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NEWS: Maude Barlow speaks in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

The Eau Claire, Wisconsin Superior Telegram reports today that, “Most of the United States could face water shortages within the next decade as groundwater pumping and bottled water operations pinch the nation’s supply.”

“That was the dire message a water conservationist brought Tuesday night to UW-Eau Claire’s Zorn Arena. Maude Barlow, founder of the Council of Canadians, a public advocacy group, told a crowd of students, university faculty and residents that at least 36 U.S. states could face water shortages within the next 10 years, and urged people to become politically active in fighting the commodification of water.”

“‘We need to conserve, conserve, conserve,’ Barlow said, noting the Great Lakes in particular are dropping as people extract more water from them than nature can replenish. …About 2 billion people now live in ‘water-scarce’ areas, Barlow said after the presentation. The culprits, she noted, include overpumping of groundwater, irrigation of farmland in deserts in the Southwest, a growing global urban population, water pollution and the bottled water industry.”

“Barlow encouraged people to avoid buying bottled water — she said some cities already refuse to provide bottled water at some events — and urge their politicians to create water ‘budgets’ that allocate certain amounts of water for specific purposes.”

“‘We’ve grown up with a myth of (water) abundance,’ Barlow said, noting the agriculture industry is the biggest water user.”

“She also said current techniques to convert saltwater to freshwater are expensive, inefficient and can pollute oceans, making desalinization a poor fix to the problem.”

“Barlow was featured in the recent documentary film ‘Water on the Table’ about her push for the United Nations to pass a resolution recognizing water as a basic human right. She also is expected to serve as an adviser for another upcoming film about the world’s water shortage.”

The full article is at http://www.superiortelegram.com/event/article/id/46408/group/News/.