The Council of Canadians is getting the word out about World Water Day. Members of the local CoC chapter are urging Canadians to take action to ensure healthy water for now and the future.

World Water Day 2016 – celebrating water as a human right and a public trust

On World Water Day March 22 – “in solidarity with citizens around the world” – the Council of Canadians (CoC) Campbell River chapter will advocate for the protection of our water.

CoC chairperson Maude Barlow says “the time has come to develop a new water ethic – one where we put water at the centre of all policy.”

CoC believes that the time has come to embrace the principles of water as a human right, commons and public trust in our daily actions and in local, provincial and federal legislation and policy. Global and local water related issues include access to clean drinking water; privatization of water; pollution of waterways and over consumption of water by industry (including factory farming, mining, oil and gas extraction and export, bottled water production, and  resource manufacturing plants); fracking; untreated raw sewage and industrial waste; power production, and water conservation. Fresh water supplies are also threatened by changing weather patterns and increased drought conditions around the world.

So, what can Canadians do, politically and personally, to ensure healthy water now and in the future on our Mother Earth? The CoC says write letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demanding he keep his election promise to end drinking water advisories in Indigenous communities and for all communities by 2020 and also to strengthen the Waters Protection Act to protect our lakes and rivers. Urge the B.C. provincial government to incorporate into our new Water Sustainability Act (which governs water licensing and management) binding standards of water use and protection and move from a water ownership model towards community and Indigenous stewardship of our water. Check out www.canadians.org for more details.

On Vancouver Island and in Campbell River, you can protect our precious water resources in numerous ways:

n Resist any attempts to privatize any aspect of our water systems.

n Insist that your city and regional district politicians remain vigilant and take action against pollution or over consumption of water by current and future industries such as mining, contaminated soil dumping, LNG export plants, bottled water extraction, large scale agriculture and clear cut logging.

n Assist local waterways and wildlife protection organizations and support water conservation/protection and sustainable energy programs by local governments, businesses and environmental groups.