Museum of Water is a collection of publicly donated water and accompanying stories. Accumulated over two years by artist Amy Sharrock, in different sites worldwide, Museum of Water is an invitation to ponder our precious liquid and how we use it.
“In a time of relative plenty in Britain, we are gathering a collection of water for future generations to consider. Clean water is more and more difficult to access across the world: will people look back at our current profligacy with horror and amazement…will the notions of fountains, swimming pools and baths become as archaic as the Broad St Pump now seems? We need to hold on to it, consider what is precious about it and how we are using it now in order to explore how we might save it for the future.”
In a 2006 speech to the UN Andrew Liveris (Chairman and CEO of Dow) said: “Water is the single most important chemical compound for the preservation and flourishing of human life… “And yet today, more than a billion people are in peril every day because they do not have enough water or the water they have is unhealthy. Lack of clean water is the single largest cause of disease in the world and more than 4,500 children die each day because of it.”
B’eauPal is a spoof mineral water brand conceived by the BMA and TheYesMen. It is intended to draw attention to the hypocrisy demonstrated by Dow Chemical with their willingess to make glib sounding statements, such as the above whilst, apparently, being happy to allow a water contamination disaster to continue in Bhopal with which it is connected.
Bhopal’s Second Disaster- Facts:
- The groundwater aquifer in Bhopal, around the abandoned Union Carbide factory (site of 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster), is heavily contaminated with highly toxic chemicals.
- This groundwater has been the only reliable drinking water source for tens of thousands of people for many of the years since the gas disaster. It remains the principle supply for an unknown number to this day.
- The contamination is being caused by water leaching through toxic waste that was buried on the factory site and by leakage from solar evaporation ponds located just outside of the factory site.
- The solar evaporation ponds are known to have been leaking years before the disaster (an internal Union Carbide memo from 1982 reveals this).
- Union Carbide was aware of the environmental and groundwater contamination, after carrying out tests in the area, but chose to keep the findings of these tests secret.
- The toxic contamination of the area only became public knowledge when Greenpeace tested the area and published a report, in 1999, labeling the area a ‘global toxic hotspot’.
- The US courts accept that the water contamination is a separate issue from the gas disaster.
- Dow Chemical, as current owner of Union Carbide, is responsible for the continuing contamination.
Is it any wonder that Dow Chemical has just been given the ethecon 2014 Black Planet Award?