Sandra Finley

Jun 042022
 

” . . . the attackes on masculinity and the attacks on feminity . . .”  leading to what end?

The 12-minute video begins in the educational system and ends looking dystopian relationships between men and women in the eye.

Biologically, socially and culturally we kinda have to have dynamic relationships between the sexes,

          or we’re screwed in the long term,  I’d say.

There is SO much room for misunderstanding.

Yet, more than ever we need a MASS OF PEOPLE if we are going to wiggle out from under the boulder of tyranny.  And NOT much time for                         figuring out how we come together on various divisive topics.

If this video arouses stereotypes and not helpful discussion,  I have done you a disservice.   /Sandra

https://plandemicseries.com/education 

Jun 042022
 

With thanks to Anti-War.com:

Yahoo News broke the news of the alleged plot last year

by Dave DeCamp

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been summoned to appear in a Spanish court to testify on whether the CIA planned to assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he was the head of the agency, the Spanish newspaper ABC reported.

Yahoo News reported last year that in 2017, the CIA plotted to kidnap Assange, and some senior officials discussed killing him and requested options on how to carry out the assassination. The CIA was furious with Assange over the WikiLeaks release of documents that detailed the spy agency’s hacking tools, known as Vault 7.

A former Trump national security official told Yahoo News that Pompeo and other senior officials “were completely detached from reality because they were so embarrassed about Vault 7 … they were seeing blood.”

According to the ABC report, Pompeo must appear in court sometime this month to explain if there was a plot to kidnap or kill Assange, although he was given the option to appear via video link. William Evanina, the former head of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, was also summoned to appear before the court.

Assange has been held in London’s Belmarsh Prison for over three years without being convicted of a crime. The WikiLeaks founder is currently awaiting a decision from UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on whether or not he will be extradited to the US to face trial for exposing US war crimes.

Assange has been indicted by the US on 17 counts of espionage and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime for publishing documents leaked to him by former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning, a standard journalistic practice. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison.

Jun 022022
 

Chinese Business Owners Could Spend More Than $20 Million on Canadian Water Sources

 

Note:  the top of the Water Canada page is 2015.  The above is the first article below.   There are other links, other articles.  Water Canada is active on Twitter.

FULL TEXT OF Canadian Water Summit June 1-3 . . . willing to spend “at least $20 million” to buy wells in British Columbia:

An immigration consultant told Reuters last week that he has clients willing to spend “at least $20 million” to buy wells in British Columbia. The clients plan to set up bottling plants in the province to export spring water to China.  

“One of my clients is exporting—I cannot believe it—200 container loads of mineral water from British Columbia to China every single month,” the consultant, Alex Liao, told Reuters. “Lots of people, right now, are buying wells.”

In recent weeks, two Chinese businessmen have purchased two water sources in the province. Another Chinese man reportedly bought a water source in Chilliwack, B.C. for $17 million.

“Canada is famous for its rich and clean fresh water, which is very cheap and suitable to develop bottled water business,” said Yuan Zhanling, the former economic and commercial counselor of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver, to China Daily Canada.

“Canada often leaves Chinese consumers an impression as resourceful, natural, and clean, which is an advantage of bringing Canadian bottled water to the market with vast needs, especially the emerging high-end water market,” he added. “To invest in water sources, Chinese businessmen need to be familiar with the related laws of the Canadian government and pay attention to issues such as environment and the interests of the local people, especially the First Nations in Canada.”

Latest trends show that the bottled water market is growing quickly in China, with a 20 per cent annual increase on average. While Canadian bottled water brands have yet to appear in high-end supermarkets in Beijing, Chinese residents are keen to try what they imagine to be pristine, premium water.

“My impression of Canada is that of a country with many snow-capped mountains and clean air, so I think the water quality must be very good, especially compared to China,” said Daniel Cheng, a 33-year-old Beijinger, to China Daily Canada.

 

Jun 012022
 

From Bruce Gibbons, Merville Water Guardians  (May 28)

Call to ACTION:

Please take the time to draft an email expressing your concern about this proposal and registering your vehement opposition to its approval.

The CVRD needs to know our opposition is not “anti-business”, it is pro-water protection.  And they need to know about the issues I raised below.

            Send to:

           arzeenahamir@shaw.ca;     edwingrieve@shaw.ca;      reachme@danielarbour.ca;      amullaly@comoxvalleyrd.ca; rdyson@comoxvalleyrd.ca;      bchow@comoxvalleyrd.ca;      ttrieu@comoxvalleyrd.ca

Thank you for your support and help.

