This evening, Council of Canadians activist Nancy Carswell made the case to her city council that Prince Albert should become a blue community. The Prince Albert Daily Herald reports, "During her presentation, Carswell demonstrated just how little drinking water there is on the planet. Taking a five-gallon container, she poured out two cups, representing how much fresh water there is. Taking those two cups of water, about half is locked in ice caps and glaciers, she told council. 'How much of this half cup is surface water for us to drink?' she asked. 'It is a drop. Of this five gallon container, the drop ... represents the world’s drinking water.'" "'The total amount of water on the plant is not going to change,' Carswell told council. 'We can change, by being a blue community.'" On the three aspects of a blue community resolution, she made these points: - "The human rights issue should be self-explanatory, she explained, as water is 'essential to human life'. 'No one should be able to control it or expropriate it for profit. The human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, accessible water for personal and domestic uses.'" - "(A public-private partnership) would be a mistake when it comes to water and wastewater treatment and service, Carswell said. ...Carswell explained to council that when these services are privatized, the rates go up and the accountability goes down." - "Banning the sale of bottled water is part of an environmental concern due to plastic’s non-renewable fossil-fuel burning status. 'It takes a lot of water to bottle water,' she explained to council. 'The production process requires three to five litres of water to produce a one litre bottle of water.'" Unfortunately, "After Carswell’s presentation to council, the city’s elected officials motioned to receive her presentation as information and to file it, without any discussion. This motion means that they’ve opted to leave things as they currently are, with the policies and procedures council already has in place." Still, Carswell made an inspired presentation and the work to make Prince Albert a blue community will undoubtedly continue. In fact, the article concludes, "In recognition of World Water Day on March 22, Common Causes and Cinema Politica are hosting (a screening of 'Water On The Table') at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library. ...Representatives from the City of Prince Albert, Council of Canadians, Renewable Power the Intelligent Choice, Idle No More, Labour and Food Secure Saskatchewan will speak at the event, which is free of charge and open to the public." To read the Prince Albert Daily Herald news report go to http://www.paherald.sk.ca/Local/Politics/2013-03-11/article-3197903/Water-security-concerns-brought-to-city-council/1. To find out how you can take steps to make your community a blue community, go to http://canadians.org/bluecommunities.
Nancy Carswell at Prince Albert City Hall this evening. Photo by Tyler Clark/ Prince Albert Daily Herald.