The Environmental Protection Agency “EPA” was created to protect people from the people who abuse the land, water, and air that we breathe. The Agency also ensures that the public has access to clean, safe drinking water through its Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.
The EPA has always been severely understaffed and underfunded and it is about to get worse. Mr. Obama’s new budget has proposed a $947 million spending cut to the Clean Water and Drinking water budget, a 27% decrease from the 2010 budget. If this news doesn’t upset you, then it should.
It seems odd that Mr. Obama spoke glowingly just 12 days ago about the great work being done by Scott Harrison to bring clean water to the rest of the world, and yet he is proposing a budget cut that will surely reduce the safety of drinking water for Americans. You can see a video clip here: http://www.charitywater.org/blog/prayer-bfast/
Why a spending cut to such an important agency?
We all know that Mr. Obama is faced with the near impossible task of trying to right a ship that has been on the verge of sinking due to enormous fiscal negligence by many administrations.
Hard choices and spending cuts are inevitable as the economic situation in America has deteriorated to a point where other nations no longer want to accept American currency, and are dumping American currency as fast as they can. In fact, there is widespread talk all over the world that the US currency will soon be dropped as the international currency of business.
How the budget cut to water quality affects you
We have all heard about the abuse of the environment in China. In fact, there has been a lot of ink and cyberspace dedicated to the topic that China continues to sacrifice its environment in the cause of economic development. We also hear about poor drinking water conditions in various parts of the world, but nobody pays attention because it is not “our” problem.
The condition of drinking water in America is about to become “our” problem. A budget cut of $947 billion will provide a proverbial drop in the bucket when it comes to curing America’s financial woes. At the same time, it will put enormous strain on the budgets of individual states and municipalities.
States and municipalities are not in a position to take on an additional billion dollars of costs as many are trying to stave off bankruptcy themselves.
So, who will pay for the infrastructure to keep our water safe? YOU will pay, either by paying more for water, or by sacrificing an already low quality standard drinking water.
What do you mean by the statement “an already low quality standard of drinking water”?
The EPA has identified 60,000 contaminants in America that find their way into the drinking water supply. The Safe Water Drinking Act mandates that municipalities provide maximum legal limits to the concentration of 90 of the 60,000 contaminants.
The recent declaration by the EPA that it was going to limit the amount of perchlorate in drinking water supplies has been heralded in the news as a step in the right direction. In addition, the EPA announced that it was looking into limiting the concentration of 16 more toxic VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds).
Just when it looked like the government was starting to take positive steps towards protecting our drinking water… BAM… a $947 million cut to the safe drinking water budget.
What can you do to protect yourself?
It seems almost ludicrous to be discussing protecting ourselves against current and potential problems with our drinking water. Not in America.
However, the reality is that you have two choices when it comes to the safety of drinking water. One is to trust that everything will be fine. The other is to make sure that you do have safe drinking water.
You can always ignore the situation knowing that you can always boil your drinking water when things get worse. The boiling process removes pathogens which include cysts such as cryptosporidium and giardia, bacteria such as E.coli, typhoid, etc. However, boiling doesn’t remove heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals etc. Boiling also fails to remove foul tastes and odors, and turbidity.
Start researching filtration systems! Don’t wait… do it NOW.
That doesn’t mean that you go out to Walmart and purchase a $15 Brita filter. Brita filters remove almost nothing from the source water as they are basically designed to make the water taste better… read the label on the Brita box if you don’t believe me.
You can purchase good “point of use” drinking filter systems for about $250. The cost of replacing the filters each year will be range from $100 to $200 per year depending upon the contaminants in your water.
If you are thinking that you might as well just drink bottled water… think again. Most bottled water is simply tap water that has undergone the most simple of filtration possible to improve the taste. The bottled water industry in not regulated and it is a huge marketing scam.
Please take this matter seriously and install a water filtration system in your home and at work to protect your health. The problem is not going to go away. I don’t want to have to say “I told you so” because I hate when my wife says that to me.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.