On World Water Day 2019, the United Nations reminds us that marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.
OPSEU President Warren “Smokey” Thomas says privatization is a threat that deprives many of clean water throughout the world.
“Corporations are becoming more and more skillful about turning our water into profit. They steal water from our aquifers and then sell it back to us at a high cost. The world’s water supply should not be treated as a commodity that can be peddled by these big corporations.“
United Nations sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without water. World Water Day is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind. And the water crisis hits close to home for Canadians. Despite progress being made, at least 59 Indigenous communities remain under a long term drinking water advisory.
Acknowledging that water is the lifeblood of Mother Earth, OPSEU Indigenous Circle Chair Krista Maracle reminds us that “what we do to water is what we do to ourselves.” The Indigenous Circle is implementing in partnership with Indigenous waterkeepers a 2018 OPSEU Convention Resolution that calls for action to protect water. Maracle adds, “We all share the responsibility of protecting our water because water is our life. Together, we’ll honour our responsibility to protect our land, our water, and our cultures.”