Water as a Human Right

The Council of Canadians is a leader in efforts to protect Canada’s freshwater sources. Our campaign work focuses on recognizing water as part of a shared commons. Water is a human right and as such, must be protected from privatization, pollution and bulk exports.

It is widely recognized that there is a global water crisis. The world’s freshwater resources are being mismanaged, depleted and polluted.  Access to water throughout the world is deeply inequitable and privatization of this vital resource exacerbates this problem.

In Canada, there is no national strategy to address urgent water issues and no federal leadership to conserve and protect our water. The Federal Water Policy is over 20 years old and badly outdated. In BC, our outdated Water Act was written for a time when resource extraction was its primary focus.

Our freshwater faces crises including contamination, shortages and pressure to export water to the United States through pipelines and diversions.

The Council of Canadians is working on a variety of campaigns:

  • Developing  a National Water Policy that will safeguard communities’ water
  • Restoration and preservation of the Great Lakes
  • Advocating for safe water for First Nations
  • Opposing Schedule 2, a legal loophole that allows mining companies to destroy existing lakes by using them as tailings ponds
  • Our Water is Not for Sale, a broad network of groups opposed to government’s plans to introduce legislation to create a deregulated water market
  • Opposing the contamination of massive volumes of fresh water through fracking
  • Blue Planet Project, a global initiative to achieve water justice based on the principles that water is a human right, a public trust, and part of the global commons.
  • Blue Communities: Promoting awareness of the right to water, the importance of public management of water resources, and encouraging the use of refillable reusable water bottles.

Water is vital to people’s health and livelihoods. Join us in taking action to protect water!


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