March 22 is World Water Day, and to mark this day, the Council of Canadians is encouraging everyone to take action for water in their community. There are few things more important than clean, safe water, but the lack of federal government legislation, damaging and polluting industries, and water privatization efforts are putting our water sources at risk.
You can make a difference. The fight to reclaim water as a commons – a public resource available to all – is happening now. Across Canada people are working together to get protections put back on lakes and rivers in Canada; they are fighting massive projects such as pipelines and fracking that endanger waterways, and they are standing up for public water in their communities.
Join us and help protect water by organizing or participating in World Water Day events in your community. Let us know what you are doing so we can highlight it on our website. E-mail your event details to firstname.lastname@example.org, and don’t forget to check out our water publications, which you can use to help inform people and raise awareness.
Attend Fractured Land screenings. Many Council of Canadians chapters are organizing screenings of the new documentary film called Fractured Land. The film follows Caleb Behn, a young Dene lawyer, who confronts the effects of the booming fracking industry on his land and his people. Check our events calendar for screening times and locations.
Help restore freshwater protections. Contact your local MP and urge them to restore freshwater protections. This past election, the Liberal platform stated: "Harper’s changes to the Fisheries Act, and his elimination of the Navigable Waters Protection Act, have weakened environmental protections. We will review these changes, restore lost protections, and incorporate more modern safeguards.” Schedule a meeting with your MP to talk about water and ask them to sign our #Pledge2Protect Lakes and Rivers. Promote this petition urging MPs to restore freshwater protections at public events or gatherings.
Join the letter-writing campaign to bring clean drinking water to First Nation communities. As of this fall, there were 168 drinking water advisories in 120 Indigenous communities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to end these advisories within five years – we will hold him to this promise. Download the blue water drop and fill in your comments. You can send the letters to our Ottawa office. We will be organizing a mass delivery in Ottawa at an event with impacted communities and politicians. Have even more impact by sending your letter to your local paper, or by organizing a gathering with friends, family or colleagues to write letters together.
Turn your community “blue”. The Blue Community Project encourages municipalities to safeguard public water by banning the purchase and sale of bottled water in municipal buildings and at municipal events, supporting the human right to water, and commiting to public delivery of water and wastewater services. There are now 18 Blue communities in Canada. Help make yours the next one! Download the Blue Communities Guide and find all the information and tools you need to turn your community “blue.”
Get creative. Organize something creative and fun to draw attention to the importance of water or to promote a local water issue. Here are a few examples of creative actions: Uberdrop (water drop formation), light brigade or message, water dance or water bottle sculpture to show the waste created by bottled water. Contact email@example.com if you have any questions or want more details.
Internationally, the Council’s Blue Planet Project is working with allies around the world and has launched a new water justice toolkit called Public Water for All. The toolkit includes a guide to water service remunicipalization (taking private water services and putting it back in public hands), information on the myths of private water financing, and a backgrounder on public-public and public-community partnerships.
Please join us on March 22 so we can all make a difference for water in our communities!