– – – – – – – – –

Hi everyone.  Another update on the Merville Water License, and the pending decision on an application to amend the license and get a “new” business up and running in the rural residential and farming area of Sackville Road, in Merville.

The Comox Valley Regional District staff are still amassing information and compiling a report for the Regional Directors to review and make a decision on that application.

UPDATE:  the Report will now be tabled, tentatively in July.  Stay tuned.

Here are some points to consider, in your action before a decision is made.

  • M is again claiming he was “caused harm” by the CVRD, despite the fact he was given the full due process for his request to rezone his property, including a public hearing.  The overwhelming response from the community was clearly opposed to a water bottling business taking water from the shared Comox aquifer and clearly against a business being approved on a rural residential property in Merville in a mixed rural/ALR area.  (ALR = Agricultural Land Reserve)
    • His claim that the necessity for rezoning was a lie is incorrect.  The original Conditional Water License clearly stated, “You are advised that the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) requires an application to rezone the property to enable “water and beverage bottling” as the principal use on the property.
  • M regularly likes to claim that I (Bruce) “lost in court” or “lost the appeal”.  In fact, the Environmental Appeal Board ruled that I did not have standing to appeal, so my appeal was never heard.  Ironically, the Water Sustainability Act only allows standing to appeal if an operation’s “works” physically, detrimentally affect someone’s land.  There is no allowance to appeal on the basis of the operation affecting your access to water, or to appeal on the basis of harm to the ecosystem.

 

UPDATE:  the Govt Ministry responsible, known as FLNRORD is dismantled as of spring 2022.  A part of it is now named  Forests, Lands and Water STEWARDSHIP, as opposed to Natural Resources DEVELOPMENT.

 

  • The FLNRORD  decision-makers in Nanaimo, in my and my lawyer’s opinion, have unlawfully accepted an application for amendment to the original license and have downloaded responsibility for the decision to the Comox Valley Regional District.
  • M claims it has always been their intention to provide water to “local people filling their own containers to take home”. In his original application to the provincial government, he applied for a license to extract 100,000 liters of water per day.  The FLNRORD decision-makers advised him to reduce his quantity to 10,000 liters per day, to avoid the necessity of having tests done prior to approval.   100,000 liters of water per day, or 3 million liters per month, is a lot of local people filling their personal containers.  That brings into question the true intentions of his application.
  • Speaking of true intentions, Mr. M claims in his post that “Our true intentions have not changed since day one.”  If that is true, then this recent application cannot be an amendment.  It is actually a rehashing of the application that was denied 4 years ago, and if that is the case then he is not being truthful with the FLNRORD team who have accepted his application for an amendment to the original license.  If his recent application is truly an amendment to the original purpose of the license, then he is not being truthful when he says, “Our true intentions have not changed since day one.”
  • The Water License that was approved for the Sackville Road property stays with that property if the property is sold.  The new owner of the property becomes the new water licensee, and the fate of the water now lies with them. Who knows what happens then?
  • M often begins his posts on social media with, “Stay thirsty neighbour”.  That may be a clear indication of his disdain and disrespect for all his neighbours in the Comox Valley who share the Comox aquifer for their personal and farm water needs.
  • The FLNRORD decision-makers are allowing an application for amendment of the original water license despite the fact that the original license was conditional, and one of the conditions was that the “works” must be constructed and beneficial use of the water made prior to December 31, 2020; a condition that was not met.

Please support our efforts to stop this amendment application that would allow the water license holder to extract up to 10,000 liters of water per day from the shared Comox Valley aquifer, operating a business on a rural residential property.  This proposal is clearly a rehash of the proposal that was overwhelmingly opposed and rejected 4 years ago.

– – – – – – –

The Merville Water License holder (Mr. McKenzie) has posted some interesting comments on community Facebook pages, and possibly on other social media (I don’t follow other social media).

Here are a couple of his posts:

“The Merville water war is back on. We have made an amendment to the original license, seeing how the CVRD intentionally caused harm to us by lying to us. In the Executive summary saying the province requested us to re-zone our property to allow our cottage business, which was a complete fabrication by the CVRD Planner Allana Mullaly. Now my neighbour that took us to the environmental appeal court (and lost) is posting in his FB group [#MervilleWaterGuardians]) that we are going to have tankers come to fill at our location. The loose lips at the CVRD coffee machine are slandering our process again before our right to be heard first.  Why is it that eco-activists, after losing in court, can still go online and say what ever they want to hurt our families intentions and stir up the pitch forks?  The CVRD and it’s head administrators are not concerned with the rights of the stakeholders and are doing a terrible job at following their own rules.  Our true intentions have not changed since day one. Local people filling their own containers to take home the best tasting, highest quality drinking water in the whole Comox Valley that we intend to sell to whom ever enjoys artesian spring water.  If you don’t support that idea, fine, but don’t come forward with fear narratives and lies like Mr. Gibbons at the Merville Water Guardians.”

