For World Water Day, Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, will join Alice-Anne Simard, Director of Eau Secours, to talk about the fight for the human right to water, corporations that are trying to take ownership of water, and the communities around the world that are experiencing the impacts of the global water crisis.
Close to 1 billion people have no access to clean water and 2.5 billion have no access to adequate sanitation. Lack of clean water kills more children than all forms of violence, including war. The UN reports that demand for water will increase by 55 per cent over the next 15 years. By that time, global water resources will meet only 60 per cent of the world’s demand. The water crisis could affect as many as 7 billion people by 2075.
In business schools across the world, students are taught that the solution to the global water crisis is to commodify water and let the market settle who gets water and how. Nestlé Chairman and World Bank Advisor Peter Brabeck says that he would give 1.5 per cent of the world’s water to the poor but allow the market to determine the fate of the rest of the planet’s water resources.
We will ask: Who owns the water? How shall we address the world’s water crisis without creating even more inequalities? Is water a common good or a commodity? A human right or a private commodity like computers and cars? Who shall determine who has access to water and who does not?
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to celebrate World Water Day with Maude Barlow!
This event will be in English and French. Admission is free and the room is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
We hope you can make it! Please bring your friends!
Maude Barlow is the Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She serves on the executive of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and is a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 18 books, including her latest, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever and Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis. Maude Barlow is the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the 2005 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellowship Award, the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club (US).
Alice-Anne Simard is the executive director of Eau Secours, a non-profit organization founded in 1997 whose mission is to promote the protection and responsible management of water from the perspective of environmental health, equity, accessibility and collective defense of the rights of the population. Holder of a Master's degree in Biology and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), she also worked for the United Nations (UN) at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as a sustainable development officer, teaching assistant, researcher and naturalist. Ms. Simard has also been on the board of directors of the Quebec Environmental Law Center for three years. She also founded in fall 2016 ULaval without fossils. Thanks to this student campaign, Laval University has become the first university in Canada to make a formal commitment to completely divest from fossil fuels.