by Minister Masada
merica definitely has a drinking problem. Disease has crept into our drinking water. Welcome to the land of the free and the home of the brave, but don't drink the water.
Researchers, environmentalists and scientists say that the most pressing problem facing us today is the threat of increasingly virile, evolving and mutating micro-organisms in our water. "There are literally thousands of bugs that exist in water and we don't know much about them," says Mr. Jack Sullivan, Director of American Water Works Assn., representing water utilities.
Is there another water borne disease outbreak just waiting to happen? Are we living on borrowed time? Is there a bug bomb ticking and tocking? Are water distribution systems on the verge of disintegrating? Louis Pasteur once wrote that the bugs will have the last word. Is that true?
More than half a million people in Milwaukee were violently sickened by a microscopic bug called cryptosporidium. Some died from it. This parasite lives in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and can elude crypto detectors because they are so small a thousand of them can fit on a single grain of sand. Crypto is found in the feces of infected animals and humans and can enter the water supply through agricultural runoff or sewage leaks. It can resist many disinfectants, including chlorine, because it is encased in a hard shell. Once ingested, the bug breaks out of the shell in the intestines and multiplies. One little girl who drank the water had 22 bowel movements in one day; she later died.
What many people think of as a cold or flu is more often than not a disease-causing bug or bugs (bacteria, virus, protozoa) that have entered their bodies through drinking contaminated water. These bugs trigger gastrointestinal upset which is immediate diarrhea, vomiting and cramping.
Almost half of our drinking water comes from underground aquifers. The rest comes from lakes, reservoirs and rivers.
Our booming urban populations are contributing to our pollution problem and to the depletion of natural water resources. As more land is imprisoned by concrete jungles, there is less open space for rain and snow to soak into the earth and become ground water.
This "development" is strangling Mother Earth's ability to replenish her underground water supplies. In addition, it can take hundreds, even thousands of years for ground water to purify itself. Yet despite all these ravages of the corporate, economic and concrete jungles, "developing" countries around the world seem to want to "develop" in the image of death.
In addition, the most recent study by American Rivers Inc. now puts three California Rivers (San Joaquin, New, Russian) on the top 20 "Most Threatened Rivers of l997." Can you imagine water being endangered? Yet, a study by the EPA revealed that nearly half of our nations rivers and lakes are too polluted to swim or fish in let alone drink. Since water is a basic necessity of life, is aquacide an apocalyptic forerunner of eschatology?
Runoff pesticide levels are now more than double what they were 3 decades ago. Studies have shown that, when combined, pesticide mixtures can exhibit up to 1,000 times the toxicity of the individual chemicals.
The primary culprit is big business agriculture and landscaping which prostitutes the planet for profits, which lets mountains of produce putrefy in piles just to control prices. They refuse to let Mother Earth lay fallow so that she may rest from her labors.
The piranha of the microbial world is here. Already, it has killed millions of fish in the marshlands of N. Carolina. The little devils have dived into the depths of water as far south as the Gulf of Mexico, and can live in salt and fresh water
These bloodthirsty one-celled organisms are feisty little creatures (pfiesteria) which proliferate and mutate when they are exposed to high levels of hog and human feces. They paralyze and suffocate, their victims, then feed off their blood. Biologists call them the cell from hell. What I want to know is, can this cell find it its way into our drinking water? Is it a global or intercontinental threat?
Add to this threat is the fact that drinking water for 10 million people in California, Nevada and Arizona is now imperiled by perchlorate a rocket fuel oxidizer from the star wars program.
The United States has aging and corroded water pipes and treatment plants which can harbor microbes which can make people sick. Some of these pipes date back to the 1850's before Abraham Lincoln was President
In light of these facts, all people should join a Living Water Coalition and demand that: 1. A uniform oversight for our nations water systems be established; 2. Money be invested in upgrading and monitoring the infrastructure; 3. Our government appoint a non-partisan commission to study water issues and make recommendations at the national level.
In the Apocalypse, after the opening of the Seventh Seal, ecological Armageddon and aquacide has destroyed one third of the life of our planet. And the Seven Trumpets of even more ecological destruction are yet to sound. Can we prevent this? By the Seven Thunders, have microbes, bacteria and other invisible armies of death gained an invincible foothold on mankind? Since these invisible creatures are becoming resistant to antibiotics, how will we control them? Will the pain these tiny creatures inflict on human flesh be so devastating that men will prefer death to life?
LIFE OR DEATH.
The choice is clearly ours to make.
Minister Masada is a researcher and author. She has been a regular weekly columnist for local and out-of-state publications and has lectured at UCSD and SDSU. She has been an organizer of support groups for abused mothers and helped establish Battered Woman's Syndrome as a recognized point in Federal courts. Currently, she is Chairwoman of the Sisterhood of Zion, a mothers' advocate group