“Stay thirsty neighbour. You said it’s not personal, and yet here you go again claiming a threat. You have been through the environmental appeal process and lost. Lots of water under your property, you just don’t care about facts or the truth. 23 trillion liters of pure artesian spring water available to people without good water ……”

 

 

Jun 012022
 

 

UPDATE  Spring 2022:   FLNRORD is dismantled.  The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Water STEWARDSHIP  has been created, out of a portion of the rubble from FLNRORD.

FLNRORD (now defunct) = BC Ministery of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development,  which was responsible for the granting of licenses to take water.

UBCM = Union of BC Municipalities 

– – – – – – – – –

I sent to an official:  

What has been accomplished regionally and

through UBCM taking Resolutions to the Provincial Government is significant.

BUT take off the rose-coloured glasses:  global interests are determined to have water under their control.  There is big money to be made in “Resource development”. 

You write (April 29):    I would hope that FLNRORD would recognize  . . .  *

Bruce spelt out what FLNRORD  IS doing.  It does not get any clearer.  Your hopes will fail the protection of water.

– – – – – – –

April 23, 2022    (Bruce from Merville has been the carrier of the ball regarding the application for licensing of a water bottling plant in Merville.  He writes:)

I have always wondered why FLNRORD has worked SO hard, and have bent over backwards to accommodate this licensee. 

    • They ignored the objections of CVRD and K’omoks First Nation back in 2017. 
    • They convinced the licensee to reduce the volume of water he was requesting in order to get the application below the threshold for testing. 
    • They fought tooth and nail to have the Environmental Appeal Board rule that I had no standing to appeal.
    • They were hesitant/reticent/scared?? to cancel his license for 15 months after his deadline passed.
    • Now they are entertaining an application for amendment even though his conditional license expired 15 months ago 

I don’t know who or what he knows, but there is some reason this license has been handled with kid gloves from the get-go. 

= = = = = = =

(Sandra speaking):  It does not get any clearer than Bruce’s observations. 

FLNRORD is in the business of supporting the Federal (and other Governments in Canada) agenda to commodify water so they and the Corporate Masters can make money from it.  They are NOT in the business of serving the public interest in, and the NEED for the protection of Water.   

= = = = = = =

Bruce:

With regard to the  [“Merville” or “Strathcona – Comox Valley”]  application, it is the same license we thought we had dealt with several years ago on Sackville Road.  The province never did cancel his license, despite my regular follow-up prompting them to do so.  Then recently, I was advised that the licensee had applied for an amendment to his license to allow him to extract the water and sell it to bulk water tanker truck operators for supplying water to customers in the Comox Valley who need their wells or cisterns replenished. 

The FLNRORD decision team in Nanaimo has submitted the application for amendment to the CVRD (Comox Valley Regional District)  for their decision on whether the new proposed business plan conforms to the zoning of the licensee’s property.  While we are eagerly awaiting their decision, I am pursuing a legal avenue by working with West Coast Environmental Law. 

We are attempting to stop FLNRORD on the basis of their acceptance of an application to amend a license whose primary condition was not met (“the works must be built and beneficial use of the water must be made prior to Dec 31, 2020”) and whose deadline for meeting that condition passed 15 months ago being “legally unreasonable”.  I have legal advice to that effect, with an opinion that sufficient time has elapsed that it is “legally unreasonable” to amend that license and that the proposed new use of the water is sufficiently different that a completely new application should be required. 

At a higher level, I am trying to connect with Josie Osborne, in her new role as Minister of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship.  I am encouraged by the fact that water is identified specifically in this new Ministry, and also by the word Stewardship in the name of the Ministry.  I am also encouraged by the naming of Josie Osborne as Minister of this new portfolio.  Josie was very supportive of our campaign and of your groundwater resolution when she was Mayor of Tofino, so I am hoping she has retained that position and will take action to implement the UBCM resolution to protect our groundwater. 

= == = = = = = = =

* The Resolutions that went to AVICC/UBCM a few years ago confirmed that local governments were firmly against the commercial exploitation of groundwater.  Additionally, the applicant’s original proposal was to “bottle” the water and the zoning was denied by the Comox Valley Directors.  I would hope that FLNRORD would recognize that this is just more of the same.

Jun 012022
 

Selected postings, the Privatization of Water, Water for Profit  (Merville)

We people are accomplished at creating disasters for ourselves.  

