Community-Level Water Ethics 

When the Okanagan/Syilx Nation Alliance (British Columbia) held a workshop this month, on "Addressing Water Challenges in the Region", the focus was not only on the celebrity speakers (e.g., David Suzuki) but on the Syilx Water Statement which articulates basic principles.

The Water-Culture Institute's new initiative on "Local Water Ethics Charters" is promoting a similar idea. With a water charter for reference, even hurried decisions can have the benefit of a broad ethical perspective.  A 2012 PhD Thesis by Cushla Matthews (University of Waterloo, Canada), Exploring the Implementation Potential of a Proposed Water Ethic shows what a municipal level water ethic might look like for Calgary, Alberta and Guelph, Ontario. Are you interested in developing a water ethic in your community?  Please contact us at:

Water at Paris Climate Meetings
Water and Adaptation to Climate Change will be the theme on 2 December during the climate meetings in Paris, but there is homework involved:  Please read and sign the Paris Pact "on water and adaptation to climate change in the basins of rivers, lakes and aquifers.

Climate-Smart Agriculture
More Than 350 organizations have endorsed a statement condemning ‘Climate Smart Agriculture' as Greenwashing and "a marketing campaign for multinational agribusinesses" according to this report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. They are calling for increased support for agroecology to address climate change.

Big Jump and EU Water Policies
A report on The Big Jump Challenge 2015 was released on 16 October and submitted to the EU River Parliament meeting in Berlin.  The report highlights Big Jump activities in 27 countries during July 2015, and contains (pp5-7) the Youth Manifesto for Water Protection which was submitted to a previous River Parliament meeting in July.  For more info, visit the Big Jump website.

Other News

The Mississippi River earned only a D+ in an innovative River Report Card developed by America's Watershed Initiative.

Ikea takes an ethical stance on seafood.  The Swedish furniture chain will sell only certified seafood at its restaurants and food markets, a move expected to inspire other food retailers to do the same.

Blogs and short articles

Building Better Dams Starts with Ecological Insights says a group of ecologists, of course, in this blog post from the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.

Integrated Landscape Management: The Means of Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals is a project brief from Landscapes for People, Food and Nature.

Luna Leopold's View of the River, a blogpost by Curt Meine commemorates the 100th anniversary of Leopold's birth (from the USGS website).

Sanitation without Ethics?  This post from Indian blogger, Amitangshu, decries the use of shaming in campaigns to stop open defacation. 

Speaking of sanitation in India, here are 5 toilet myths from a post by A. Acharya and N. Jacob writing in Huffington Post/India.

Educational benefits from a restored Klamath River is the theme of this article from Indian Country Today.

50th Anniversary of a Broken Treaty. The Seneca Nation isn't celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania.  Listen to a young Johnny Cash sing a protest song about the dam in 1965, "As Long as the Grass Shall Grow" (written by Native songwriter, Peter La Farge).

Longer Reports

Canadian Freshwater Alliance has released Getting it Right: A Communications Toolkit for Strengthening B.C.’s New Water Sustainability Act (sign-up required for download). At the core of the new "freshwater narrative" are 10 shared values including security, joy, voice, fairness, and pride (plus 6 more).

Vision to Action (3 MB) reports on the 2015 UN-Water Zaragoza Conference and focuses on how diverse stakeholders (civil society, business, academia, etc) can contribute to implementing the water-related Sustainable Development Goals.

Cultivating Equality: Delivering Just and Sustainable Food Systems in a Changing Climate, a report from Food Tank, CARE, and the CGIAR argues that food justice is as important as food production.

Environmental Flows in Indian Rivers, by Latha Anantha from the Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts, offers a critique of a March 2015 Government of India report on e-flows.

Which risks get managed? Addressing climate effects in the context of evolving water-governance institutions by Ken Conca, writing in Water Alternatives, examines the ethics (without using the word) of water risk management.
Ecological Civilization a rich collection of presentations from the International Conference on Ecological Environment held at the Yale Center in Beijing on June 16, 2015. The word "ethic" is used 37 times! 

Thank-you to our sponsors!
The Water Ethics Newsletter is an initiative of the Water-Culture Institute and is made possible through a generous grant from Kalliopeia Foundation

Share your news (and/or views) 
Submit news/views to to be included in the next Newsletter.

Visit us on Facebook

Upcoming Event

World Fish Migration Day  is not until May 21, 2016, but you will need time for planning if you wish to observe the day with a local event.  There's no better way to raise awareness about the importance of water connectivity than highlighting the plight of migratory fish (and eels).  Download e-book, From Source to Sea, International Guidance for the restoration of fish migration highways [Link to Download Page].

Featured organization

Freshwater Watch recruits and organizes citizen scientists to monitor water quality anywhere in the world.  See this 3-min video about their approach.

Featured Initiative

Billion Oyster Project  in New York City's East River, is an educational restoration project initiated by the Harbor School to revive the once plentiful oyster population and in turn restore the ecology of the harbor and the Hudson River estuary.  The project has produced about 11 million oysters so far.

Featured Invention

A Google Science Award went to thirteen year old Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai, from Odisha, India, who won the Community Impact Award at the Google Science Fair in California. Lalita created a low cost bio-absorbent based water purifier that uses corn cobs to purify the water. 


International Rivers Celebrates 30 Years (video), and visit their website to learn more about their work protecting major rivers of the world.

Art Corner

My your our water is an art project and public engagement initiative in Phoenix, Arizona, to raise awareness about water use and water sources.  The artist is seeking crowd-funding (by Oct. 31) through Hatchfund.

Featured Video

America's Amazon (5 min. trailer) introduces America's most biodiverse region, the Mobile Delta in Alabama.  Upstream dams and toxic contamination threaten the ecosystem, and especially the rich diversity of mussels many of which have already become extinct, and many more are listed as endangered.


forward to a friend 
Water Ethics Network
contact us at
Last Updated Octobber 2015

 unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences