Declaration of the Right to Water

Declaration of the Right of Communities to Water

The undersigned members, affiliates and allies of the NWPACRN declare:

That all residents, natural communities and ecosystems in Pennsylvania possess a fundamental and inalienable right to sustainably access, use, consume, and preserve water from natural water cycles and sources within our respective communities;

That water is essential for the life, prosperity, sustainability and health of our communities and damage to natural water sources imposes great tangible loss to the people, natural communities and ecosystems of Pennsylvania, not just for today but for future generations;

That the people of Pennsylvania recognize that they may be forced to endure and attempt to repair harm inflicted on their vital water supply by certain corporate activities, which they have no commensurate authority to prevent under current state and federal law;

That while the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government have bestowed legal protections and immunities upon corporations that benefit from extraction of natural gas, state and federal laws have concurrently disallowed the people, through their community governments, from prohibiting such harm;

That state preemption of local laws prohibiting activities damaging to natural water sources are repugnant to the fundamental rights of the people, their communities and ecosystems;

That environmental and economic sustainability can be achieved only when the people affected by governing decisions are the ones who make them;

That the people, through their municipal governments, have the political, moral and legal authority to protect their right to water;

That the people, using their local community governments, retain the right to make laws that prohibit certain corporate activities that would harm or deny the fundamental right to water;

That a campaign made up of people from municipalities throughout Pennsylvania be organized to assert the right of every Pennsylvanian to local self-government on issues with direct impact on the people, environment, health, safety, welfare and quality of life in the community;

That we, the people, must transform our individual community struggles over unsustainable and destructive public policies dealing with water, waste, energy, agriculture, timber and mining into a unified movement dedicated to establishing the fundamental right to local, community self-government;

And that this people’s movement, built upon the aspirations of communities throughout the Commonwealth, must drive these changes into the Pennsylvania Constitution and the laws of the state.


One thought on “Declaration of the Right to Water

  1. I absolutely concur. In the coming decades, preserving and protecting our supplies of fresh water will be one of the most critical environmental issues we shall have to deal with.

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