Friday, September 01, 2006

Conspiracists Allege U.S. Seizing Vast S. American Reservoir

From the National Geographic: Conspiracy theorists fear the United States is secretly taking control of South America's largest underground reservoir of fresh water.

The accusations are clouding international efforts to develop the Guaraní Aquifer. And the rumors come at a time when water may be joining oil as one of the world's most fought-over commodities.

Stretching beneath parts of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, the Guaraní Aquifer is an underground system of water-bearing rock layers covering 460,000 square miles (1.2 million square kilometers)—an area larger than Texas and California combined (
map of South America).

The International Atomic Energy Agency says the Guaraní may be big enough to supply drinking water to 360 million people on a sustainable basis. [Population of the United States: 298 million.]

"The United States already has water problems in its southern states," said Adolfo Esquivel, an Argentine activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. "And it is clear that humans can live without oil, gold, and diamonds but not water. The real wars will be over water, not oil."

Esquivel points to a recent military deal, under which U.S. Special Forces will train with Paraguayan soldiers. He says this is evidence of Washington's creeping control—a claim that's been further popularized by an Argentine documentary, Sed, Invasión Gota a Gota (Thirst: Invasion Drop by Drop).

"The national government has not reached any agreement with the United States for the establishment of a U.S. military base" in Paraguay, states a communiqué signed by Paraguayan Foreign Minister Leila Rachid.

The U.S. Embassy in Paraguay has also released statements officially denying plans to set up a military base in the country.

The Pentagon used this same language when describing its actions in Manta, Ecuador, now the home of an $80 million U.S. military base. First they said the facility was an archaic "dirt strip" which would be used for weather monitoring and would not permanently house U.S. personnel. Days later, the Pentagon stated that Manta was to serve as a major military base tasked with a variety of security-related missions.

BBC News article on the topic

We shall see what happens in December 2006...


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