|Don't sell water rights for profit|
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 01 April 2010 18:35|
Following the UN week for water, the time has never been more important to reflect on water concerns here in Alberta.
Presently, the provincial government is grappling with an issue that could mean life or death for our ecosystems, our wildlife and eventually our lives as we know them, yet the general public is not yet aware that the government of Alberta is planning on changing our water law.
Currently, Alberta's water allocation policy is based on laws that were established in 1894. The policy was based on a first in time, first in right principle -- in other words, first come, first served. Water licences haven't changed in Alberta for over one hundred years and now the government is thinking about moving to a market-based water allocation system in which current water licence owners could sell their licenses to the highest bidder. This would ultimately allow those industries with the most money to have complete control of Alberta's water: Shell, Epcor, EnCana, just to name a few.
The government of Alberta sought recommendations for its policy change from three committees -- the Minister's Advisory Group, Alberta Water Council, and Alberta Water Research Institute -- but has not yet formally informed the public. The recommendations set forth by these committees are very troubling. They recommend that Alberta's water allocation be moved from low-valued water uses to high-valued water uses.
And what is considered a high-value water use? That which will increase GDP.
If the government goes through with plans to create a market based water system, our ecosystems, our food production, our municipalities, our wildlife, and our lives will be dramatically negatively impacted.
Don't let the government make our water a commodity. The government needs to protect our water as a human right for us all because it is our most basic human need.
Yvonne Epp, Edmonton
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|Last Updated on Friday, 02 April 2010 08:25|