Water Focus of 'Week of Action'

January 21, 2011 - News Release

Canadian bestselling author and water activist Maude Barlow will speak on "The Global Water Crisis and the Fight for the Right to Water" Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. at War Memorial Hall.

Barlow's free talk is part of the University of Guelph's annual Civic Imprints Week of Action promoting active civic engagement. This year's Student Life-run event, to be held Jan. 22 to 28, will focus on local and global water issues.

"We live in a precarious time where we are at risk of losing our precious water supplies to such issues as climate change and privatization of the water commons," said Janet Doner, event co-ordinator. "This is a local and global issue, and we want to make water matter by exploring the topic through environmental, political, economic, social justice, civic and spiritual lenses."

Barlow chairs the Council of Canadians, a national citizens’ advocacy organization, and is the co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, an international advocacy group for the right to water. In 2008-09, she served as senior adviser on water to the president of the United Nations General Assembly. She has authored or co-authored 16 books, including the international bestseller Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water.

The award-winning documentary Water on the Table about Barlow’s crusade to have water declared a human right will be screened Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. in Room 1307 of the Thornbrough Building.

Herb Shoveller, author of Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa that Brought Them Together, will lead a workshop Jan. 22 from 11:25 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room 103 of the University Centre, and a community water roundtable will take place Jan. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Heritage Room, 10 Carden St.

Before Barlow’s talk Jan. 26, Evan Pilkington will discuss the Blue W Network from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in UC 442. His talk is part of a student Fountain Counting Derby across campus.

On Jan. 27, the Ontario Public Interest Research Group will hold an activism workshop from noon to 2 p.m. in UC 390, and Ojibwa elder Shirley Williams will explore the connection between water and spirit from an aboriginal perspective from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Room 309 of the MacKinnon Building.

On Jan. 28, Wellington Water Watchers will discuss major water issues in Guelph from noon to 1:30 p.m. in UC 273.

More information is available online or by contacting Doner at jdoner@uoguelph.ca or 519-824-4120, Ext. 52782.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or dhealey@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1