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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › 3/24 Water Commons event

3/24 Water Commons event

user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 31
-I thought this would be of interest to our group.

----Original Message-----
From: Kate Harris Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 10:39 AM
To: peaceworks
Subject: [peaceworks] 3/24 Water Commons event (pre-reg by 3/19 for lunch)

Who Owns Maine's Water?
by Kate Harris, Defending Water for Life in Maine

For many people, awareness of the Commons has dimmed along with our awareness of nature in general. Yet, we are a part of the Commons and vitally dependent on the Commons. The gifts of the Commons - air, water, forests, oceans, seeds, etc - are the inheritance of all creation, interconnected, interdependent and designed to be shared.

Today, corporate interests threaten to consume all unless we insure the wise management and permanent protection of our natural Commons. Maine's groundwater is being increasingly targeted by Nestle--the world's largest food company and water bottler, which entered the bottled water industry in 1992 when it purchased the Poland Springs Bottling Company (Perrier).

A World Bank vice-president predicted that "the wars of the 21st century will be fought over water." Global justice activist Maude Barlow responds with the hope that "water could become Nature's training ground for peace." We can take inspiration from the people of Uruguay, who drove the right to water into their Constitution, and in Bolivia's new Ministry of Water which protects the people's right to water from corporate predation.

It's time for Maine's citizens to join the global dialogue over whether clean water is a fundamental human right or a private commodity to be managed for corporate profit. Some in Maine propose putting a tax on water extraction. Would providing citizens with a financial benefit from the commodification of water lead to better conservation? More likely, once it becomes a revenue source, the pressure will be to overdraw, not conserve.

On March 24, the Defending Water for Life in Maine campaign will hold a symposium on this issue. Audio & video recordings from this event will be posted on our website. To learn more and to become involved in protecting Maine's water as a public commons and defending access to clean, affordable water for all, please visit or contact campaign coordinator, Kate Harris, 338-9509,
user 2947024
Hudson, MA
Post #: 2
Thanks for posting this, Elaine! I think this is an issue that many people overlook. I'm glad to hear there's a group in Maine addressing the topic.
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 101
Unfortunately, looks like they've had to postpone this event, but worth watching their web site. This is an incredibly important issue and precendent in the US has been for private entities to be able to "own" water supplies (think oil) while in some other countries water supplies have been protected as being held in common by the people.

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