Water

Water is essential to all forms of life. We should call for an international declaration that water belongs to the Earth and all of its species. Water is a basic human right! The U.S. Government must lead the way in declaring water a fundamental human right and prevent efforts to privatize, export, and sell for profit a substance that is essential to all life.

We face a worldwide water crisis. According to the United Nations, more than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water. If current trends persist, by 2025 as much as two-thirds of the world’s population will be living with a serious scarcity of water. Multinational corporations recognize these trends and are moving fast to monopolize water supplies around the world. They argue that privatizing water is the best way to allocate this valuable resource, and they are scheming to have water declared a human need so that it can be commodified and sold on the open market ensuring that the allocation of water will be based on principles of scarcity and profit maximization.

We do not agree. With water sold to the highest bidder, the rich will have plenty while the poor will be left with little but polluted water. Short-term profits will preclude any concern for long term sustainability. We must stop this privatization before the infrastructures become so established that it will be impossible to avoid a disaster of epic proportions.

Governments are signing away their control over their domestic water supplies by participating in trade treaties such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and in institutions such as the World Trade Organization. The World Bank recently adopted a policy of water privatization and full-cost water pricing.

  1. We need strong national and international laws to promote conservation, reclaim polluted water systems, develop water-supply restrictions, ban toxic and pesticide dumping, control or ban corporate farming, and bring the rule of law to transnational corporations that pollute water systems. Mining and depleting the present underground aquifers must be severely restricted. Implement strong laws to promote conservation, reclaim polluted water systems, develop water-supply restrictions, ban toxics and pesticide dumping, control corporate farming, and bring the rule of law to trans-state and trans-national operations that pollute water systems
  2. We should oppose the privatization of water and demand that the U.S. government pass strong laws with effective enforcement mechanisms to assure a safe and adequate supply of water for its citizens and all life within its borders.
  3. Decisions about water must be based on an ecosystems approach. Use an ecosystems/watershed approach to ensure responsible water use. All stakeholders need to participate in the planning. Environmental justice, ecological impact, and depletion of groundwater supplies need to be integrated with the ongoing process for approval of new withdrawalsCycles of intense drought and flooding have demonstrated the need to reorient our priorities in order to achieve a truly sustainable water policy. Over-development and poor planning have resulted in increasing rain-impermeable areas, which compounds the severity and frequency of flooding and pollution in regions downstream. We must begin to understand and apply a holistic watershed approach to managing our water resources. The principle of bioregionalism (living within the means of a region’s natural resources) should give direction to future water policies.
  4. Conservation must be an essential part of any water policy. Water conservation also reduces energy consumption and pollution. To conserve water, the we should propose to:
    1. Mandate water efficient appliances and fixtures be used in all new construction, and promote retrofitting of older buildings.
    2. Promote native landscaping and other drought resistant/ climate-appropriate plants, in order to reduce the need for irrigation.
    3. Promote drip irrigation systems where irrigation is necessary.
    4. Eliminate storm water pollution of our water resources through education of our citizens, enforcement of our laws, and holistic watershed management.
    5. Promote storm water technologies that detain, treat, filtrate, and use storm waters near where it is collected.
    6. Promote the appropriate reuse of the “gray” and “black” waters we produce. Use separation techniques, such as dual piping systems where pure water is used for drinking and washing, and reclaimed water is used for lawn watering and similar purposes.
    7. Mandate pre-treatment of industrial wastes to eliminate the presence of metals, solvents, and other toxins in sewer water. This would reduce the cost of municipal treatment and encourage wastewater reuse.
    8. Promote and maintain passive and natural systems (such as wetlands) for water and wastewater treatment where appropriate, and enforce regulations against dumping of pollutants through regional Water Quality Control Boards.
    9. Eliminate water subsidies for corporate agribusiness. Higher water prices give agribusiness incentives to conserve.
