NewsUncategorisedDr Ariel Salleh in Bathurst October 16, 2018

Climate change: What’s water got to do with it?

Dr Ariel Salleh makes the case for “A New Water Paradigm” against the water market

By Tracy Sorensen

It is critical that we forestall “corporate water grabs” as climate change continues to bite, says eco-academic Dr Ariel Salleh.

Dr Salleh was the special guest speaker at the Bathurst Community Climate Action Network Annual General Meeting at Rahamim, 34 Busby Street, Bathurst, on Tuesday October 16 at 6pm.

“It’s time to set the climate question in a wider political frame by understanding how it is connected with water,” says Dr Salleh, who is Honorary Associate Professor in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.

“In fact, climate change cannot be rolled back without restoring our local and global water cycles.  This means that as the international economy staggers from peak oil to peak water, it is critical to forestall corporate water grabs, let alone international resource wars.

“Happily, there is an emerging ‘eco-centric’ awareness of the integral dynamics of water – in human bodies, in plants, in soils, and as an agent of Earth cooling.”

Dr Salleh advocates the concept of “A New Water Paradigm” that would transcend both “privatised water markets and state engineered technological fixes.”

“Alternative philosophies of water are now coming from Indigenous peoples, ecological feminists, philosophers, and unconventional lawyers, who assert that water has its own ‘juridical right’ to flow.”

This paradigm “prioritises self-reliance, local jobs re-skilled through hands-on care for bioregional catchments and water sovereignty for food sovereignty.”

BCCAN President Tracy Sorensen says Dr Salleh’s presentation is highly topical given recent developments relating to water allocations from the Murray Darling and, closer to home, the continued search by the Regis gold mine for water for its operations in the Kings Plains region.

Dr Salleh gave her presentation immediately after the BCCAN Annual General Meeting at 5.30pm.

It was based on this journal article originally published in Arena No. 155, 2018.

Pic: Dr Ariel Salleh.