Water is life. Segovia, Spain. 2009

This little water spigot has been the object of a lot of attention. Firstly its design lends itself so well to a bit of ribald fun and secondly there is the acknowledgement of the fact that it is so photogenic.

What I also find interesting is what I see as the subtext of a low regard for fresh water.

What I’m constantly amazed at when I’m out and about near waterways is how so many short sighted and selfish people think nothing about polluting them. I’m not just saying this about Spain, I’m talking about the world in general. It would seem that just about anywhere in the world, people take water for granted. Even people in places that don’t have much water will pollute it.

When we were in Mostar in Bosnia, we saw a guy with a stick flicking plastic waste that was caught up in some rocks located in the middle of a tributary stream, into the main stream. I guess he thought he was cleaning up the place and the river would take the rubbish away. He didn’t appear to have the slightest concern about the people down stream or the health of the waterway.

Time and time again, we hear on the TV about how countries like Israel are stealing water from other countries by pumping out their aquifers near the borders, or how Turkey’s dams are stopping Syria getting enough water.

Here in Australia there is huge cotton farm (Cubbie Station) up in Queensland that has no consideration for the people downstream and has basically cut off with a huge dam, the seasonal waters from the Murray Darling basin. Vast wetlands have been destroyed while many ancient little rivers have dried up, not to mention siltation, salination and decreasing water quality downstream. Adelaide’s tap water is the lowest quality water in any major city in Australia and it’s just about undrinkable because of all the bad water management occuring upstream.  

Cotton farming with its high use of fertilizer, insecticides and water in the area where Cubbie Station is located, shouldn’t in my mind, be called agribusiness, but rather, “a bloody-minded act of environmental vandalism”.

A few years ago I was at a Christmas party with some seriously rich people (with hundreds of millions to their name) and I was talking to them about the doing the right thing by the environment, and their response was, “the government should subsidise the private sector to make it worthwhile for business to clean up their act”.

Do these people come from some other planet? Do they think that the mess they make isn’t going to affect them and their offspring at some stage?

It just goes to show that the old question of, “if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” Is such a stupid proposition. I’m beginning to think that to be filthy rich, one doesn’t have to be that smart, just sociopathic.

A pox on all their houses!

5 thoughts on “Water is life. Segovia, Spain. 2009”

  1. My, my!
    I have a friend who believes that corporate profits accrue largely because the corporations are not required to clean up after themselves… in other words, the profits represent the destruction and pollution of the environment. If you think about it, that’s not too far off.
    I’ve always wondered what it is that an individual could possibly contribute that would be worth the millions (or billions) that these people earn. My conclusion (a corollary to the above) is that those outrageous earnings must come from the exploitation of human and natural resources.
    So we go from the sublime in your last post– to this.

  2. And then think where all that pollution produced cotton ends up – in junk clothing that lasts for one season before turning into rags… Grrr! I’m afraid pox will not be enough, am waiting for the moment when environment/society protection terrorism will take off and first CEO dies of lead “poisoning” on his way to work. Call me a rotten communist but we do need a change of perspective in which government’s function is to protect people from business, not the other way around.

    And yes, plastic bottles in Bosnian rivers are beyond words. Non-reusable plastic bottles should be prohibited by law along with all the sugary water derivates that are sold in them. At least in this part of the world.

    A certain story by Milorad Pavic crossed my mind seeing this pic, but is unfortunately not translated into English :(

  3. Grasswire

    I like the idea of an environmental protection “force”. Bottled water (particularly in non-reusable plastic bottles) has always been proof to me that there are so many stupid, selfish and short sighted people in the world. It’s also proof to me that our so-called democratic governments don’t do very good job of protecting the majority (workers) from the minority (capitalists).

    Democracy is a sham that gives an illusion of freedom and control to the masses when in fact the information to make informed decisions is controlled by the super wealthy who own the media. That corrupt and venial arsehole running Italy at the moment is a prime example.

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