A Bill of Rights for Water

A Bill of Rights for Water

The stated task of the Second Women’s Future First Congress was to draft a Bill of Rights for Water. In a task group on the Pacific Ocean, a young woman asked about the word “rights” — what does that word mean, and particularly when referring to water? We contemplated the question, coming up with several thoughts. Talking about water having “rights” is acknowledging the sovereignty of water. Water is not here to be exploited. First People say water is a living being. Water makes up almost 70% of our human bodies. It unites us with all living things as we breath in and out, take in and expel, water.

And it is a constant. There will never be any more water than that we have right now on the earth. When we poison it with radiation or chemicals, nuclear power plants and fracking, it is gone, at least in terms of any human scale timeline. As we talked about water, and all that depends on it– which is everything– we also had to talk about our responsibility to Water– and so we fashioned a Bill of Rights and our responsibilities.

In some native traditions, the law is sung. Our attorneys sang as they read it. In ceremony we signed, table by table. In ceremony the signatures were gathered. The Bill we signed will be posted at futurefirst.us. It was fashioned by all of us there and worded by attorneys. It will be used to be presented to our cities and counties and states and country. We aim high, because the stakes are so high.

We are entering another time, a time the earth, the plants, the animals must be related to in ways that recognize their sovereignty. This is a great paradigm shift, and we can make it. It is critical to survival of life as we know it. To me, it feels consistent with Biodynamic farming in which the entity of the living being of a plant or animal or micro-organism, is recognized and worked with.

One of the many things I took away from this conference is how critically important it is that we educate ourselves about water and the environment, and then help our lawmakers do the same.

See www.patriciadamery.com about the Joanna Macy talk.