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6 months ago

Should we protect our water? : I'm considering making an attempt to place a statewide "Protect Our Water" initiative on the ballot for 2020. This initiative would target three key objectives: 1. Prevent corporations from attempting to privatize sources of drinking water in Oregon. For example: for nearly a decade, Nestlé has been trying to acquire water rights to bottle water from Oxbow Springs, and recently failed to gain rights to bottle 100 million gallons of water annually from Cascade Locks. We must limit the rights of companies to profit from our exhaustible, natural resources, and ensure that citizens have a right to clean and affordable water. 2. Adopt rigorous water quality standards that meet or exceed current EPA standards for all existing water distribution infrastructure – and develop a program to reevaluate and improve those standards over time. This objective ensures that publicly-owned infrastructure quality doesn't slip over time (possibly inadvertently leading to a future push for privatization), and shields us from reduction in rigor of EPA policies. 3. Prevent privatization of water infrastructure throughout Oregon. The city of Baltimore recently passed legislation to ban the privatization of their water and sewage systems and, in doing so, acknowledged that water and sewage treatment are inalienable human rights. We should do the same. This would not change ownership of any existing infrastructure – the Portland Water Bureau (for example) would remain intact, but would gain more protection. Fresh water is a dwindling resource, and necessary for life – wars will be fought over it someday. We must not become the next Flint, MI, or Denmark, SC – and buying bottled water from the likes of Nestlé must not be the only option for us, or our children. If you'd support this initiative, would you please up-vote to indicate that support? I'm using Reddit as a small (but hopefully, representative) sample – I get enough votes here, it may make more sense to take the next step toward getting this on the ballot. Full Article

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