Public Values

Alberta water already essentially privatized

Recommended Water Authority would formalize the process.

Barry Robinson, Ecojustice: Move to market system means windfall profits for current licence owners.June 15, 2011: Angela Brunschot writes for Vue Weekly that those seeking water licences in Alberta have simply to obtain them from current detainees of denied by the government, noting that Nestle has already declared Alberta an "excellent place to consider trading water like a commodity". Brunschot further reports that licenses affect the province's ability to protect the environmental integrity of its rivers and lakes.

"It may not seem like it when you open your utility bill, but water in Alberta and Canada is free. Residents pay for the delivery system of pipes and drains, but the resource itself doesn't carry a price-tag.

In recent years there's been plenty of rumbling about how that could change, and a polarized debate has emerged. Some argue that putting a value on water leads to commodification, putting the vital, life-sustaining resource in the hands of private corporations. Others insist allowing water to flow freely encourages people and companies to waste it without repercussions, a situation which can't continue given environmental concerns..."

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Posted: June 28, 2011

  Public services
  Natural resources

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