If you glimpse the lay of the land,  you will understand: 

We have to stop the export of water from BC.   It can only end in disaster.   

 A glimpse: 

  1.    2022-06-01 Canadian Water Summit June 1-3 . . .  (Chinese investors)  willing to spend “at least $20 million” to buy wells in BC     https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27189 
  2.   2017-04-30    Agriculture Canada has been actively promoting water exports to China for years;https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=19010
  3. 3.     The majority of the water exported by Canada goes to the U.S.  2021-08-30   Forty Million People Rely on the Colorado River, But It’s Drying Up Fast. What Happens Next?(https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=25606 )  
  4. 4New and instructive.  Suddenly one day, they are shocked and in deep crisis:   2022-06-01 ‘Consequences will be dire’: Chile’s water crisis is reaching breaking point(https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27147)  
  5.  The Fanny Bay story.  California drought, 1991.   Instructive.    1991-03-22   Raining on Water Importer’s Parade: Drought: The latest series of storms may have doused chances that a Santa Barbara firm will get a large contract to import water from Fanny Bay, Vancouver Island, Canada.  L.A. Times.
  6.   Continuation of the Fanny Bay story:  1991 to 2019 “War” over Water export from B.C. to California, Court case;  (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23420 )   (lengthy text not included in packages.  Please go to the link)
  7.  Government re-structuring in the past 20 years has moved Water into business-oriented ministries.   Just one example.   2006-12-05  Water: now in the hands of Dept Industry and Resources.       (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23619)

Prior to the false idea of “public-private-partnerships” and their corrupting influence, Canada had reasonably good protection for water, and improving.   The International Joint Commission (IJC) with the U.S. looked after cross-border water (e.g. the Great Lakes).  The scientists, the policy work, and the cooperation fostered by the IJC was superb.   The protection of cross-provincial water in Canada built on the IJC strength.

  1. 2011-10-01 Cash Flow Buying and selling priceless water.  Comprehensive article by Lynn Martel. (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24014)

Excerpt: 

Water is the crucial stuff of life for every living organism. We’d better know exactly what we’re doing before we start trading it for something as ephemeral as cash.

  1.  ***   Remember this.   It’s the explanation behind the emptying of the Aral Sea, the Salton Sea (California), the Colorado River, among other examples:  2019-01-24   Export of Water, for profit. THE ECONOMICS. “You cannot give up something that gives you income”.  In a system that measures success by expansion – – every year “more”, always “growth” in sales (and in Government revenue).  When the product is water?  (Submission to Strathcona District Board);       (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23513)

Do people know when, or how, to stop an “economic” activity that is doing great harm?

  1. They thought they had stopped it.  It’s back.   2018-10-29 Water: pushing to block for-profit water extraction and bottling, right across Vancouver Island (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=22652)
  2. People fighting to protect water should understand that they are fighting the Federal Government working in support of the Corporate interest in controlling water.     2018-12-15 Submission, International Trade, re Export of Water.   Includes details of Agri-Food Canada’s financial support for businesses that expand export of water from Canada.    (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23292)
  3. 12.   2019-02-06 Taking of water for profit / export, Locations in Canada;   (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23744 )
  4.   Know that when the time comes for blame – – it is us “people”  who are to blame because we didn’t “conserve” enough water.  But NO:  it is always industrial use.    2022-05-25   Opportunity to make the point: citizens are BLAMED for water shortages.  Industrial use, by far the largest part of the problem, goes unmentioned.      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27125)
  5.  Initiatives in one province are frequently part of a national roll-out.  Maybe 15 years ago now, Saskatchewan was focused  on the “mapping” of underground water, and simultaneously on “equity interests in water“.   You know B.C. Groundwater is mapped – – there wouldn’t be data for research without it.   On the other hand, if the mapping is driven by the creation of “equity interests in water” (Merville) – which it is,  we are in very serious trouble.     2015-11-16 Most groundwater is effectively a non-renewable resource, study finds, CBC News      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24848)
  6.   Simultaneously with #11,  dedication to the corporatization of water means there are initiatives that the power brokers DO NOT want to pursue.  Officials then spout rhetoric versus important realities that need to be known.   2019-02-01   “… with respect to the Water Sustainability Act it is unclear who establishes and monitors “Critical Environmental Flows” in BC waters. Can you clarify this for us? Can you also identify which streams and rivers have had critical environmental flows established?” (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23781)
  7.  Water is not a commodity but the journalist makes a point.    2018-05-15  Water is a precious commodity, but B.C. is just giving it away, Globe&Mail, Gary Mason;      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24192)
  8. 2014-05-22 Island glaciers will disappear in 25 years, scientist says, Times Colonist(https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23277)
  9. Global, corporate appropriations of water.  We are not alone.  A win here in Merville is a win in support of other places.    2018-2019 STOP water bottlers from taking up to 9 million litres per year from aquifer. New Zealand. Chinese-owned Cloud Ocean Water;(https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23770)
  10. Understand how “first in time, first in rights”  affects your access to water.    2019-01-28 Taking of water for export. Director Brenda Leigh re “First in Time, First in Rights” policy;      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23526)
  11. The Government will not do . . .      2019-03- Mount Polley mine disaster escapes BC law because of government policy on private prosecutions;     (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24171)
  12.  Corruption?   2019-03-13 Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Affair: The Site C Dam Project and Bulk Water Export, Global Research, Joyce Nelson;https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24206)
  13. 2019-03-14    B.C. Supreme Court Judge says: Water is a commercial commodity;   (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24177)      
  14.   2005-11-11    Americans will be AGGRESSIVELY after our Water,  Peter Lougheed, Former Premier of Alberta. In the Globe & Mail;   Peter Lougheed, Premier of Albterta from 1971 to 1985, was a statesman and a reformer.  He established the Heritage Fund for Albertans which later premiers squandered.
  15.    California never learns because influential people believe that the water will be imported from Canada.    2021-08-17   THE WELL FIXER’S WARNING   The lesson that California never learns; (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=25468)
  16.  This process was described by a significant Liberal in the effort to move water south from Canada, for corporate profit-taking as   “moving the economy into institutions”  (beyond reach of the public interest.  Beyond “freedom of information”  laws that apply to Governments and to public institutions).     2021-02-14 The New Canada Water Agency;     (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=25298)
  17.  It might be Liberals today;  it was Conservatives in the beginning.  The common factor: Quislings working with Business people.   2019-08 Water export, History: The determination to make water accessible for money-making goes back to the first trade deal with the U.S.;     (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24753)
  18. TimberWest was eventually sold to two funds . . .  2019-01-30  Applies also to Water. The Timber West trial,  Role of Pension funds in corruption. And of contributions to political parties. (The Tyee)      (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23719)
  19.   2021-12-22     130+ Groups to Wall Street:  Water Is Not a Commodity;       https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=26330
  20.   A striking description of “the takeover of Government, a coup d’etat”      2019-09-03   Swiss Development Aid, Nestlé and Water Privatization, with thanks to Defend Democracy   (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24806)
  21.   You had better be protecting your water;  others can’t do it for you.   2019-08-06 The Liberal Government Says It is Looking to Privatize Municipal Water Systems Across Canada        (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24770)
  22.    We tried to help the people in Canal Flats by contacting local organizations and sending information.  I don’t know the ending of  that story.    2019-08-22 Water bottling facility proposed in Canal Flats, BC. Columbia Valley       (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=24738)
  23. 2006-04-27 Water. Wrap-up statement, Proposed Meridian Dam. Battle won. (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=15468)
  24.  The Rosenberg Institute is from the U.S.  They were hired to analyze and report.  Judging from today, I think we’ve regressed! 2007-03-14 Water: valuable & important document, Rosenberg Reporthttp://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23633

Excerpt:   Below might explain why today,  Agri-Food Canada is still running a program to further expand the export of water (on-going, at the very least since 1995).

The National Water Supply Expansion Program – – sounds a trifle hubristic!   Like, we’re running out of water.  We’ll just expand the supply.  (And sell it in all those parts of the world where they’re running out!)

Under the category Peace or Violence, see Resource depletion in the U.S.  

34.  This Cowichan Valley report is much the same as stories there.  The Difference?  we are at a much earlier stage.  Can we not learn from the mistakes and stupidities of others?  Must we create our own disasters?  Please have conversations and share information!  – –    2022-06-06 Lack of reliable water sources stalling housing developments in Cowichan Valley, ChekNews.    (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27205)    More, More, More of the same “development”  only takes us deeper into the quagmire.

MERVILLE:    

  1.  2018-11-13 The growing pains of updating BC’s water law, Watershed Sentinel;   the new Water Sustainability Act (Feb 2016);       https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=23445

Watershed Sentinel examines how well the new Water Sustainability Act (Feb 2016) is working in the context of a water bottling controversy in Merville

EXCERPT (full text not included in this package of Selected Postings.  Too long.  Please view on-line.):

. . .  Lui said it’s pretty simple why such a dated principle (first in time, first in right) made it into the new legislation. “I think the government was really not wanting to change the system in such a way that could threaten existing industries, like bottled water or fracking. But that’s really what needs to be done. We need to think about where water is being used and how that’s going to be impacting people and communities in the future.”

