One Water

Film hopes to raise awareness of global water challenge

The 2008 film, One Water, might not be a new release, but it’s as relevant today as it was when it was released, according to Campbell River Council of Canadians member Richard Hagensen.

The film asks viewers to consider whether fresh, clean water is a human right or a commodity – still a much-debated issue these days.

The Campbell River chapter of the Council of Canadians, Timberline Earth Club and Occupy Campbell River have joined forces to present a screening of the film and encourage discussion on the topic at a Nov. 30 screening at the Timberline Theatre from 7 to 9 p.m.

“The visual images in the film are stunning, as it was filmed in 15 different countries and portrays the life force importance and beauty of water as well as the many threats to water systems and the human right to water around the world,” Hagenson says, adding that Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow also appears in the film, speaking out against the privatization of water.

“A couple of years back, Barlow addressed the United Nations when almost all countries in the world voted to enshrine in the U.N. charter water as a human right,” Hagenson says. “Also Maude has written several good books on water issues including her newest one about Canadian water issues, ‘Boiling Point,’ which we will have for sale at the film screening.”

Hagenson says that although responsible water use globally has never been more important than it is right now, the topic is also top-of-mind for many right here in Campbell River.

“A few years back, the City of Campbell River was considering privatizing water sampling but wisely chose to have this remain in the public realm after presentations to City Council by Island Water Watch and Council of Canadians,” Hagenson says. “Elsewhere in Canada and in the world, many cities and countries have privatized all of or aspects of their water delivery and maintenance systems with in many cases, devastating results including a higher cost to taxpayers, a denial of water to those who cannot afford to pay for it and private water corporations failing to maintain the systems they operate.”

And although that potential issue was resolved her in Campbell River by keeping the system in the public realm, “many people in Campbell River continue to be concerned about protecting the Georgia Strait as well as local rivers, lakes and our watershed from becoming polluted,” he says. “Although we can celebrate that we are the salmon capital of the world and that our drinking water is some of the best tasting water and free from contaminants, there are present and potential threats to our fish and wildlife and drinking water purity and health,” he says.

The film is produced by the University of Miami’s Knight Center for International Media and is narrated by Martin Sheen. It will be followed by a moderated discussion.

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