(what’s in your water… – promoted by pfiore8)
KBR Inc. may have supplied U.S. troops fighting in Iraq with tainted water according to a Pentagon inspector general’s report that was released today: Audit of Potable and Nonpotable Water in Iraq (PDF). KBR is a private contractor that, at the time they were supplying American bases in Iraq with polluted water, was owned by Halliburton.
According to the AP, Water makes U.S. troops in Iraq sick.
Soldiers experienced skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry at five U.S. military sites in Iraq.
KBR’s water quality problems happened between January 2004 and December 2006.
It was impossible to link the dirty water definitively to all the illnesses, according to the report. But it said KBR’s water quality “was not maintained in accordance with field water sanitary standards” and the military-run sites “were not performing all required quality control tests.”
The water wasn’t used for drinking, but for washing, cleaning, and laundry. “Water used for hygiene and laundry must meet minimum safety standards under military regulations because of the potential for harmful exposure through the eyes, nose, mouth, cuts and wounds.”
According to the report, 45 percent of soldiers complained “hygiene water was discolored or had an unusual odor”, 10 percent reported their water quality concerns to command, and 4 percent of personnel claimed they had “water related medical problems”.
The Guardian reported that the “allegations of unsafe water supplies in Iraq first emerged during hearings held by Senate Democrats more than two years ago.” Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) requested an investigation be done by the inspector general.
Dorgon said, “I think it’s outrageous that KBR tried to deny that there was a problem, especially when it turned out that there were dozens of US troops reporting water-related illnesses.”
However, with all the problems the military contractors have caused, there still is no move to curtail or eliminate their use. Rather Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Congress would intensify their scrutiny of contractors. “If we are going to use contractors to perform this kind of activity in the future, we are going to have to do a much better job of supervising their activities,” Levin said.
Lovely. A promise of more and better Congressional oversight with no consequences in sight.
The water supply for U.S. civilians may not be much better. According to an AP probe, Drugs were found in America drinking water.
A vast array of pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans…
In the course of a five-month inquiry, … discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Ky.
Clean water is going to be harder and harder to find. Our next war may be over clean water, not oil.