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =  =  =

IN CONCLUSION: 

The U.S. has known for a long time: their water situation is one-way going down.   

Canadians have to be able to see where the path we trod leads.   The only people who will stop the privatization and export of water is us.   Governments will not.  

There is excellent local leadership and participation in Merville.  Please share their story widely (the link below).  Just do what you can.  Thank-you!

From the Introduction:

2022-04-29 “I have always wondered why (Govt officials) have worked SO hard, and have bent over backwards to accommodate this licensee. ”  Taking of Water Merville  (Campbell River – Strathcona – Comox Valley);     (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27152)

Jun 012022
 

A pier at the dried Aculeo Lake in Paine, in 2019. For decades the lake one of the main tourist attractions of Santiago’s surroundings. Photograph: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

Unprecedented drought makes water a national security issue as more than half of Chile’s 19 million population lived in area with ‘severe water scarcity’ by end of 2021

John Bartlett in Pintué

Wed 1 Jun 2022 10.30 BST

 

From the Atacama Desert to Patagonia, a 13-year megadrought is straining Chile’s freshwater resources to breaking point.

By the end of 2021, the fourth driest year on record, more than half of Chile’s 19 million population lived in an area suffering from “severe water scarcity”, and in April an unprecedented water rationing plan was announced for the capital, Santiago.

In hundreds of rural communities in the centre and north of the country, Chileans are forced to rely on emergency tankers to deliver drinking water.

“Water has become a national security issue – it’s that serious,” said Pablo García-Chevesich, a Chilean hydrologist working at the University of Arizona. “It’s the biggest problem facing the country economically, socially and environmentally. If we don’t solve this, then water will be the cause of the next uprising.”

Chile’s water crisis was high on the agenda when, in 2019, millions of protesters took to the streets to demand that the country confront its entrenched inequalities.

Among their demands – which ranged from better pensions to healthcare reform – the slogan “it’s not drought, it’s theft” was a common refrain.

Many called for a rewrite of Chile’s 1981 water code, a relic of Gen Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1990) which enshrines one of the most privatised water systems in the world, allowing people to buy and sell water allocations like stocks.

Chile is also the only country in the world that specifically says in its constitution that water rights are treated as private property.

Before his election last year, Gabriel Boric, Chile’s progressive new president, promised a green future for the country, emphasising the protection and restoration of hydrological cycles.

Boric, 36, signalled his intent by appointing a renowned climate scientist, Maisa Rojas, as his environment minister – but he need not look far for a jarring reminder of the task awaiting him.

Just 50km south of Santiago, Lake Aculeo, once a tourism hotspot, was wiped off the map in less than a decade, disappearing altogether in 2018.

A recent paper, of which García-Chevesich was a co-author, found that the sale of water rights, local population growth and climate change combined to dry the lake out completely.

“I find it really hard to say the ‘former lake’,” said Jenny Caru, 40, a local water activist, as she picked a path across the cracked earth to the centre of the lakebed.

In its heyday in the 1990s, the lake in Aculeo – meaning “where the waters meet” in the Indigenous language Mapudungun – had a floating bar serving holidaymakers and boats traversed the lagoon all summer long.

Now, jetties sit uselessly metres above the dry mud, and slipways trail off into a dusty thatch of dead stems.

Signs declaring it safe to swim ring an empty lakebed, and restaurants and campsites sit dry and abandoned.

“This is where I grew up,” said Caru, “It hurts me that the lake isn’t there any more, that the trees are drying out and the birds are gone.”

In 2010, the rights to the water feeding the lake were legally acquired by large agricultural plantations and private estates, which siphoned off the main tributaries. Valleys around the basin passed from annual crops to summer homes and water-intensive fruit tree plantations.

As the area transitioned from agriculture to tourism and then went into steep decline, locals were forced to find work in the gated holiday communities – or move to Santiago.

“I used to supply all of the markets and communities in the area,” said Alfonso Ortíz, 73, a farmer who once employed several workers to grow watermelons, pumpkins, corn and oranges using water from the lagoon.

“Agriculture here is dead. There’s nothing left,” he said.

Chile’s economy, South America’s largest by per-capita GDP, is built on water-intensive, extractivist industries principally mining, forestry and agriculture.

But its growth has come at a price.

Supported by the private rights system, about 59% of the country’s water resources are dedicated to forestry, despite it making up just 3% of Chile’s GDP.

