“Life requires access to clean water; to deny the right to water is to deny the right to life.”
Maude Barlow is an international leader in what she calls the “global water justice movement.” Of the current crisis she explains, “On one side are powerful private interests, transnational water and food corporations, most First World governments and most of the major international institutions…” These forces see water as a commodity to be sold and traded, she says, and have established an elaborate infrastructure to promote private control of water. On the other side are environmentalists, human rights activists, indigenous groups, small farmers, peasants, and grassroots communities worldwide. She travels and lectures widely, arguing that water is a basic right and should not be a commodity. Her books include Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water and the recently released Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water. She is the founder of the Blue Planet Project, working internationally for the right to water. Barlow has received honorary doctorates from four Canadian universities for her social justice work and is the recipient of numerous educational awards including a Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship in 2005.