Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved

Reports are coming in from across the country, mostly from the 14 Western States where cattle ranching is a way of life, of water being diverted to other areas or regions and natural waterways being altered to allow the collection of water to be sold on the commodities markets depriving cattle ranchers of the much needed water for their herds.

While many a cattleman (not all) in the west are cheering the unlawful herding and slaughter of wild horses and burros believing that ending the existence of these animals would somehow increase their access to below fair market value grazing permits, a wholly separate plan was being put in place by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Now, don’t get too excited.  You’ll probably still get some really, really cheap grazing permits….you just won’t be able to afford the water necessary for your herds without selling off a couple of your kids or grandkids.  And no guarantees are made as to the quality of water you will have access to.

BLM, in collusion with municipalities, multi-national corporations and other stakeholders have been systematically laying claim to any and all water supplies: even what is contained in underground aquifers.  What this means to you is this:  Even if water appears on your land naturally, having come from a river, stream or aquifer now owned by these corporate stakeholders, you are committing theft.  They own the water and all rights to it.  The fact that it shows up on your land and always has is now a moot point. 

If the corporations who now claim to own the water can prove that it originated from a spring or stream, river or aquifer they have title to, can stop the flow of that water to your land so you can’t steal it from them.  This would be cheating them out of their profits under NAFTA/CAFTA regulations which put the rights of the investor above that of the individual or nation/state.

While many of us have kept a careful eye on the multiple attempts to pass such odious pieces of legislation such as Jim Oberstar’s (D)MN,
”Water Restoration Act” which would have given the corporate federal government title and control over all water, from any source whatsoever, including dried up lake beds and the rain off your roof, across the entire country, the behind the scenes activities of private multi-national corporations engaging with federal corporations has been operating non-stop.  After all, although the marketing plan for the restoration act was premised on “national security” and the phony threats of possible water poisoning by some foreign terrorist operating from a cave along side a poppy field in Afghanistan was waved in front of the public continually, the truth of the matter was and is that the UN declared water a commodity in 2007…not a human right, and surely not a right for your cattle herds.

All over the US water rights are being sold off to private corporations, which was the intent of the restoration act.  Privatizer’s were lined up and already negotiating with corporate federal agencies to seize control and sale of water; the various pieces of legislation were meant only to keep the public diverted while business went on as usual in the District of Criminals.

And don’t even think about trying to label this as a left vs, right, a liberal vs. conservative, or a Democrat vs, Republican issue.  There is not one on either side of the isle who has lodged one complaint, filed one objection or spoken out publicly against this theft of our water for corporate profit.

Now then, lest you think that somehow your state government is going to come to your rescue, or that your local law enforcement is going to ride in like the cavalry to save the day and protect your rights to use of the water; think again.  They will however, show up to defend whatever corporate enterprise has gotten its sticky greedy fingers into what was previously a given right.

And just as an aside: Did it not occur to any of you who have supported the eradication of these wild herds that a national and state asset was being destroyed, or that you might possibly be next in line for eradication?

The water rights being sold to foreign corporations and investors was perpetrated by your trusted public officials, both state and local.  Your local municipality had to sign off on these sales in exchange for as little as 5% of the initial profits.  BLM will be taking upwards of 80% of the profits (after all they are a corporation operating for profit) and foisting the costs of upkeep and construction of waterline diversions, onto the public.

To learn how much of your local water has been sold off without your knowledge, look to your local and state corporate agencies such as Land Management, Environmental Protection Agencies, State Asset Management agencies, and your local Department of Natural Resources or Land Development commissions.  These are just for starters.  Find out who is colluding with the Bureau of Land Management to deprive you of your water rights.

NAFTA’s Investor “Rights”A Corporate Dream,A Citizen Nightmare

Chapter 11-NAFTA
Investor Rights Over Citizen Rights

Chapter 7-CAFTA

“Perhaps most alarming are the provisions in CAFTA that mirror those in the disastrous Chapter 11 of NAFTA. Under these rules, foreign corporations are given the power to legally challenge national and local laws which adversely affect the business of foreign investors, regardless of the role that such legislation has in meeting national social and development goals. These suits are filed in closed trade tribunals presided over by un-elected trade bureaucrats – bypassing domestic court systems. If the corporation wins, the accused government must then compensate the corporation in the amount of profits they claim to have lost – including hypothetical profits that they claim they would have made twenty years into the future! These expansive investor protections confer new rights on MNCs that neither domestic companies nor citizens — who have to obey national laws — enjoy, creating a class of “supercitizenship” for foreign corporations at the expense of citizen sovereignty.”

UN rejects water as basic human right

The Harper government can declare victory after a United Nations meeting rejected calls for water to be recognized as a basic human right.

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2 Responses to “Water theft and the beginning of the end of independent and family cattle ranching”

  1. TNeyes says:

    We were recently looking in AZ for property to buy, and at least one realtor’s site specifically warned that soon(it was something like within the next year), that folks could not count on having water rights to their property. Several county’s water supplies had already been sold(this has been happening for at least a decade, the legislation is just there to make it officially condoned)and more were in the works. I don’t remember if she said people who owned now would be grandfathered in or not. These people are criminals of the worst kind. Things really seem to be speeding up now.

  2. NMPatriot says:

    I can confirm this in New Mexico. They’re trying to steal our water from the underground rivers and selling same to third parties.