THE STATE OF MAINE AS A CASE STUDY IN PROTECTING WATER, AN ASSET OF THE COMMONS.

As a compliment to yesterday’s post about dubious multinational water extractor Nestle’, we offer this excellent essay, “Who Owns Maine Water,” as a case study. It was written eleven years ago by Mainer Jim Wilfong. http://www.onthecommons.org/who-owns-maines-water…
Jim Wilfong has had a lifelong selfless commitment of service to the public interest. He has been Maine’s premier water champion for many, many years. Jim is our friend and a former Maine Legislator who lives in the western Maine town of Stowe – smack dab in the center of Maine’s water extraction fight. Jim & Megan

“In 2003, I accompanied a small business agricultural client on a trip down to East Texas to visit one of his suppliers. East Texas is the site of the largest oil discovery in the lower 48 states. Over nine billion barrels have been extracted from it. We had time to visit an oil museum in the town of Kilgore. Our tour guide told us that in 1932, East Texas crude oil sold for 10 cents a barrel, and water was selling for one dollar per barrel. Imagine, water was ten times more expensive than oil!

“On our way back to Maine, my Aroostook County client and I discussed a few compelling facts: water was more expensive than wine, beer and milk; it takes 1000 tons of water to raise one ton of grain; and in the future, with a growing world population, fresh water will be in short supply. My client and I agreed that those who control fresh water would control life as we now know it. It became clear to me that we should regard Maine’s water as Maine’s oil. I needed to know more. I needed to know if the State of Maine, in its role as trustee for the citizens of Maine, was actually protecting Maine’s fresh water supply.”