Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Safe Water: Canada must endorse it as a human right!

Today the CBC ran an article outlining that Canada's bid for a UN Security Council seat is being undermined by Canada's refusal to endorse the view that safe water is a human right. This is as it should be: there is nothing more essential to life than water. I wholeheartedly agree with Maude Barlow, Chair of the Council of Canadians, who says that if the Harper government doesn't step up and take action about the world water crisis, then Canada doesn't deserve the Security Council seat.

And hooray for the Council of Canadians, for keeping this issue front and centre! March 22nd is World Water Day, and it is the day that the Council of Canadians launches its Blue Community Project. What can we do locally to promote water as a basic human right? We can start by talking to people about why privatization of water supplies is a bad thing. We can stop drinking bottled water and drink tap water instead. We can stop buying bottled pop and bottled juice, which are just fancier ways of bottling water. We can write to local, provincial and federal elected representatives to remind them that bottled water isn't a soloution to unsafe water supplies, but ensuring that our water supplies remain uncontaminated is. We can ask our local municipal councils, festival organizers, church groups, labor unions, or workplaces to stop selling and promoting bottled water.

One thing I've done lately to keep the importance of water foremost in my mind is to take one slow, mindful sip of water as the last thing I do before I go to bed. This serves to remind me how fortunate I am to have clean, clear, safe water coming out of my tap!

5 comments:

SoapBoxTech said...

Another issue we have swept under the rug until nearly, if not completely, too late. I have long believed that water would be the issue over which Canada finally loses its last vestiges of sovereignty.

I haven't looked into Maude Barlow's work since she joined the UN but I had meant to do so. I lost a bit of interest in the Council of Canadians when they blew off my inquiry into a local chapter.

Eco Yogini said...

I agree! The concept of having to pay for clean water is ridiculous. It is a human right- the main reason why I hate bottled water.

I will also participate in March 22nd Global Water Day! :)

Liz said...

Paul read Maude Barlow's book Blue Gold and then went to a meeting that she and the Council of Canadians held earlier this year in Peterborough. He said it was very interesting. Someone from Peterborough PUC was there and said that they perform more than 20,000 water quality tests a year on the local water. 20,000! It boggles the mind that people still prefer to pay for bottled water.

CKO said...

Well said. We've got to get a handle on our policies about clean water as it will soon be as precious and disputed as oil.

And please repeat over and over, bottled juices and sodas are just as damaging as bottled water. Somehow bottled water gets all the bad rap for resource waste, while the sugary drinks stand silently in the background trying to look like something other than wasteful and unhealthy...

SoapBoxTech said...

I'd be interested to know at what part of the water distribution system those tests 20,000 tests occurred.