On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, thousands of Wave pieces from 20 previous sites were installed in the shape of a ‘reservoir’ on the grounds of the State Capitol Building in Hartford, CT. Inside the building, legislators were considering SB 422, a bill that would place the needs of local residents first in times of water emergencies and would prohibit the sale of water from local reservoirs to industrial clients at a marked discount from what public consumers currently pay.
Four months ago, citizens of the 8 member towns that receive their public water from the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), a public, non-profit corporation that supplies water and sewer services in the Hartford, CT area learned that a secret deal had been made between the Niagara Bottling Company and the MDC itself, affecting the future of the public water supply. The MDC has agreed to provide Niagara Bottling with up to 1.8 MILLION gallons of water a day at rates that are less than what public consumers currently pay and did so without public input. The water purchased from the MDC by Niagara will be bottled in a plant they are currently building in the town of Bloomfield and ultimately sold all over the country at a profit of billions of dollars/year.
What enraged and motivated the citizens in the Greater Hartford, CT area to protest the sale of such a large volume of its water supply was what Bloomfiled resident Brad Klein, called “the commodification of a resource that has become a profitable industry,” without regard for the needs of the local population in times of drought, which, in an era of climate change, are becoming more and more inevitable. Partnering with other CT environmental groups, Save Our Water CT, worked with State Senator Beth Bye to introduce SB 422.
We brought The Wave to the State Capitol to show our support for their efforts. Legislators and visitors entering the building were confronted by a brilliant body of waves representing in a powerful and visceral way how we are all connected by our fundamental need for water and our mutual responsibility to protect this vital resource.