Oct 11, 2013

Maine Towns Struggle to Protect Groundwater

New book highlights the efforts of Maine citizens to prevent a corporation from extracting groundwater

From the Groundwater to the Grass Walter Baily Maine Newfield Shapleigh Bottled

In From Groundwater to Grass Roots, author Walter Baily chronicles the struggle of residents in the rural Maine towns of Newfield and Shapleigh to prevent an international corporation from extracting groundwater. This book highlights residents’ actions and developing knowledge as they advocate for protecting groundwater beneath their homes and communities. The issue was not only preservation of an aquifer, but the principle that a resource fundamental to life should not become a commodity for private profit. In addition, the book testifies to the enduring power of democracy.       

Conflicts in the U.S. between cities, states, towns and large water extractors are now common over the control, sale and transfer of water. Who owns the water? Should it be privatized? Sites include the Great lakes, the Colorado River, Florida, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Hampshire and now Maine. This saga reveals the 16-month effort of residents to control their groundwater and the quality of their future. Citizens learned of other nearby towns that had already developed ordinances to limit water extraction. Community members near and far have expressed similar concerns over water removal, the large-scale waste of plastic bottles that accumulate in landfills and the ocean, and the constant transfer of water in large and heavy tanker trucks along local roads and highways.

The book is a detailed narrative that speaks out to those who care for the planet. This volume highlights the importance of stewardship of water and the natural world to ensure their continued health, stability and availability for future generations.