Tuesday, August 20, 2013

 

Environment News

The Great Canadian Water Grab

WWP calls for revamp of BC Water Act

Released by Sheila Muxlow, WWP

 

or more than 13 years, Nestle – the World's largest food corporation – has been selling off groundwater from the Fraser Valley and not paying a cent for it.

 

Nestle draws more than 260 million litres annually from the City of Hope's drinking source, marketing it for approximately $1.19 per litre.

 

While Nestle is making untold millions by selling a raw resource – precious fresh water – back to us and to markets south of the border, they do not pay the province, municipalities, nor First Nations a cent in royalties.

"The question is, where are our elected leaders in all this?" asks Sheila Muxlow, Campaign Director of the WaterWealth Project. “Many residents in BC are surprised to learn that a billion dollar multinational like Nestle is permitted to enrich itself from this most precious natural resource without paying a cent. BC is evidently open for business; but when it comes to water, there is no one minding the store.”

"However, Nestle's water grab in Hope, BC is one of the many free water give-aways," notes Muxlow. "Whether groundwater is being bottled by water companies like Whistler Water in Pemberton, or contaminated by mining operations like Talisman natural gas fracking in the Peace River region, big business is able to line their pockets by diminishing community water resources.”

A major problem lies with the 104-year-old piece of legislation that governs BC’s water resources. In addition to a complete absence of ground water regulation, the BC Water Act fails to ensure adequate science and local expertise to guarantee decisions about water are made responsibly. Another major problem is the lack of recognition and reconciliation of Aboriginal Rights & Title.

“There are many issues of water management that need to be addressed, not the least of which is how the provincial government has felt entitled to give away access to our water in the first place,” comments Larry Commodore, two-time Chief of the Soowahlie First Nation and Community Advisor to the WaterWealth Project. “We are not the only region with this type of water exploitation, but with the attention on Nestle and bottled water, people from all over the Country will be watching the Fraser Valley to see our response. The people who live here and call this place home, have an opportunity to lead the way in calling for local control over water and to ensure proper management of our shared water wealth now and for future generations to come.”

“Fresh water is our most precious natural asset, flowing through all living things and essential to our survival. As long as we can care for our shared water wealth, together we will always prosper and our children will always have a home to return to,” urges Muxlow. “We, the people who live here, currently have little say in the decisions that affect the wealth of pure and flowing waters. At the WaterWealth Project we are working to change this, and we are asking our community to work with us to achieve this change.”

The WaterWealth Project urges people to visit their website at www.waterwealthproject.com and consider volunteering and donating to the initiative.

 

About The WaterWealth Project

The WaterWealth Project has been organizing out of Chilliwack, BC and calling for an overhaul of the BC Water Act to bring it into the 21st century. They advocate for reform to water law that respects Aboriginal Rights & Title, supports 100% community control over decisions that impact on regional waters, and demands strong safeguards for water from contamination, pollution and diversions.

 

 

 

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