Last week, our AP Bio class watched a documentary called For the Love Of Water, or F.L.O.W. The documentary discussed how essential it is to have easy access to clean, fresh, water, but also what a rare resource it is in most parts of the world.
F.L.O.W. contained many subplots throughout the film; including visits to many 3rd world countries where the only accessible drinking water is contaminated and dangerous to drink. This is an ongoing dilemma because people in the communities continue to get sick from the water, and it has caused many fatalities. The U.S. government’s solution is for the people living in these countries to buy “safe-water tablets”, which kill all the viruses in the water, however most of the people can not afford to buy the tablets so they are forced to risk drinking contaminated water because they have no other options.
Another topic that the film touched on was large corporations impact on fresh water. F.L.O.W. mainly focused on Nestle, which is currently draining wells in Michigan to produce bottled water. F.L.O.W. highly criticized Nestle for both its lack of concern for the environment, and because it claims that Nestle is taking away water that is meant for the public to use freely. Nestle made a video after F.L.O.W. was released, rebutting each negative claim made by the documentary. Nestle claims to pay high taxes on the water sites they own in Michigan, and that bottling water gives people a choice on what they want to drink since the wells in Michigan would not be used for drinking water anyways. After watching F.L.O.W., I was convinced that Nestle was hurting the environment and only causing problems to our already augmenting water crisis, but after watching Nestle’s counter-video I am unsure what to believe. I feel that in order to have a strong opinion on either side, I would need to perform more research on the situation. But I do feel strongly that the world needs greater access to water, and this can be achieved by passing laws that clean water be a right to life, and by fundraising to put new wells in less developed countries that risk drinking contaminated water every day.
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