Members of the InterAction Council attending this year’s three-day annual meeting in Quebec City also included former Mexican leader Ernesto Zedillo and and Gro Brundtland of Norway.
The group urged a new international water ethic and offered 21 new recommendations or guidelines for world water management.
At the top of the new panels list: “placing water at the forefront of the global political agenda.” Other items that were included in the ‘to do list’ for the panel include linking climate change research and the associated water problems, creating a universal legal right to water, and raising the price of water to reflect its economic value.
In areas where water is rationed, the priority should be for food crops and not bio-fuels, said the group, whose co-chairs were former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien and one-time Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky.
Although there is a plentiful water supply in Quebec, it is an especially topical subject after Quebec space tourist Guy Laliberte, the billionaire founder of Cirque du Soleil, dedicated his 2009 visit to the International Space Station to raising awareness of international water issues.
I foresee positive effects for this new panel, except for the fact that they would raise the price of water. I do not have enough details at this time to make any rash judgements, but raising the price of water may be counter productive in trying to help those whom have little to no clean water available, and aren’t in any position to be buying expensive water, nor making relief efforts for those in dire need of clean drinking water pay more. But overall, I believe it will be a good place to start, seeing as we don’t have that many regulations for water management in most places, and many places still are polluting water supplies, which make clean, safe water hard to come by for many.