A few months ago, I visited East Porterville, a California town where hundreds of residents have no water—except for the water that’s trucked in and given away by the state, and by generous donors.
Meanwhile in Montecito, near Santa Barbara, some of the country’s wealthiest residents (including Oprah Winfrey) are getting water trucked in as well—although they’re paying serious coin for it. According to an article on the Breitbart.com website, a columnist from the Montecito Journal estimated that nearly a third of the town’s residents are getting freshly delivered water—at a cost of about $15,000 per month apiece. Water they can use for brushing their teeth, filling their pools, and greening their lawns.
Now the big question—should the super rich be able to buy as much of a scarce, limited resource as their bloated wallets can afford while the rest of us are stuck with what’s left? Should we look upon water as a commodity that anyone can buy if they have the money, or as a right that belongs to everyone regardless of financial status? These are questions that we will very soon have to come to grips with. And maybe even go to war over—whether locally, regionally, or globally.
In East Porterville, hundreds of residents filled out ration cards that were punched when they collected their weekly allotment of donated water. As I watched the cars line up for their ration, I thought about how people live in some Third World countries. But here I was, no more than a few miles from Interstate 5.
I will never feel the same about water again.
It’s going to be up to each of us to decide what we want our future to look like. If we do nothing, then lobbyists for special interests will carry the day. Every voice counts when it comes to making our elected and appointed officials responsible for what we pay them for. This is not just another political issue we can ignore. The people–all of us– will be the ones that drive change. Do you believe you deserve your share of water? Then let your voice be heard!