Whose Water Is It, Anyway? by Maude Barlow, ECW Press

Whose Water Is It, Anyway?: Taking Water Protection into Public Hands

Barlow, Maude

  • “Maude Barlow is one of our planet’s greatest water defenders.” — Naomi Klein, bestselling author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

    “This book is a blueprint for communities around the world to take back that responsibility and maintain water as a human right.”  — David Suzuki

    “This is a must-read.” — Jane Fonda

    A call to action from former Senior Advisor on Water to the U.N., honorary chairperson of the Council of Canadians, chair of Washing-based Food and Water Watch, and councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council

    The Blue Communities Project is dedicated to three primary things: that access to clean, drinkable water is a basic human right; that municipal and community water will be held in public hands; and that single-use plastic water bottles will not be available in public spaces. With its simple, straightforward approach, the movement has been growing around the world for a decade. Today, Paris, Berlin, Bern, and Montreal are just a few of the cities that have made themselves Blue Communities. In Whose Water Is It, Anyway?, renowned water justice activist Maude Barlow recounts her own education in water issues as she and her fellow grassroots water warriors woke up to the immense pressures facing water in a warming world. Concluding with a step-by-step guide to making your own community blue, Maude Barlow’s latest book is a heartening example of how ordinary people can effect enormous change.


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  • Maude Barlow is the bestselling author of 20 books. She sits on the board of Food & Water Watch, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and is a councillor with the World Future Council. She served as senior water advisor to the UN General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right. She is the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates, the Right Livelihood Award and is the current chancellor of Brescia University. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

  • Published: September 2019

    ISBN: 9781770414303

    Dimensions: 4.5 x 7 in.

    Pages: 160


“Water inflates cells of all life forms, enables biological metabolism, transports materials throughout our bodies and around the world and provides an aqueous environment for our first nine months of life. Water is not a ‘resource’ or ‘economic opportunity’ but a sacred gift from Nature that is our responsibility to protect and use sparingly so that all life on Earth may flourish. This book is a blueprint for communities around the world to take back that responsibility and maintain water as a human right.”  — David Suzuki

Whose Water Is It, Anyway? is in fact a bouncy book of hope … Amid all the frustrations and disappointments of the global environmental crisis, Barlow seems to have hit upon a really good idea … What Barlow is teaching us with this punchy little book is that, yes, there can be hope.” — the Globe and Mail

“In Whose Water Is It, Anyway?: Taking Water Protection into Public Hands, Barlow passionately describes the history of how water, on a global scale, has been systematically transformed from a public good to an economic commodity — right under our noses … Fortunately, Barlow provides a blueprint for the work and pathway for hope.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“Barlow provides the essentials for anyone wishing to join the movement and work to make their own community Blue.” — Tonstant Weader Reviews blog

“If water shortages and global unrest are on your mind — and they should be — read this book.” — Caryn Mandelbaum, Water Program Director, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

“This is a must-read.” — Jane Fonda

Whose Water Is It, Anyway? gives shape to the many people around the world who expose corporate greed and government mismanagement and absolutely refuse to give up.” — GuelphToday

“This book will leave you feeling angry and frustrated but also inspired and hopeful. Maude Barlow touches on many concerns over water in this relatively short book.” — InfoSuperior blog