So, this morning I hear on the CBC Radio One news that Canada, courtesy of our so-called 'environment' minister Jim Prentice has thwarted efforts to have water declared a human right, not just a human need. Apparently Mr. Prentice is worried that if water is declared a human right, that Canada will be obligated to export water to countries that don't have enough of it. This is a total red herring. If that were the case, then we would be obligated to export everything that already is declared a human right, like food for example.
I find it absolutely astounding that, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights linked above, leisure time and property ownership are considered human rights, and yet access to safe drinking water isn't. How is this even possible?
Sadly, I know the answer to that question: it's possible because private water companies want it that way, so they can further commodify and commercialize water, selling it to those who can afford it. And that big Canadian project that Minister Prentice also talked about, the Global Environmental Monitoring System, will just help these multinationals get even better at finding where the good water is, so they can exploit it further.
This is why it is absolutely essential that we as citizens do not support private water supplies in any way, shape, or form. We need to make it a point not to buy any bottled water, including water that comes in the form of bottled juice or pop. Companies like Coke, Pepsi and Nestle are notorious for tapping into the aquifers in places like India, and even Florida, denying those citizens their right to clean water.
Today is World Water Day. But it's a sad day for water and a sad day for Canada.
Picture courtesy urbansprout