Category Archives: News

Seeking Water Justice: Hearing the Voice of the Sacred Salmon

The Water Ethics Working Group is co-organizing a workshop on water and ecocentrism at Willamette University (Salem, Oregon) on June 16-17, 2017. The workshop is primarily organized by Dr. Susan Smith, also a member of the Water Ethics Working Group. The workshop comprises a public series of talks on Friday afternoon, June 16, and then a Working Group meeting on Sat. morning.

Seeking Water Justice: Hearing the Voice of the Sacred Salmon
Afternoon and Evening, June 16, 2017, with additional activities, June 17-18.

Please join us Friday afternoon, June 16, 2017 at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon to participate in a conversation about water and eco-centrism. This afternoon workshop will feature discussions among water resources activists, professionals and scholars, along with experts in conflict management, ethics, and theology, broadly exploring the theme of water and eco-centrism. The workshop is sponsored by Willamette’s Sustainable Environment, Energy, and Resources law program and the Water Ethics Working Group, Sustainable Water Future, Global Future.

The first session focuses on Native American and First Nations spiritual perspectives — particularly with respect to human responsibilities towards water, salmon and other species — and the power of those perspectives to radically alter traditional water resource management. Our discussion will be sparked by three brief presentations highlighting contributions of indigenous peoples to resolving water and fisheries conflicts in the Klamath Basin, the Columbia River, and the broader Pacific Northwest area.

The second session will dive deep — exploring whether and how our deep values, spirituality, and faith should reshape the way we interact with water and the lives that depend upon it, and how we might harness that transformative potential. Participants are invited to share knowledge about the values various faith communities and cultures place on water and non-human life, along with the implications of those values for governing water with a truly eco-centric perspective.

A reception and light dinner will give us an informal opportunity to continue our conversation.
On Saturday morning, we will have a working meeting of the interested participants. The water ethics working group of the Sustainable Water Future program will be gathering to identify its research directions and publications, particularly those suggested by Friday afternoon’s conversation. The working group will be considering a proposed publication on transforming water resources management towards an eco-centric perspective, tentatively titled “Transforming Water.” Participants interested in contributing articles or chapters to this or other publications are cordially invited to attend.

The workshop is limited to 32 participants. Contact Professor Susan Smith immediately if you are interested in participating, or +1 (503)586-8619. No fee will be charged to invited participants and participants will be covering their own expenses to attend.

K. J. Joy awarded the T N Khoshoo Memorial Award for 2016

Congratulations to K.J. Joy for receiving the prestigious T N Khoshoo Memorial Award for 2016. The annual T N Khoshoo Memorial Award is given to an academic or a practitioner whose work has had an impact in the fields of environment, conservation, or development. The award for 2016 has been conferred on Mr. K.J. Joy, co-founder and Senior Fellow of the Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM) and Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India, in recognition of his activist and research work, spanning 35 years, in the development sector.

Mr. Joy is also a member of the Future Water’s Water Ethics Working Group.

October News Briefs

Standing up for water in North Dakota

For the past two months, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota has been demonstrating against the construction of a $3.8 billion oil pipeline through their ancestral lands, and under the Missouri River. Some 200 Native American tribes and many non-native organizations have pledged support to their cause of protecting the river and sacred sites, some already destroyed by construction crews.

More than a thousand museum officials and archaeologists have signed a petition against the pipeline, and environmental groups are joining with tribes to push for an end to non-renewable energy. Native leaders are bringing national attention to traditional Indigenous principles about water and the planet, says Dallas Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Network) in this interview for Yes! magazine.

Global Ethics Day

This year, Global Ethics Day happened on Oct 19. See what has been happening on this day HERE.

Constitutional Right to Water in Slovenia

Slovenia is planning to amend its constitution to incorporate the “right to water”,  in a major victory for the Right2Water movement in Europe. Read more HERE.

May News Briefs

Big Jump 2016
Water ethics will be celebrated at 3pm on July 10, throughout Europe, when “everybody will swim in the rivers… If swimming or jumping in your river is not possible, then just…celebrate the river!”  This is the annual Big Jump which last year attracted some 400 registered events in 28 countries. A training camp is being organized in Berlin just ahead of the Jump, and on-line organizing resources include a Toolkit on Water Ethics and Water Solidarity, and a Water Ethics Discussion Tool.

Water Justice
The themes of fairness and “Water Justice” are in the news.  The Ecumenical Water Network (World Council of Churches) is developing a Framework for Water Justice which should be released later this year.

GWP and ethics
Dr. Jerry Delli Priscoli is the new chair of the GWP-Technical Committee. Known for his work on stakeholder participation and water ethics, Dr. Delli Priscoli sees ethics as part of water security: “GWP can help with this huge ethical public issue, because it involves public policy ethics as well as technical, political, and economic issues.”

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White House Water Summit Recognizes Role of Water Ethics

WASHINGTON, DC – March 22, 2016
The Water-Culture Institute, a Santa Fe think-tank, along with University of Arizona and the Southwest Water Technology Cluster, will develop an “Ethics-Based Decision Support Tool” (EBDST) for guiding technology, policy, and investment decisions in the water sector. The initiative is one of nearly 200 “Commitments to Action on Building a Sustainable Water Future”, which were announced today at the White House Water Summit, on the occasion of World Water Day. Councilman Nelson Cordova (Taos Pueblo) gave the opening invocation, noting that for his community, every day is a “water day”. The full list of commitments announced by the White House is available HERE

“Incorporating ethics principles into a formal decision tool is common in the business world, but has not yet been applied to water policy,” explained Dr. David Groenfeldt, director of Water-Culture Institute. “We’re all familiar with the sentiment of ‘doing the right thing’; the EBDST provides a systematic way to identify what the right thing is, in a particular context.” The EBDST is intended for cities, watershed, and river basins, but could be applied at any level. Through a process of interviews and facilitated workshops, water stakeholders are guided through a process to document their priority values about local water and water ecosystems. The EBDST orders these values into a systematic framework, which can then be incorporated into existing local water governance arrangements.

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