For Immediate Release
Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch (202) 683-2500
The Film Nestlé Doesn’t Want You to See: FLOW Highlights Impending Global Water Crisis
WASHINGTON - Across the country and around the globe, communities are now locked into fierce battles over their most essential resource: water. As bottling, privatization, underfunding, and pollution threaten their water supplies, people from Felton to Fryeburg and from South Africa to Bolivia are facing the same problems. Corporations like Nestlé are buying up control of water resources, turning shared resources that are indispensable for everyone into private property to be exploited for profit. A global water crisis looms, and it is no accident. Irena Salina's new film, FLOW provides a clear look at the issues we face relating to water.
In the United States, many communities, including San Diego, California; Akron, Ohio; and others are facing the prospect of their water systems being privatized, due to deteriorating infrastructure and a lack of public funding to finance necessary fixes.
In California, AB2275 a bill to require bottled water companies in the state to disclose the quantity and source of the water they extract recently passed the state legislature and now stands before governor Schwarzenegger for approval. But the bill has met opposition the California Department of Public Health who object to the bill claiming it would require companies to divulge "confidential business information."
In the Global South, many of the world's poorest are being denied access to clean water unless they can pay a premium. FLOW shows how all of these issues are connected-with a common thread leading back to major water companies.
Nestlé, however, doesn't want to be shown in this light, and has sent representatives to FLOW's opening screenings to attempt to discredit the film and public interest groups like Food & Water Watch. The company claims that by selling water, they are contributing to global health and disaster aid. But selling is the key word: Nestlé is a corporation, not a humanitarian group. Bottled water companies are charging for a substance that is essential for all life, and should be a human right, not a something to be commoditized to line already fat corporate pockets.
"Nestle is right to say that everyone deserves access to safe, reliable and affordable drinking water. Universal access to water is a human right. No one who is thirsty should be forced to pay for a drink of water," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "Yet due to privatization, underfunding, pollution and other causes many do not have the clean water they need at affordable prices. FLOW illustrates how these problems are interconnected and what we might do to resolve them.
"Nestle is not in the business of providing social services. On the contrary, it is in the business of earning profits and increasing shareholder value. The company does that by bottling as much water as possible and selling it for as much money as possible. Neither of those endeavors helps further the goal of making water a human right."
FLOW will open today in Huntington, NY; Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Berkeley, CA; San Diego, CA; San Jose, CA; and Orange County, CA as part of a nationwide tour. Click here for information on local screenings. Panelists from Food & Water Watch, and other local organizations will be on hand following the screening to discuss how these issues are relevant locally.