By Brennen Finchum
Earlier this week, Trevecca held a video screening of “Flow,” a documentary about the world’s growing privatization of water, questioning ‘Can anyone really own water?’.
“Watching that film, at the end of it, I feel like I’ve come out of a fist fight,” said Jason Adkins, environmental projects coordinator.
The screening was hosted in partnership with Blood:Water Mission, an organization that is fighting HIV/AIDS and water crisis in Africa, and the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice.
The film said the United Nations estimated it would take about $30 billion dollars to provide clean water for the entire world, while Statistics Brain estimates the annual sales of bottled water alone is $15 billion.
In many situations, the solution to this crisis doesn’t require the world’s wealthiest people to save the day.
“In many places what we need is not a billion dollar answer, but a thousand dollar answer,” said one of the authorities in the film.
The film is aligned with beliefs that the social justice center holds about water and they are encouraging students to take action by trying a 30-day bottled drink fast.
In place of bottled drinks, students will drink tap water and can pledge to save all the money that they would have spent on the bottled drinks to give to Blood:Water’sprojects in Africa.
The film showed the injustices both in bottled water and tap water.
The only student response after the film was a question on what to drink instead of bottled water if tap water is an unjust system as well.
Mike Lenda, U.S. programs director for Blood:Water, responded by saying that replacing the bottled drinks with tap water is more about saving the money.
Another way to contribute to this fast and to save money is to use refillable water bottles like a Nalgene or CamelBak.
There are now black water taps around campus for students and faculty to refill their bottles.
“Water is a gift from God and should not be a commodity,” said Adkins.
The idea for the film began when Irena Salina, director, heard Robert Kennedy, Jr. talking about certain American industries that were polluting many rivers and waterways in America.
“I was shocked to hear that some of these free flowing contaminating agents often end up in the human body,” said Salina on the film’s website.
The film began with the intentions of covering the pollution and commercialization of water in the U.S., the access to water for poor people in other countries, the human rights issues in the whole thing and the celebrated spiritual aspects of water.
FLOW is asking people to sign the petition to adopt Article 31 into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Article 31: Everyone has the right to clean and accessible water, adequate for the health and well-being of the individual and family, and no one shall be deprived of such access or quality of water due to individual economic circumstance,” quotes the Article 31 website.