Report on Business Reports on Water

We don't usually find much of interest for TreeHugger readers in the Globe and Mail's Report on Business magazine, and their content is usually behind a stupid subscription fence. However this month they have three important articles on water, declaring it "The Decade's most important business Issue."

John Lorinc (known to TreeHuggers for The New City) writes The Battle of the Bottle - "Critics decry water bottlers' use of a public good for private profit. The industry would just like to offer a new flavour to you. And to your child. And to your dog" He describes some of the battles over local water and continues "The water critics accuse the big bottlers of siphoning off natural resources, as at [local source] Aberfoyle. But the rap sheet also includes the various ways that bottled water turns the natural into the unnatural, adding packaging waste (about half of all sales are in single-serving bottles); greenhouse gas emissions (for instance, from shipping millions of bottles of "natural artesian" water from Fiji to the United States); and health risks." ::ROB Magazine

Andrew Nikiforuk, (known to TreeHugger for Hydrocarbon Hurricane) writes Liquid Asset: Could the oil sands, Canada's greatest economic project, come undone simply because no one thought about water?

"Here in Canada, we tend to think that while water scarcity, drying rivers and toxic lakes may be huge global problems, they really only affect places like China and the Middle East. But the rapid development of Alberta's oil sands, coupled with accelerating population growth and climate change, has turned arid Alberta into Canada's ground zero for water. Our history is all about exploiting our abundance of natural resources, and Alberta is the embodiment of the frontier's boundless promise. Could our tradition of taming the landscape finally have been arrested by something as humble as H20?" ::ROB Magazine

Finally, Eric Reguly writes about
Big eau Everyone knows who the oil superpowers are. But what about blue oil? (Hint: Make that bleu)

As a soldier, Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, was pretty much a dud. He started the Franco-Prussian War and was captured in the Battle of Sedan in 1870, a catastrophe that brought his long reign as France's emperor to a swift and inglorious end. But as a social engineer, Napoleon III was something of a whiz. His civic planner, Baron Haussmann, rebuilt Paris. The medieval slums were cleared and replaced with grand boulevards. Parks and sewage systems were created. The rail network was vastly expanded.

Biographies rarely mention Napoleon III's other accomplishment in social engineering: He is the father of privatized water. ::ROB Magazine

Tags: Canada