Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly. She also chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch and is a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. Maude is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), and the 2008 Canadian Environment Award. She is also the best selling author or co-author of 16 books, including the recently released Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water.
Maude Barlow: The singular issue is something we never thought could happen, and that is we are actually running out of fresh water for the demand that is increasing in our world. We are also destroying water retentive landscapes everywhere by our pollution displacement abuse of water, moving it from where it is needed in nature to where we want it and then we destroy it or we dump it in the ocean or whatever or we use it to water deserts or we export it out of our watersheds. And one way and another, we are creating new deserts where we needed water retentive hydrologic cycles.
So, huge parts of the world are actually beginning to run out of water. This is the most important thing I can say. It is not cyclical drought, which we keep hearing about and oh, if the rain comes back, everything will be fine or it is just global warming affecting water. No, it is not just global warming affecting water. It is water affecting global warming. It is our treatment of water actually destroying whole areas that have been fertile and able to grow food and so on.