Skip to content

Canadian Voices

Home » Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow

The Inconvenient Truth about the Commodification of Water

Date Recorded: Mar 5th, 2008
Recorded At: An event presented by Selkirk College, at the Brilliant Cultural Centre, Castelgar, BC
Recorded By: Jon Steinman, Kootenay Co-op Radio
Duration: 56:45  

Topic Background

Maude Barlow’s most recent book, published by McLelland and Stewart in October, 2007, is Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Fight for the Right to Water. It is a follow-up to the international bestseller Blue Gold, which she co-authored with Tony Clark in 2002. Blue Gold exposed how a handful of corporations are gaining ownership and control of the earth’s dwindling water supply, depriving millions of people around the world of access to this most basic of resources and accelerating the onset of a global water crisis.

Blue Covenant describes a powerful response to this trend: the emergence of an international, grassroots-led movement to have water declared a basic human right, something that can’t be bought or sold for profit.

Maude Barlow is at the center of this movement, which is gaining popular and political support across the globe, encompassing protests in India against U.S. bottling giant Coca-Cola; in Bolivia against the water privatization scheme of European water conglomerate Suez; against the use of water meters in South Africa; and over groundwater mining in Barrington, New Hampshire, and dozens of other communities in North America.

In her introduction to Blue Covenenat, Maude Barlow explains: “Life requires access to clean water; to deny the right to water is to deny the right to life.”

Speaker Biography

Maude Barlow is the author of 16 books on issues ranging from free trade and the multilateral agreement on investment, to globalization and saving medicare .She is the co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works to stop commodification of the world’s water, and is a director with the International Forum on Globalization, a San Francisco based research and education institution opposed to economic globalization. Her further work involves her fellowship with the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies; her position on the Board of Food & Water Watch, the national US organization fighting for corporate and government accountability as it relates to food, water, and fishing; and a founding member of the European-based World Future Council. Her primary work at home in Canada is as Chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

She is the recipient of six honorary doctorates as well as the 2005 Right Livelihood Award – known as the ‘Alternative Nobel’. She is also featured in the recent documentary films Blue Gold: World Water Wars, and Flow: For Love of Water.

She Lives in Ottawa.

For more information about Maude Barlow visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *