National Farmers Union Approves Water Policy at Annual Convention

After making a powerful submission to the Environmental Advisory Council about the importance of a Water Act based on the principle of water as a common good, and the need for a transition towards agroecology, members of the NFU Region 1, District 1 presented the following resolution at the national convention in November.

Water Policy
Resolution passed at the National Farmers Union 46th Annual Convention
November 26th to 28th, 2015 – London, Ontario

WHEREAS there are many new threats to the quality and quantity of water in the provinces and territories of Canada through oil and gas extraction, intensive monoculture farming, and the tendency of trade negotiators to put water on the table, and
WHEREAS the National Farmers Union has a deeply held commitment to maintaining and improving the health of soil, air and water, and WHEREAS the NFU believes that land, which by nature includes water, is to be held in trust for future generations, and WHEREAS not all people automatically think of the land, water and air as a unity, and
WHEREAS in the existing NFU policies, the water policy is scattered throughout and responds to specific geographic threats to water supply and quantity and the obvious deficiencies in public policy to protect water, and
WHEREAS there is a dire need across Canada for a constant reminder that water is neither a commodity to be bought and sold, nor is it a resource to be extracted and exploited, but a legacy to be preserved for current and future generations, and
WHEREAS NFU members are being called on to join other organizations across the country standing up for the protection of water and need the guidance and support of a comprehensive NFU water policy section which includes various aspects of the protection of water,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Farmers Union develop a water policy section introduced by statements of the principle such as:
▪ That land, air and water are a unity which has a life‐giving connection to humans, plants and animals;
▪ That water is a legacy to be preserved and protected for current and future generations;
▪ That water is a common trust; and
▪ That the protection of water supply and quantity requires a transition towards the principles of agroecology.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Farmers Union demand that the federal government enact legislative changes which create national standards for the protection of the quantity and quality of water for the long term.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NFU demand that provinces and territories create and/or revise water acts in their jurisdictions standards for the protection of the quantity and quality of water for the long term.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Farmers Union urge federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions to apply the precautionary principle in granting licenses for new access to water.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Farmers Union demand that the federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions monitor all usage of water and base all monitoring on true scientific evidence.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Farmers Union urge federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions to include the reality of climate change in their predictions of future water quantity and quality.

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