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Who is Protecting our Groundwater? (letter, video)

On Tuesday, March 31, I went to Augusta with other members of Save Our Water to testify at a hearing in support of bill LD 837, titled, “An act to protect Maine’s Groundwater.”

The language of the bill is simple: “Interest in groundwater, protections notwithstanding any other provision of law, the people of this State have the same common interest in groundwater as in fresh surface waters. Groundwater is due at the same protections as fresh waters in the lakes and streams.”

LD 837 simply and beautifully extends that the same laws that protect surface waters in this State to the groundwaters that are scientifically connected to those surface waters.

Even Nestlé/Poland Spring has a diagram in their corporate literature which demonstrates that the groundwater and surface water systems are connected. Why have two separate laws governing groundwater and surface water, as if they are two different systems, when in reality they are one system of water? Under the current laws, our groundwater is not protected in the same way as our surface waters. So I ask, why would anyone object to a bill designed simply to protecting our groundwater ?

That is why I was appalled to see that our KKW Water District Superintendent in attendance testifying AGAINST the bill! Isn’t his job to protect our groundwater?

To see him cozying up with the corporate lobbyists in Augusta, just reaffirms my suspicion that he is on the side of the corporate interests and not advocating to protect our groundwater for the customers of the KKW Water District and for perpetuity for future generations.

That is also why the citizens of the KKW Water District feel it is necessary to get a rights-based ordinance on the Wells ballot in June, so that the community can vote to protect our groundwater. Clearly, we cannot leave the protecting of our aquifer to our officials who have been influenced by a multi-national corporation based in Switzerland.

Jamilla El-Shafei

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