Get in touch so we can mail you a copy of our new poster - One River, Two Futures: reflections on water. Click the image to see the full version.
There is nothing more important than clean water. We need it for drinking, sanitation and household uses. Communities need water for economic, social, cultural and spiritual purposes. Yet water services and water resources are under growing pressure. Communities everywhere – including in Canada – are experiencing extreme weather, including record levels of drought, intense rain and flooding. At the same time, privatization, the bottling of water, and industrial projects are threatening our water services and sources.
A growing global movement is taking action to protect water as a commons and a public trust. A commons is a cultural and natural resource – like air or water – that is vital to our survival and must be accessible to all members of a community. These resources are not owned privately, but are held collectively to be shared, carefully managed and enjoyed by all.
A “Blue Community” adopts a water commons framework and treats water as a common good that is shared by everyone and the responsibility of all. Because water is essential for human life, it must be governed by principles that allow for reasonable use, equal distribution and responsible treatment in order to preserve water for nature and future generations. See and print our 1-page poster.
The Blue Communities Project encourages us to:
Recognize water and sanitation as human rights.
Ban or phase out the sale of bottled water in municipal facilities and at municipal events.
Promote publicly financed, owned, and operated water and wastewater services.
From the Blue Communities Project Guide.
Watch our Blue Communities video:
How we can support and enliven our pledge:
When water is a human right, people can't be denied clean and affordable water. There are close to 100 Drinking Water Advisories in First Nation communities across Canada. Our work can raise awareness about this issue and advocate water for all.
Bottled water disconnects us from our reciprocal relationship with our watersheds. Governments give corporations permits to turn our commons into commodities. Our work can model the phasing out of bottled water across our Federation and link with social movements to end these permits and lifestyle choices.
Publicly owned and operated water systems are under threat from privatization. Profit-driven water services do not protect affordability, quality, nor accountability. Our work can celebrate the best standards of public water to reduce this threat.
Additionally our Federation can support:
Water as a sacred gift that nourishes our spirit and all life on earth. Our prayers, gratitude, and commitments uphold this belief and connect us to creation.
Water reconciliation through better relationships with people and place. Our path forward must have respectful and just relations with our watersheds and with the Indigenous nations we agreed to share these waters with.
Elements of our Activities:
Rooted in faith (reflections, prayers, services)
Learning through seminars, teach-ins, pamphlets, films, discussions, workshops
Active through policy recommendations, petitions, rallies, meetings with decision-makers, and more
The Council of Canadians, the Blue Planet Project and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) initiated the Blue Communities Project in 2009. Eau Secours is a partner on the Blue Communities Project in Quebec. The Blue Communities movement has grown internationally with Paris, France, Bern, Switzerland and other municipalities around the world going “blue.” Schools, religious communities and faith-based groups have also adopted principles that treat water as a common good that is shared by everyone and is the responsibility of all. From the Council of Canadian Blue Communities page.
On Care for Our Common Home -- Laudato Si' -- A Canadian Response
This video presents the views of nine prominent (and soon to be prominent) Canadians among whom are David Suzuki, Maude Barlow, Silver Don Cameron and Gregor Robertson as they reflect on the Encyclical. 23 excerpts from Laudato Si' help the viewer read the actual words of the 192 page document.