Blue Gold (2008)
This documentary provides a strong reminder of the absolute importance of water to life, and raises questions regarding the legality of corporate ownership over water rights that should belong to citizens and locals. Undeniably, water has become big business. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) sites these figures on their website (link),
“According to BMC (Beverage Marketing Corporation), in 2015 the total volume of bottled water consumed in the United States was 11.7 billion gallons, a 7.6% increase from 2014. That translates into an average of 36.3 gallons per person.
The continued increase in per capita consumption indicates that consumers see bottled water as a healthy alternative to other packaged beverages. Consistent with this view, sales revenues for the U.S. bottled water market in 2015 were $14.2 billion in wholesale dollars, a 8.7% increase over the previous year.”
These numbers are just in from the United States! Globally, bottled water, and corresponding water rights, take on a whole new dimension, as countries with weaker governments, more susceptible to foreign financial backers are influenced to give up this precious resource, to the detriment of those that live there. Indeed, the doc offers examples of where local governments are in fact encouraged to sell/export, despite the significant need of the native population, and armed forces are then sent in if the locals are unhappy with this arrangement. Hopefully this film will help the viewer reflect on this serious issues, and help generate further discussion over the rightful ownership of water rights.