BILLY BOB COUNTY, TX (UPI). In a lavish 1 April 2015 press conference at his Billy Bob County ranch, Texas corporate raider-turned water entrepreneur-humanitarian T. Bone Lickens (shown here drying wet money, his favorite pastime) announced the biggest deal of his storied career: he and partners Bush Family Development (BFD) and Mexican billionaire Carlos Gordo have succeeded in gaining control of the freshwater resources of South America's Guaraní aquifer, which underlies parts of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay (see blue area on map).
The aquifer system represents the greatest stock of liquid freshwater in the world. According to a recent World Bank report, Draining the Guaraní Aquifer: Saving the World's Sorry-Ass Parched Butt, there is 'more damned water there than you can shake a stick at.' That's a direct quote from economist Hugh Jeego.
Lickens' spokesperson Phil Dert announced that the consortium, known as GASP (Guaraní Aquifer Security Project), would protect the aquifer from 'water profiteers' who would 'seek to enrich themselves while destroying the world's greatest freshwater resource.' Dert also noted that Nestlé Waters, Suez Environnement, and Veolia Water were 'minor partners' in GASP.
When asked who died and made him water king and protector of the aquifer, Lickens replied, "No one, son, it's because I've got the cojones and the dinero."
Dert also said that former Vice President Dick Cheney will be Chair of GASP's Water Board and have overall responsibility for the project along with prime contractor Halliburton. Operations Director is former USACE engineer Alberto 'Al' Muerzo, who was responsible for the Corps' Colorado River Access Project (CRAP). He will be assisted by Dr. Desmond 'Des' Ayuno. Matt Pulroy, formerly of the Southern Nevada Waste Authority, will be responsible for GASP's community and public relations.
BFD's interests will be managed by Neil Bush, whose financial skills are said to rival the peacemaking and diplomatic skills of his brother, former President George W. Bush. Spokesperson Robin Banks stated: "Neil Bush is rightly credited with providing the Federal government with the experience it needed to cope with the recent financial meltdown. Neil Bush is honored to be a part of BFD and GASP."
Gordo, arguably the world's richest man, was not present but his spokeswoman, Ima Perra, told the assembled dignitaries and journalists that Mr. Gordo was proud to be part of GASP. His recently-acquired engineering firm, ABRIL-TONTO, headed by former Universidad de Taco Grande engineering dean Dr. Ricardo 'Dick' Cabeza, will have a major GASP role.
When asked if Gordo's (shown here) presence was simply to add a 'brown face' to the project, Perra became visibly agitated and barked, "WTF? Mr. Gordo is involved because he has more goddamned money than all those toothless Texas crackers combined!"
Rumors of gringos taking control of the aquifer's water have swirled about for years; now, the piñata's been smashed and the goodies have been spilled. It has been known that the Bush family has purchased huge tracts there, ostensibly to raise cattle and build gated communities for disaffected upscale (are there other kinds?) Republicans, but others have alleged more nefarious purposes, such as allowing Democrats to live in the communities.
"This is just another example of water imperialism by the private sector, eh?" alleged Anita Fixx, head of the Frostback Follies Forum, a group of disgruntled Canadians who feast on rumors, misinformation, Molson's, and back bacon. Fixx, shown here (left) with two of FFF's hosers (board members) (right), added, "It's even more despicable that the Americans are involved, eh? Since they couldn't steal our precious Canadian water they have resorted to bamboozling the poor and downtrodden of Latin America, eh? Take off!"
When asked how the water would be marketed, Lickens said that most of the water would be shipped north via a mammoth tunnel, drilled by huge boring machines currently being made in China. He noted this will be the world's largest engineering project and take years to complete. Energy will be generated by local geothermal resources and wind. Lickens chuckled, "Everyone knows that South America blows." Lickens proudly noted, "The project will put most of Latin America to work, so there will be no more illegal immigration to the USA. Furthermore, through Gordo's political connections, the Mexican drug cartels will have exclusive contracts to supply drugs to the workers." Lickens added: "They will all make plenty of money and have too much work to be fighting amongst themselves. So now the little woman and I can once again visit our favorite Mexican city, Ciudad Juárez, without packing AK-47s."
Dert added that Nestlé Waters will bottle a small amount each year, and market it under the name Guaraní Gold. The Nestlé rep, Rob N. Steele, said that, in keeping with Nestlé's humanitarian focus, it has paid the Guaraní Indians a lifetime annual royalty amounting to 5 USD per person and a case of one-liter bottles, which the Indians will be allowed to fill once per year from a designated spring. He declined to detail the roles of Veolia and Suez, although he did mention that they would have 'oversight' and 'sustainability' roles.
Journalists have noted that there has been nary a peep from Latin American leaders about this, save
for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro (shown here between two of his ministers), who commented through a spokesman: "As leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, I have far more important things to worry about, like a country that is going down the tubes and getting my bus driver's job back." Paraguayan President Heinrich Himmler, Jr., (left) was questioned about the deal upon leaving church, commented, "Grundwasser? Was ist das?"
This decidedly muted response suggests that large amounts of money may have changed hands, a charge vigorously denied by both the Lickens and Gordo camps, although a smile was noted on Ms. Perra's face.
Lickens said that the project would begin once long-delayed World Bank funds of $100B are received. Additional financial backing is by AIG, Shitibank NA, Banco de Brasil, and Goldman Suchs. No mention was made of the total amount of money involved, nor how the water was acquired. One wag noted that former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio 'Little' Lula (shown above) is driving a new Bentley and Argentinian President Cristina 'Jugs' Fernández de Kirchner (shown to the right) is sporting some new 'assets.'
Happy April Fools' Day! ¡Feliz el día de tontos de abril!
"You can take the boy out of the Catholic high school but you can't take the Catholic high school out of the boy." -- my long-suffering spouse