Friday, March 30, 2007

On Blackwater and Sewage

Two worrisome things I've learned this past week:

1. Blackwater (See: Bush's Shadow Army at The Nation) wants to build a military-style training facility in Potrero, California which is just east of San Diego, near the Mexican border town of Tecate.

I can think of several reasons to be unhappy about this development. I'm uncomfortable (to say the least) with this intersection of border issues, private security forces, and radical right wing ideology. I'm sure Duncan Hunter has a hand in this since it's within his congressional district, and he's been involved with the growth of Blackwater.

(edit- Oops. Mea Culpa. It's in the 51st congressional district. That's Filner's district. Still, Hunter could well be involved. We'll see. I'll get back to you on that, as well as on Filner's position.)

In very different, yet very disturbing in it's own unique way....

2. The farmers in Salinas use reclaimed water to irrigate their crops. (See: Frank Pecarich at California Progress Report). Uh....ewwww.

Maybe not so coincidentally, the year they implemented this sewage reclaimation project (1998), was the same year E Coli cases associated with leafy greens began to rise. According to Pecarich, there was a 200% jump that year. Again....ewww.

Is that alone not enough reason to REQUIRE microbial testing of irrigation water? I know, I know, I know...they say it's safe. But, how can it not be safe to drink yet be safe enough to irrigate spinich and lettuce which absorb lots of water into their systems and grow low to the ground AND get eaten without cooking? Answer me that.

The reason they use reclaimed water is because the farming in the area long ago removed enough underground fresh water to cause the encroachment of seawater into the fresh water sources. They had to find an alternative source to keep the existing economy rolling.

There's gotta be a better way.

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