Water is life and not only for the well-off
To the Editor:
The tap water had me attached to a toilet for a few hours. Somehow I thought Texas would be OK because it’s America. We have clean water here. A 24-pack of plastic water bottles say differently. My aunt in Matamoros, Mexico, drinks only from bottles of water.
Clean water is a precious resource, but you wouldn’t know that based on how we treat it. In Wisconsin, we overuse high-capacity wells, fertilizer and manure, drawing down our groundwater threshold and growing our nitrates that make a number of wells undrinkable.
We also fail to update our piping which gives us lead poisoning on par with those of Flint, Mich. (www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/20/465545378/lead-laced-water-in-flint-a-step-by-step-look-at-the-makings-of-a-crisis).
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has lost its edge to protect our drinking water due to politics and lowered government funding. Without them, we are doomed to expensive privatized water. We already see this happening to many parts of the United States and Mexico.
Drought-stricken states (www.startribune.com/thirsty-cities-begin-to-eye-water-from-the-great-lakes/375953661) ask to pump water from the Great Lakes because they no longer have enough. Water is considered an unalienable right and yet thousands of people are having their water turned off for their bills gone unpaid. Water seems to be for the wealthy.
According to Sierra Club Wisconsin Water Sentinels’ Facebook page, “The DNR’s pollutant regulators failed to follow their own policies regarding violators of water pollution laws more than 90 percent of the time.”
It is about time we hold the DNR accountable for the ongoing poisoning of our water.
Ours is a blue planet with lush life innumerable, and it’s time to start treating it like the key to life that it is. The ocean is here for us; it has been saving us already but its forgiveness is finite, and it will not ask permission to take back what is owed.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point senior