municipalities in 37 countries have brought their water services back under public control after having tried various forms of privatization. In the United States alone, activists have reversed 58 water-privatization schemes.

This movement has also successfully fought for UN recognition that water and sanitation are human rights. The General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing these rights on July 28, 2010, and the Human Rights Council adopted a further resolution outlining the obligations of governments two months later.

Working with communities in the Global South, where water tables are being destroyed to provide boutique water for export, North American water-justice activists have set up bottled-water-free campuses across the United States and Canada. They have also joined hands to fight water-destructive industries such as fracking here and open-pit mining in Latin America and Africa.”

And that’s where you come in. Because fracking is as much about water as it is about energy. A fracking ban held in New York state; a similar ban in California could help protect what little water we have left. Will you join me by adding your name to this petition, from Environmental Action? Thanks!

 

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