Another 37% is destined for the agricultural sector, meaning only 2% of Chile’s water is set aside for human consumption.

“If they diverted your river to grow fruit and avocados to sell to foreigners – and now they’re bringing you water in tankers – how would you feel?” asked García-Chevesich . “It’s humiliating and undignified.”

Across central and southern Chile, watersheds are in danger of suffering the same fate as Lake Aculeo.

“There’s a fundamental problem here: the end goal for our water is to make money, not wellbeing for people,” said Caru, who retains hope that the lake will return one day.

But while the need for change is urgent, hope could be on the horizon.

In April, President Boric signed a reform to the 1981 water code that had languished in congress for 11 years. It declares water a public good for human use, and acknowledges climate change as a threat to Chile’s water availability.

Elsewhere, a new draft constitution has been drawn up – the upshot of 2019’s mass protests. It goes even further in revising Chile’s relationship with its resources, stating that water must be protected in all its states and phases, as well as declaring it essential for life and nature.

“Every day in Chile the human right to water is violated,” said Carolina Vilches, who was elected to the country’s constitutional convention in March 2021. “This is why what we have put in the constitution is so fundamental – we need to change how we view our water.”

The draft will be put to a plebiscite on 4 September.

“We need to apply the brakes and take responsibility for all of the errors which have already been committed,” said García-Chevesich. “If not, the consequences will be dire.”

May 292022
 

FOR RECLAIM CANADA,   May 27, 2022

ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY OF CORRUPTION

The following is not a criticism.  It is my input, intended to be helpful.

Canada will not be Reclaimed if any one of the political parties

  • infiltrates,  or
  • takes over

the reclamation attempt.

 

I think you know that Canadian governments and bureaucracies at high levels are corrupted by corporate interests.

It does not matter whether the Conservatives, the Liberals, the NDP, or a Coalition, forms the Federal Government:

  1. The party leadership has been bought.  True for the 3 parties.  Getting rid of one party and replacing it with another, changes nothing.
  2. The bureaucracy moulds and carries out the Government agenda, but is not held to account.
  3. The Politicians have to get re-elected and require money to do so;  dependency makes people very vulnerable to manipulation.

That said.

the current situation in Canada is urgent.

  • Realistically, there is not time for the building of a political party that can get elected in 2025 (probable date of the next election, barring the unforeseen).
  • Even if there was time,  the successes of that party will be manipulated by the Quisling Government to become “theirs”.  They have the resources to do it.  And we all have short memories;  when an older person dies (inevitably!)  the library in their head evaporates.
  • The idea of running “Independent” candidates in Canadian Federal and Provincial elections would be suicidal to Reclaim Canada.  And would not serve electors well.  No matter how ultruistic and qualified the candidate,  it is nigh on impossible to get elected as an Independent, and if you do,  you will not receive the supports that accrue to MP’s of Parties that meet thresholds for number of MPs elected.

Jodi Wilson-Raybould is an anomaly.  She ran once as an Independent and was elected.   She did not run a second time as an Independent, “. . . in part, because she is dismayed by the state of Canadian politics. She said that Parliament is focused on partisanship rather than achieving positive change for Canadians.”  I observe that, as an Independent she also lost her voice.  Independents are Invisible.

The experienced and well-respected MP, Dr. Jane Philpott, who stood with Wilson-Raybould and was expelled from the Liberal Party also ran as an Independent in the next Election and was not re-elected, in spite of being well-known and competent.

There are 338 federal ridings  (now called Electoral Districts).
Using Govt figures, in the Sept 2021 Election there were 27,500,000 Eligible Voters (out of a population of 38,000,000).

 On average,  81,360 voters per riding.   Voters would be hard-pressed to judge the claims of an Independent.

 There are creative strategies that should be employed, given the urgency.

 

Many of us have concluded that big business is running the show.   We have corporatocracy, not democracy.

If that is the case,  by definition,  there has been a coup d’état by stealth in Canada (and in the U.S.).

 

From  2010-09-13   RCMP identify coup d’etat as threat to Canada, Ottawa Citizen.

Military historian Edward Luttwak:

“A coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder”, thus, armed force (either military or paramilitary) is not a defining feature of a coup d’état.”

 

Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz,  pull back the curtain and deal with Reality (badly corrupted governance).  If that is not addressed at some point, Reclaim will be good intentions.   I want it to SUCCEED, in conjunction with all the other citizen efforts underway .

 

To have a discussion about the Reality, there has to be a commonly understood vocabulary.

2016-07-08 Democracy overtaken by Corporatocracy = coup d’état. Citizens fight to regain democracy = Revolution (insurgency) . Corporatocracy fights to hold on = counter insurgency.

