The Tube

el tubo

“Algeria has proposed to make a water transfer from the Rhone or the Rhine to «satiate the thirst of the desert», because it considers that «Europa is being warmed» by the gas sent across the continent through pipelines and is entitled to receive the same treatment”

World Water Forum, April 19, 2011.

When we realized of its importante, it already had two hundred million people connected and four countries depended on its water. The work had begun as a water transfer of the Rhone, which sounded funny, because that water was destined to an area (Catalonia) that had downtime desalination plants due to lack of demand. It seemed one of those superfluous and monumental constructions used by the government to return favors to business groups that support them, but it had another meaning: the arrival of the Rhone to Barcelona allowed to carry the Ebro to Alicante and the Júcar to the south of Spain; and then the three basins were interconnected and it was not possible to distinguish the water source, it was just said that it came from the «tube». The «tube» was enlarged to the Middle East: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Lebanon got connected to the tube towards Mesopotamia with the idea of possible exchanges of energy resources for water. At the beginning the free competition in gas and oil with water allowed to maintain some price stability but then hidden «tube» and «energy» companies were merged or absorbed one another. Price escalation occurred: individual savings measures were minimized by the water’s price raise. The more fossil fuels were depleted, the more expensive the water became. Countries still had the appearance of parliamentary democracies in the same way that the «tube»’s company kept the various brands of water and energy, pretending that they were still competing between them. The cost of water rose above half the wage of an average worker. Capitalism had reinvented himself: we were slaves of the tube.

Translation of a little fiction by Xarxa per una Nova Cultura de l'Aigua