Maude Barlow Reflects: ‘The Goal of Our Movement Is Clean, Safe, Public Water for Everyone’


“The goal of our movement is clean, safe, public water for everyone. Water is a human right. Water is a public trust. Water is a public service. It mustn’t be put on the open market like oil and gas or running shoes,” said Maude Barlow—a Canadian author and activist and board chair of Food & Water Watch—in this testimonial about the impact we’ve had during the past decade. During 2021, our 10th anniversary year, FLOW staff, supporters and collaborators are sharing reflections on what our work together has meant to them and to the freshwaters of the Great Lakes Basin.

Watch Maude Barlow’s FLOW testimonial below.

“FLOW has stayed so clearly focused on the right issues, with the right language and the right values. FLOW has the answers. They’re also lovely people. They people at FLOW are professional, but they’re always nice. They’re kind. They don’t take credit. They give credit to others. They play nice with others. They want to work in networks and teams. They know that we can do better when we work together. I would say that FLOW has an impact and punches way higher than its weight.”

“Without FLOW the Line 5 issue would not be alive in Canada. With the help of Liz’s leadership we have been able to put together a coalition here in Canada to start speaking up and start saying ‘It is a pipeline, for heaven sake. We’re against all the other pipelines, why are we being so quiet on this one?’ And this one is triply dangerous because it goes under a portion of the Great Lakes.”

“We’ve been blessed, as Canada and the United States have, with an abundance of clean water, which we’re destroying as fast as we possibly can. We have a responsibility to care for it, because this is a planet running out of clean, accessible water. We’d better take care of it.”

“I started to realize that the water is dividing into people who have access to all the water they don’t even need but want, and those who don’t. The more I did on this issue of water, the more I realized that it’s very much a women’s issue in the global south. Women who walk kilometers or miles every day. They take their girl children out of school.”

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