    10. Assist community organizations to monitor the use of local resources, and to oversee the enforcement of water quality regulations. Preserve and restore the nation’s natural water features (streams, rivers, lakes, bays, wetlands and groundwater aquifers) that are vital to achieving sustainable use of water resources.
  5. Set health and sustainability water quality guidelines for drinking water supported by the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Regulations are needed or need improvement, for example, for arsenic, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fluoridation chemical species such as fluoride and fluorosilicate, water disinfection-by-products, environmental estrogens, and pharmaceuticals (medicines).
  6. Achieve a truly sustainable water policy in the light of climate change considering, for example, snow packs, aquifer recharge, rising sea levels, and available water supplies.
  7. Oppose the disproportional political influences of the petroleum, corporate agriculture, mining, timber, real estate and development industries, while working to support family farms, open space, the protection of water quality in our rivers, conservation of watersheds, and the sustainable use and preservation of healthy forest.
  8. Integrate land use with water use for urban planning decisions. Political bodies, such as municipal water authorities, need to be more inclusive in the representation of users, hydrologists, environmental health professionals, and environmental advocates in the region and address the issues affecting the regional supply and demand of the resource, as well as water quality. Presently, the interests and concerns of real estate and development interests have a disproportionate voice in new allocations.
  9. Ensure that municipal water and water systems are publicly owned, publicly sourced from the cleanest natural sources possible, obtained and discharged without harming the bioregion’s ecosystem, transported using safe, uncontaminated systems and materials, and treated using scientific methods to render water uncontaminated and safe to drink without health hazard. Promptly assess and replace lead pipes in the nation’s municipal infrastructure. Comprehensive water testing and analysis that includes a wide range of contaminants and radioactivity should be done throughout the municipality and the results published promptly and publicly. Public health issues should promptly inform and coincide with water testing. Using privatized, bottled water to substitute for a contaminated public water supply is unacceptable. Since water is a human right, all humans within the municipality should have full access to affordable, clean, uncontaminated water from the municipal water system for basic needs at all times and without threat of shut-off.
  10. It is imperative that we protect the waters and shorelines of the Great Lakes, and we should strongly urge the following actions:
    1. Allocate funds to help upgrade and phase out aging municipal sewage systems and treatment plants, have mandatory inspections, and allow for composting and greywater system alternatives to septic systems.
    2. Prohibit municipalities from dumping sewage into the Great Lakes with a “zero discharge” mandate.
    3. Set clear and enforceable deadlines and standards for reducing nutrient runoff from agricultural lands.
    4. Devise and implement a plan to stop the release of flame retardants and other toxins into the Great Lakes without further delay.
    5. Immediately decommission and shut down the aging Enbridge Line 5 oil and gas pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac as it poses an unacceptable risk to the waters of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.
    6. Prevent the opening of a new sulfide mining district in northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula to protect the waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior from the inevitable pollution that would be caused by acid mine drainage from such mining.
    7. Require ocean-going freighters to filter or treat their ballast water to meet high environmentally protective standards.
    8. Close the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.
    9. Stop the dumping of toxins by petroleum refineries into the Great Lakes by making it unlawful. Such dumping is currently allowed and administered by the EPA through the purchase of permits or licenses.
    10. Have the Federal government buy and protect more undeveloped areas of Great Lakes coastlines by designating them as National Lakeshores.
    11. Encourage the planting of buffer strips of vegetation to act as natural filters of toxins and contaminants, prevent erosion, and provide species habitat between waterways and developed land.

Source: Green Party

Water Actions

About mekorganic

I have been a Peace and Social Justice Advocate most all of my adult life. In 2022, I am again running for U.S. Congress in CA under the Green Party. This Blog and website are meant to be a progressive educational site, an alternative to corporate media and the two dominate political parties. Your comments and participation are most appreciated. (Click photo) .............................................. Paid for by Michael Kerr for Congress with Peace and Justice C00803577
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