 

The ONLY sector of our society that is tasked with guardianship of our resources is Government.  The Commercial sector is not.

There is separation of powers in a democracy.   We seldom discuss, teach the reasons to new generations, of the ramifications if we don’t.

 

Thinkers of the Day on the Unholy Alliances between Government (public institutions) and Industry

 There are 8 examples, one of which is:

From John Kenneth Galbraith’s “The Economics of Innocent Fraud – Truth for our Time“, published in 2004:

“… As the corporate interest moves to power in what was the public sector, it serves, predictably, the corporate interest. That is its purpose. …One obvious result has been well-justified doubt as to the quality of much present regulatory (and educational / research) effort. There is no question but that corporate influence extends to the regulators. … Needed is independent, honest, professionally competent regulation (persons) … This last must be recognized and countered. There is no alternative to effective supervision.

Read the others.  They are short and cogent.

 

More directly to Reclaim Canada’s situation: 

I have serious concerns about the potential takeover of Citizen organizations (like Reclaim Canada) by Political Parties.

 

I am originally from Saskatchewan, during long years of NDP reign.

The NDP then were master grassroots organizers.  It served well, in a time that has similarities with the present.  But that damn thing.  Organizations change.

To maintain power, the masters began taking over and controlling citizen organizations, commandeering the energy of the members, especially of the leaders and member lists.

The organizations eventually lose sight of their raison d’etre.   They are scripted to serve the narrative of the Political Party.  Departure from the Party Line is not an option, or risks destroying the Organization.

For example,  an agricultural organization, the National Farmers Union (the NFU),  badly needed policies regarding Genetically-Engineered or “GMO” crops.   But persons in control of the NFU, who had served the organization well,  wanted to be elected as NDP candidates.

The NDP Government and the University were huge promoters and funders of the GMO agenda, right down to the patenting of seed stocks.  You can imagine the conflicts created.

People who are non-partisan or of a different political stripe are shunned by the organization.

It becomes very effective censorship.   You show your solidarity by volunteering in work to ensure the gospel of the Political Party.

Like over covid mandates!

/Sandra Finley

(I posted this at www.sandrafinley.ca,

2022-05-17  Acknowledge the Reality of Corruption, Reclaim Canada,  (https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=27134)

 

May 292022
 

Say the same thing, use different words:

 

From the viewpoint of God:

The supremacy of God

 

From the viewpoint of human beings:

Human beings are not Gods

(We get into trouble when human beings think they are Gods.)

 

To me,  the two statements are different sides of the same coin.

They mean the same thing.

 

But the latter way of expressing it, is more likely to foster humility.

And a more inclusive ethic   (necessary if Reclaim Canada is to reach its potential).

 

Not only is it trouble when “the bad guys”  think they are Gods;

It is trouble when “the good guys” become the arbiter’s of God’s will/word.

There is always Mystery.

 

I recall stories of Cree leaders going into treaty negotiations on the Prairies.

Most frustrating for the representatives of the Great White Mother:

the Indians would come at an agreed-upon time.  But they would not begin the conversations until they had received clear direction from their God.

If it took three days of communion with their God to reach clarification, so be it.

The essential requirement was to act under the supervision of God’s will.

The particular leaders had a deep understanding of their relationship to the Creator, the Spiritual.

May 252022
 

OPPORTUNITY  

Please hammer this point in Canada whenever you have the opportunity.

It is NOT citizen use of water that makes the big difference in water supplies.  It is INDUSTRIAL USE.

Insist on monitoring, reporting, and inclusion of industrial use in any and all publications / media releases and media coverage of water departments.

Licenses issued for industrial water use need to be assessed in terms of impact on the local water supply.  In combination with all the existing water licenses.

Below is yet another example of the problem from the USA.   Have no fear – – the same is done in Canada;  we are just a little behind.

 

Hi Paul   (the American journalist),

A suggestion for future articles you might write about water:

Paragraph 2 starts with:

Citing the worsening drought, dwindling local water supplies and residents’ failure to hit conservation targets, the board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, . . .

It is disingenuous for the Board of the Water District to focus BLAME on citizens and simultaneously NOT to cite industrial use.

The failure to do ANYTHING about the LARGEST part of the problem, industrial use, is idiocy at work.

It should be addressed in every article about water, if you want an informed public, and if you want to see anything other than a looming heap of environmental refugees.   Caused by an economic system that refuses to address industrial use.

“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”
Jim Butcher, Vignette

Best wishes,  . . . (Sandra)

California drought: Water wasters could face fines of up to $10,000 in Santa Clara County under new rules