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Maude Barlow at the World Water Forum

Our media officer Dylan Penner has let us know that the Pulitzer Centre has uploaded a video clip of Maude Barlow speaking at the World Water Forum in Istanbul on water as a human right vs. water as a commodity.

You can watch the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShwJHknY9IU


The Christian Science Monitor reports that, “‘If we can determine that water is a right, it gives citizens a tool they can use against their governments,’ says Maude Barlow, a senior adviser on water issues to the president of the UN General Assembly. ‘If you believe it is a human right, then you believe that you can’t refuse to give it to someone because they can’t afford it,’ she says.”

The article also notes, “‘There’s a huge role for the private sector to help us secure our water future, but it has to be within this notion that water is a public trust,’ says Ms. Barlow, of the UN. ‘It’s not the market that should decide who has access to water. It should be a public trust and a public right’.”

The full article is at

The Guardian in the United Kingdom reports that, “Maude Barlow, senior adviser on water to the president of the UN General Assembly, argues that the environmental costs (of giving flowers on Mother’s Day) are unforgivably high. Polluted runoff and depletion of water levels at Kenya’s Lake Naivasha, where more than 30 flower farms are located, are problems that we must take responsibility for. The lake stretches across 53 square miles and is fed only by underground springs; it is any important source of drinking water for local villagers and a habitat for hundreds of species of birds and other wildlife.”

The article continues, “‘The water levels are down about 25%,’ she says, ‘and the hippopotamuses – the largest wild tribe left in east Africa – are dying. They’re baking in the sun. The lake can’t sustain this any longer.’ And it isn’t just Lake Naivasha. ‘Every single big lake in Africa is in crisis,’ she says. ‘Europe does wonderful work preserving its own water, but the way it’s doing that is to use other people’s water.'”

This is at