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LETTER: Why give away SD's water, risk jobs?

To the Editor:

"Flow" showed at Elks Theater in Rapid City Feb. 25, sponsored by Voices of the Heartland Film Society and the Black Hills Chapter of Dakota Rural Action. Powertech's (PT) corporate relative GDF Suez is shown privatizing water supplies worldwide resulting in soaring water rates and horrifying water shortages (Synatom currently owns about 19 percent of Powertech; Synatom is a subsidiary of Electrabel, which is a subsidiary of GDF Suez).

World Bank V.P. pronounced "wars of the next century will be about water." Water could eventually rival crude oil as a commodity.

Powertech applied for more than 93 billion gallons of water over 20 years, saying it won't use all the water it's requesting. Really? GDF Suez, the second largest water company in the world, is quite experienced at selling water it "privatizes."

Is PT going to pay anything for our water? If not, why would South Dakota give 20 years of water to a foreign company, risking our two largest industries -- agriculture, tourism -- especially with a drought?

If Powertech drilled South Dakota oil for 20 years, paying nothing for that oil, would we allow that?

Inspired? Contact Dakota Rural Action about what you can do to protect Black Hills water.