Defending Water for Life
Learn about Alliance efforts to keep water resources in the public trust, and read about the history of the struggle to keep "Water for People and Nature" in the U.S. and around the world. This national campaign supports state-level work to protect water, including developing local resolutions against corporate personhood.

Check out our videos and links to archived news on this page, too.
Bringing it to a boil!

The Latest News...

Defending Water in Maine at the Common Ground Fair. Organizers Denise Penttila and Chris Buchanan spent three days discussing rights-based organizing and water concerns with Maine fairgoers. Read more here.

No Keystone XL Pipeline. Campaign coordinator Ruth Caplan testified at a State Department hearing in DC. Read more here.

Four out of five "Human Right to Water" bills are law! Read a thank you to Californian supporters here.

Push for SB244, part of the California "Human Right to Water" package. All four bills have passed the legislature, but Governor Brown is being pressured to veto SB244, which would require decent water services for low-income communities. Californians, call and demand this bill be signed. Read more here.

Video from Madison's Democracy Convention. Links to video from panel discussions on water as a human right, debunking carbon markets, and more, featuring Defending Water for Life coordinator Ruth Caplan and allied water justice activists. Alliance for Democracy organized the Earth Democracy conference at the convention. Links here.

Maine Defending Water for Life campaign supports Mother Earth Water Walk. Organizer Chris Buchannan reports on his experience with the Maine leg of the Eastern Directions water walk, part of the annual Mother Earth Water Walk organized by the Anishinawbe Grandmothers. Read more here.

Our statement for World Water Day, March 22. We commend those working to establish access to water and sanitation as a human right, and warn that commodification of water is incompatible with water justice. Read more here.

Water in Washington State: Citizens organizing to have a say in Anacortes and protect the Skagit River
On Sept. 13, 2010, the people of Anacortes, Wash., opened their Sunday paper to read the headline, “Anacortes water, bottled?” The next evening, the City of Anacortes, Wash., approved selling five million gallons of municipal water from the Skagit River for thirty years to Tethys Enterprises of Everett, Wash. Read more here.

New Hampshire bill enables community protection for groundwater
Thanks to the diligent work of Bill McCann, AfD's New Hampshire organizer for the Defending Water for Life Campaign, New Hampshire now has a state law that enables towns to pass local ordinances to protect groundwater. Read more!

Read Defending Water for Life posts on the AfD blog

Water is about life itself. But for giant corporations like Vivendi, Suez, Perrier/Nestlé and Bechtel, water is about profits. Around the world, local communities are fighting the devastating impacts of corporations and entrepreneurs coming into communities to make a profit. It is the "Blue Gold" rush.

The Blue Gold seekers treat water as a commodity rather than a fundamental human right which should be protected as a public trust. The threat comes in three forms:

·  Municipal water/sewer systems. Here in the United States communities have fought to keep municipal water under public control in Lawrence MA, Stockton CA, New Orleans LA, Indianapolis IN and many other communities. Privatization is touted as a way to control costs in times of tight city budgets, but it leads to higher rates, poorer service, and the loss of good-paying jobs. Privatization is a global problem, too. In South Africa, communities are fighting the installation of pre-paid water meters.

·  Bottled Water.  In other communities, the fight is against corporate take-over of local springs and over-pumping of groundwater or municipal water in order to keep fueling the demand for bottled water. Soft-drink companies have sold the public on single-use plastic bottles on the premise that municipal water is of poor quality, but consumers are catching on, and beginning to refuse to pay to drink a beverage than costs up to 1000 times more than it does from the tap. But corporations will fight for the profits they used to count on when they paid little if nothing for the water they pump from Mother Nature.

·  Bulk water. High-flying entrepreneurs have proposed withdrawing water from aquifers and wild rivers so they can profit by transporting it to water-hungry cities. The Alliance for Democracy is working with communities and linking with other organizations to stop these corporate takeovers.

Campaign Coordinators:
National and East Coast
Ruth Caplan
Washington, DC
rcaplan [at] igc [dot] org
West Coast
Nancy Price
nancytprice39 [at] gmail [dot] com

State Websites:

The Latest Video...

Nancy Price on "A Growing Concern"

The Portland Chapter's Water Spot show updates viewers on the situation at the Hanford nuclear site

The Story of Bottled Water