Sochi Water Woes Could Wreak Havoc
Sochi water woes could wreak havoc for the athletes and tourists of the 2014 Winter Olympics. It has been a well known fact for years that the water of Sochi, Russia, is contaminated. The issue has been shoved under the rug without resolution, but is now in plain view for the world to see. Minimal efforts and temporary fixes to control the dangerous situation have only been a slight disguise to the real problem.
Sochi was chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and $51 billion was raised to build the parks and stadiums for the big event. More attention to important things such as safe drinking water should have been top priority. Bottled water seems to be the cure all for thirsty competitors and visitors. Water, however, is not just to quench thirst, it is the sustenance of life.
Beyond staying hydrated and refreshed, water is needed for cooking and bathing. These key requirements to daily living also seem to be in question with the current quality of Sochi water. Sochi, located on the coast of the Black Sea, depends on the Mzymta River for their city water supply. Over recent years with increased construction of the Olympic Village, landfills near the river have been overloaded with debris and industrial waste. Run-offs into the river have caused pollution and contamination.
Officials have simply paid major EPA fines instead of correcting the issue of safe water in Sochi. Cover-ups of clay over the debris in the landfills and ignorance in the quest for power have only been masks to the real problems. Tires, spray cans, foam, cement slabs and various other hazardous materials have all been piled into the landfills. Distractions over the years have seemed to avoid relaying the true nature of the problem to the IOC.
Bottled water from suppliers such as Sochi Water, Ltd., Alibaba and KAY National Spring Water have become mainstays in the Russian daily water consumption. Even if from a natural spring, it causes one to wonder how pure the bottled water really is. Some processed and bottled water travels in from as far as Turkey, where it is gathered from the Uludag Mountain.
People have been conditioned to trust the bottled water without question. Most likely safe, with the over 3,000 athletes, plus dignitaries, reporters and tourists from around the world, additional water companies no doubt are helping with the supply. Added to the equation, as somewhat a side issue, is the boycott of Coca-Cola products from some Americans due to the controversial Super Bowl commercial. Cocoa-Cola produces Dasani bottled water, so if it is available some may be forced with a critical choice.
Sochi water woes could wreak havoc even in the simple pleasure of bathing. It has been reported that the contaminated water is tinged yellow and could be dangerous to the skin. Showering may be put on hold anyway with the latest revealing fact of surveillance cameras in the bathrooms and showers. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak let it slip to reporters, that hotels use cameras to help prevent water shortages by monitoring guests.
It may be a very long two weeks with the issues at hand. Sochi water woes could wreak havoc on the health and welfare of the athletes and visitors. Infections, rashes, diseases, treatment of wounds, proper food preparation with sanitary water and much more could turn a glorious worldwide event into a gruesome nightmare. A few days under unfavorable living conditions could greatly impair an athlete’s ability to compete. Dreams will still come true, medals will still be won, but the tales of Sochi may provide memories one could live without.
By: Roanne FitzGibbon