We must make Brussels a “blue community” for it is important the capital enforces the right of access to water, bans water bottles from the municipal sphere, and guarantees an exclusively public management, distribution and treatment of water.
A series of critical studies on the impact of current economic mechanisms on the access to water has lead to the conclusion that a future crisis is inevitable. Our blue planet paradoxically represents only 0.7% of drinking water and this water no longer is available, nor is it sustainable or used appropriately. In 2017, more than 2 billion people were still not connected to drinking water or experienced water stress (52% of the population). Several sectors have contributed to this situation, including the bottled water industry, the hard industry and agriculture. These actors are often private companies, more often motivated by the search for profit than by the common good. And indeed, the privatization of water services can increase the price of the resource up to 160%!
The issue of water has probably never been as important as now. However, just like the characteristic of which it is the object, this problem remains invisible until today. Should we really insist on the vital aspect of water and how it enables man to survive and lead a “dignified” life? Although the law has often wanted to guarantee the access to this resource, its various attempts show that it is not so simple and have been relatively unsuccessful… How to respond to such a vast problem? Instead of being happy with a number of individual acts, we have chosen to go back to the source of the problem: its commodification. We consider that a good which is necessary for both survival and dignified life should be considered an unconditionally available resource to every human being on the earth. And yet, it is sometimes more expensive to buy water than gasoline. We do not want to make citizens feel guilty by telling them that a shorter shower will save our blue gold reserves. The small gestures of everyday life, as commendable as they are, will never mean more than a drop in the ocean of this problem. Therefore, to convince the Brussels-Capital Region to commit to recognizing – and applying – the human right to water and to preserve this sector of market logic would already be a first, important step to take.
“Act local and aim global” is in line with the maxim that we intend to subscribe with our action: to adopt a local perspective while aiming at the same time for a long-term global change. By registering Brussels as a Blue Community, we hope to plant this blue seed in other cities – both Belgian and European – take advantage of this wave of remunicipalisation and make this right effective on a larger scale. After Paris, in 2016, and Berlin, in 2018, it seems logical that Brussels, as the capital of the European Union, follows suit and becomes a Blue Community, if only to set the example. As for now, we are in regular contact with most water stakeholders in the capital, experts on the issue of the right to water but also workers who are directly active in the field. We have already asked the Brussels government to accept the adoption of the Blue Community status, our negotiations with them od ongoing … We are addressing you, Brussels, to show you the importance of a sustainable water policy. But also and especially to have your support facing the authorities. According to Riccardo Petrella (author of the Manifesto of Water) : “Since water is the most physical expression of life, it must also be an opportunity for a community to organize itself and live together in an exemplary way “.
Our project will be completed by the screening of our documentary on November 29th, 2019. For more details, we advise you to go to the tab “Event”. However, the projection will not completely mark the end of our campaign. We intend to distribute a documentation file to all communities (cities, schools, universities, places of worship, etc.) that are showing interest in the idea of making their organization, group, town or city a Blue Community. This dossier will list the steps we have taken to complete our project, while summarizing the questions and concerns that drove us during our adventure.