December 31, 2013--Do we need a water ethics charter? (Water Wired)

David Groenfeldt is a PhD anthropologist who founded (2009) and directs the Water-Culture Institute ("Adding Values to Water Policies') in Santa Fe, NM. The Institute (WCI) also runs the Water Ethics NetworkHe's the author of a recent book, Water Ethics: A Values Approach to Solving the Water Crisis. I have known David for several years and admire his work so I was not too surprised when I received this email from him yesterday morning:.  

I am writing to enlist your support for safeguarding water ecosystems -- all of them, everywhere. The Water-Culture Institute is developing a new way of thinking about water that is based on a very old principle common to Indigenous Peoples everywhere: Putting Nature's needs ahead of our own immediate desires, so we will all be better off over the long term.  The image of flowing rivers with clean water and healthy fish is not just a romantic idea from the past, but a realistic and necessary expectation for the future.  We need to, and we can, adopt nature-friendly principles to support a sustainable water future. The approach we are taking is to draft a new statement of principles about water, a "Water Ethics Charter" and then seek endorsements from cities, corporations, and other organizations who will pledge to uphold those principles.  The text of the Charter will be finalized during 2014 and will include the intrinsic value and rights of nature, and ideas of social and cultural justice. The Charter will provide cities and businesses with clear moral reasons to respect nature in their decisions about water use and management.  For details about how this process will work, see the "water ethics" page of our website.

To view the full article visit the Water Wired. For a copy of the original article stop by or write the Water Information Program at 841 East Second Avenue, Durango, CO 81301 or call (970) 247-1302.