Defending Water for Life / STEWC at Hope Festival, 2014

Link to orginal BDN article, “20th Annual Hope Festival held at Orono,” and slide show.

CB tabling HOPE 2014 best shot

ORONO, Maine — The 20th annual Help Organize Peace Earthwide (HOPE) festival was held Saturday, April 26, at University of Maine in Orono.

The festival is held each year to celebrate Earth Day and all the good work being done my more than 60 organizations working to take care of the earth and each other, according to a press release.

The day’s events featured at least 60 organizations who had displays, provided activities, music or speakers or otherwise participated in the event. There also was a special display of 20 years of HOPE Festival posters and videos.

The annual HOPE Festival was organized by the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, located in Bangor.

CB tabling HOPE 2014 CB tabling HOPE 2014 2

Perry extends moratorium on water project

Link to Original BDN Article.

By Tim Cox, BDN Staff | April 22, 2014, at 12:47 p.m. | Last modified April 22, 2014, at 4:44 p.m.

PERRY, Maine — The Perry Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Monday evening to extend a moratorium that temporarily blocks water exploration activities being conducted by the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point.

The proposed extension of the moratorium, put in place for 180 days last fall, did not generate any opposition or controversy.

Five people attended Monday’s public hearing that the board convened on the proposed extension, but the selectmen received no public comments, according to board chairman Karen Raye.

Since voters approved the moratorium at a special town meeting in November, a committee has been at work drafting an ordinance to regulate water exploration activities.

The committee of about 12 people has made good progress, according to Raye. “I’m hoping there is a possibility we could wrap it up in May,” she said Tuesday. If a proposed ordinance is approved by the selectmen in May, Perry citizens may be able to vote on it during the June 10 primary election, she said.

The tribe has a representative on the committee, and Raye said it also was informed of the public hearing.

The moratorium extension does not delay the tribe’s water project, she said. “I don’t think they’re really concerned about us taking a few more weeks.”

Tribe officials did not return calls seeking comment.

The action approved by the board on Monday extends the moratorium on “large scale groundwater extraction activities” for 180 days or until the town adopts an ordinance.

The original moratorium was approved by a 43-0 vote at a special town meeting Nov. 4 and took effect immediately.

The tribe, dissatisfied with the quality of water supplied by the Passamaquoddy Water District, a public utility that serves the reservation and the city of Eastport, has developed several exploratory wells in the town. In late September it conducted tests, pumping out water for 10 days in order to determine the capacity of the wells and the effect on the aquifer. Several Perry residents complained to town officials that those pump-out tests reduced the water level in their wells and tainted the quality of their water. Town officials issued a stop work order at the conclusion of the pump-out tests.

State officials received the tribe’s application for approval of wells in late February, according to Roger Crouse, director of Maine’s drinking water program at the Department of Health and Human Services. State officials sent the tribe a letter on April 16 requesting additional information, he said. Once the additional information is obtained, the permit could be approved within 30 days, according to Crouse.

The tribe is seeking approval of “at least two” wells for public water, including one back-up well, Crouse said Tuesday.

The tribe’s application is “kind of unique,” noted Crouse, because it is seeking to develop a new source of water for an existing water district.

In addition, the tribe is partnering with the federal government to pay for the project. “There’s just a lot of need for communicating and coming to a consensus for what they’re trying to do there,” said Crouse.

The tribe also would have to negotiate an agreement to sell water to the Passamaquoddy Water District.

The entire project, including building a treatment plant and installing a water line, would cost $4-5 million and take several years to complete, according to tribe officials. It would be financed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Terrifying Worldwide Water Privatization Strategy

Back in 2011, we were made aware of this article which links the World Bank with several transnational corporate entities, including Nestle, to private water worldwide, but especially targeting countries with a lower socioeconomic status.  I was then informed by an expert source that it was not being spearheaded by the World Bank, but rather the World Economic Forum.

Then the other day, Nickie Seckera of Community Water Justice, who has been resisting Nestle’s expanding empire over the water in Fryeburg, sent along this information:

The Alliance for Water Stewardship offers a partnership with founding members as Nestlé, Unilever, Veolia and many more to help secure the multinational corporate agenda of controlling groundwater resources.

Beware of organizations as this who claim to protect global water resources. For whom are they protecting it? Corporate-backed organizations as this are out for protection of their future profits in securing water sources all over the world for their dominance over local people. The prospects of commodification and control could change how we access drinking water for all future generations. As we know, they are not out for the common good but for profit – and the highest bidder will win access to life.

“The Alliance for Water Stewardship is a partnership of global leaders in sustainable water management who are dedicated to promoting responsible use of freshwater that is socially, economically and environmentally beneficial. AWS drives collective responses to shared water challenges through its stakeholder-endorsed international Water Stewardship Standard. AWS’s Founding Partners are American Standard, CDP, Centre for Responsible Business, Centro del Agua para America Latina y el Caribe, Ecolab, European Water Partnership, Fundacion Chile, Fundacion FEMSA, Future500, General Mills, The Gold Standard Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Foundation, Inghams, Marks & Spencer, Murray Darling Basin Authority, Nestle, Pacific Institute, Sealed Air, United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, The Nature Conservancy, The Water Council, Veolia, Water Environment Foundation, Water Footprint Network, Water Stewardship Australia, Water Witness International, WaterAid and WWF.”

Thank you Nickie for your outstanding work.