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14th December 2018

Drought, climate change and the right to water

Last but certainly not least, the Fraser Institute’s report concludes, “There is no reason to believe freshwater shortages will occur in the short term.” But water shortages and droughts are already happening. This summer there were droughts or extreme weather events that affected water availability - and consequently food security - in every region. Counties in Alberta have declared states of agricultural disaster from droughts. In 2016, wells in Nova Scotia ran dry. Forest fires in interior BC were so severe that people’s activities in Vancouver were restricted for health reasons.

Threats to water sources continue from extreme energy projects, thirsty industries, climate change and inadequate water regulations. Ignoring the impacts only further threaten water security and the human right to water. Communities and governments must take swift and bold action to protect the world water sources. Governments must take steps to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including obtaining Free, Prior and Informed Consent on decisions or policies affecting water. Indigenous communities and municipalities in Canada are already experiencing water crises and if we don’t quickly change course, we could see an increase in water shortages and threats to water security. Water is the foundational building block of all life on our planet.