8: Poisoning our ground water and aquifers
continuing series attempts to connect the dots as to overpopulation and carrying
capacity. The United States remains on
course to add 100 million people net gain, by 2035—a scant 25 years from
now. Ironically, every environmental
predicament we experience today will multiply by a factor of 100 million.
you will not hear a word from the president, Congress or the media. Ever wonder why? Answer: population remains the final
taboo! Much like Galileo grappled with
the Pope in 1600 with Galileo’s newly discovered facts about the Earth
revolving around the sun instead of the ‘proven’ longstanding acceptance of the
sun revolving around the Earth—Galileo lost to myth, religion and culture.
Today we address overpopulation in America
with the same stigma perpetrated against Galileo. The Pope still wields enormous power against
any mention of overpopulation, birth control or family planning. Wherever the Pope’s doctrine dominates in
third world countries, humanity suffers from overpopulation, misery and
suffering. Haiti comes to mind long
before the earthquake!
this series connects the dots as to the accelerating ramifications of added
population onto an ecologically staggering planet.
Part 8, let’s examine how our beef cows and dairy farms create billions of tons
of fecal waste that drains down into our lakes, streams and rivers. Additionally, it drains into ground water and
our aquifers. It pollutes the water we
Elizabeth Royte, “How America’s breadbasket
is poisoning its own water supply”, Grist, said, “The trouble starts with a
healthy rain, which washes sediment from farms, especially from row crops like
corn, into waterways.
Nationwide, farms lose 1.76 billion tons of topsoil each
year to wind and water. The sediment can clog intake pipes at water treatment
plants, make the water cloudy, and give microbes places to hide from
"By the time the Missouri River reaches Kansas City, for
instance, its turbidity can be as high as 10,000 NTUs (nephelometric turbidity
units). To serve this water to customers, the local utility must use chemicals
and mechanical processes to lower turbidity to less than 0.1 NTU. They don't
call it the Big Muddy for nothing.”
USING CHEMICALS TO CLEAN OUR CHEMICALIZED WATER
“When soil runs off the land, it also sends
phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizer into ditches and streams,” said Royte, “Six
billion pounds end up in the Mississippi and its tributaries each year. In
rivers and reservoirs, these nutrients encourage the growth of algae.
algae die, bacteria feast on them, and they also consume oxygen in the water.
The biotic riot sluices down to the Gulf of Mexico, where it has created an
oxygen-free "dead zone" that supports no marine life. In the summer
of 2007, the zone expanded from 6,000 square miles to 10,000, an area nearly
the size of New Jersey.”
Royte continued, “But enough about shrimp:
those algae are bad news for drinking water, too. Anaerobic conditions release
iron and manganese previously bound to a river or reservoir's bottom sediments,
which causes the water's taste, odor, and color to quickly go downhill.
with skunked water, plant operators dump in chemicals like potassium
permanganate or copper sulfate. Dead algae and bacteria can also combine with
chlorine -- the mainstay of water disinfection since the early 20th century --
to form nasty byproducts like trihalomethanes, which have been linked to an
increased risk of bladder cancer and miscarriage.
“The nitrogen itself, which converts to
nitrate, is also a potential health threat to humans. In babies, nitrate binds
to hemoglobin in blood and hinders its ability to deliver oxygen to the brain.
In adults, high nitrate levels have been linked with increased risk of
hyperthyroidism, birth defects, and miscarriage. To stay under the federal
nitrate limit of 10 parts per billion, the city of Des Moines, Iowa, spent $4.5
million on an ion-exchange process that switches nitrate for chloride.”
"We run it fifty to a hundred times a
year," Randy Beavers, assistant manager of Des Moines Water Works, says.
"It costs us $3,000 a day." At peak runoff, the utility just beats
the cutoff, bringing levels from as high as 20 ppb down to a yearly average of
9.9 ppb. Iowa communities that drink from shallow wells, and that lack funds
for fancy ion-exchange systems, have a tougher time of it. When nitrate levels
spike, they issue "blue baby" alerts: kids, step away from that faucet.”
“The situation is bound to get worse. In
2007, farmers planted 90 million acres of corn, 15 million more than the
previous year. More corn means more water contaminants,” said Royte.
“What we're dealing with is a symptom of
what's happened in agriculture over the last forty years," Chris Jones,
lab supervisor at Des Moines Water Works, says. "We have these new hybrid
varieties, which are designed to use a lot of nitrogen, and we plant fencerow
to fencerow." Without some upstream changes, plant officials say, the
denitrification plant may soon be maxed out. The frustration of local utilities
is palpable: while the federal government pours millions into agricultural
subsidies, encouraging massive planting, state and local governments are stuck
cleaning up the resulting mess.”
COWS, COWS, COWS AND MANURE
“In the last 20 years the Midwest has seen an
explosion in the number of feedlots that keep high numbers of cattle, hogs, and
poultry in close confinement,” said Royte.
Nationwide, these animals generate roughly 500 million
tons of manure a year. Farmers hold this waste in "lagoons" until
they can spread it on nearby fields. But rains wash manure off fields into
streams, lagoons breach, and those built before the late '90s aren't required
to have liners. In short: Shit seeps. And often: the Iowa Department of Natural
Resources documented 329 manure spills between 1992 and 2002. Overall,
according to the EPA, hog, chicken, and cattle waste has polluted 35,000 miles
of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17.”
Thus, Senator Kerry’s quote sobers when you
learn the ‘why’ of it.
To think that we continue on course to add
100 million people within 25 years to create ever greater ground water
“Imagine a country which employs the principles of personal
responsibility, freedom and accountability for future generations.
Everything you do-counts! If you do nothing, that counts likewise. When
you read sobering information, do you want to give up or fall apart? Or, do you
want to engage like
Jefferson, Ben Franklin, George and
Washington, John and
Adams, Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Dr.
Luther King, Oprah, Barbara Jordan, John Muir and other
Americans. You represent a Jefferson, Oprah and/or Dr. King of the 21st
century. Consider it your honor and privilege to become a part of the
solutions. Engage the present to change the future! Become an agent of
the change you wish to see.” FW
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, “Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls
director of www.numbersusa.ORG
graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation. Take five minutes
to see for yourself:
“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of
unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future
generations: in a word “Mind boggling!” www.NumbersUSA.org
If any of us, no matter what our race, creed or color might
be, refuse to engage our U.S. Congress as we have not for 30 years as to the
population/immigration equation-our children will find themselves living in a
terribly degraded America where the American Dream will be described by the
history books as a 'fleeting fantasy' from the era of 1950 to 2010.
These are several of the top organizations where you can
take collective action to change the course of American history as well as in
Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Take collective action at:
This is the best website to start: www.numbersusa.com
; watch Roy
“Immigration by the Numbers” at 14 minutes. Bi-partisan and very effective.
Become a faxer of pre-written letters to your reps to make positive
Must see: Rapid Population Decline, seven minute video by
Dr. Jack Alpert-
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from
the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as six times across the USA, coast to
coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway
to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming Population Crisis in America:
and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church groups, high schools
and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com
He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million
Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715