COVID-19, or the new coronavirus disease, is affecting our nation and world in major ways. Between school and workplace closings, mandatory lockdowns in some places, a panicked run on grocery stores, and the burden on hospitals which are not equipped with enough supplies to help everyone who will need it, the coronavirus is showing us just how vulnerable we are.
But with climate chaos nipping at our heels, coronavirus might just be the first of new viruses, or prehistoric ones, coming at us. Pair that with major threats to our water sources, like fracking, and it becomes clear we need to act now to protect our future.
We Need Running Water To Combat Coronavirus
Without running water for everyone, fighting the new coronavirus disease is impossible. Food & Water Watch demands a nationwide moratorium on water shutoffs and rapid restoration of water service for all people. Our leaders need to make sure water is turned back on in households where it’s been shut off for non-payment. Without water, people can not wash their hands to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Coronavirus is showing our nation the importance of universal access to water. Decades of federal underinvestment in water infrastructure has caused a water affordability crisis in our country. Let this moment prove the critical urgency of revamping our water systems. Congress must pass the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act, dedicating $35 billion a year to help repair drinking water and sewage systems, while also creating almost 1 million jobs. It is a crucial step to proactively improve our water infrastructure and make access universal.
The WATER Act Is Our Best Tool To Protect Our Water Future
Safe water is non-negotiable. Access to affordable service is non-negotiable. Clean drinking water is a human right — people shouldn't have to worry about whether their water is safe to drink or whether they can wash their hands.
We need dedicated funding to keep our water systems up-to-date and affordable, protecting our water for generations to come.
Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) and Representatives Brenda Lawrence (MI) and Ro Khanna (CA) introduced legislation that will help fix our aging water systems and ensure that every person has access to safe, clean water. And the Congressional Progressive Caucus unanimously endorsed the WATER Act on October 1, 2019.
Now is the moment to call for federal action. In fact, today is World Water Day, an annual holiday designed to highlight the connection between water and public health. Let’s honor it by calling on Congress to pass the WATER Act to ensure every person in our country has safe water.
Nearly Every Future Climate Change Headline Will Trace Back To Water
Warmer air holds more water than cooler air. As our planet warms, so changes our water cycles. Wildfires, supercharged hurricanes, flooding, drought, agricultural anomalies, rising sea levels, emerging viruses — our survival in all of these areas hinges on how we are protecting our planet and the water that’s on it.
We must rewrite that water story for future generations — a story where the ones who came before them acted in time to preserve this precious resource.
Fracking Threatens Our Water Supply
It turns out, fracking is even more of a water hog than many realized, even those of us critical of it from the beginning. A Duke study showed that not only was fracking sucking up more water than the industry told us, but that much of it was forever unusable and untreatable afterward.
The study found:
- From 2011 to 2016, the water use per well increased by as much as 770 percent.
- Toxic wastewater produced from fracking had increased up to 1440 percent between 2011 and 2016.
There has been no practice of water treatment that returns this water to usable condition for humans — and at this scale, one can reason that unless fracking is stopped, it’s on pace to severely impact U.S. water sources.
Add this on top of the fact that fracking and fossil fuels are largely responsible for climate change, and we can see that fracking is one of humanity’s number one enemies that must be stopped.
We Must Stand Together To Fiercely Protect Our Water
Food & Water Watch and its members battle the corporations stealing water, polluting water, and causing climate change. We expose their playbook through our research and we organize community members to stop these predators. We’ve done this work for fifteen years, and shoulder to shoulder with you we will continue this work until our water is safe from these threats. Will you support The WATER Act to protect our water future?