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Great Lakes Article:

Resolution to Protect Water Passes Unanimously
Holly Wren Spaulding
Sweetwater Alliance
Posted 11/26/2002


On the evening before elections, the Traverse City Commission endorsed a resolution urging all governmental entities of the world to protect fresh water from commercial diversion, bottling and exploitation.

It stated in part that "the Earth's fresh water belongs to the earth and all species, and therefore must not be treated as a private commodity to be bought, sold and traded for profit."

Authored by Sweetwater Alliance North,  and supported by NMEAC, Sierra Club, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC), and We Are Traverse City Inc., the room erupted into applause when the resolution received unanimous support from the City Commissioners.

Currently, over one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. The "solutions" being planned and implemented by global corporations, according to M'Lynn Hartwell, amount to schemes to sell water to the highest bidder.  One case of "water for profit" that concerns many who were in the Commission chambers that night is the Ice Mountain water bottling factory in central Michigan.

"This commercialization needs to be recognized and taken into consideration by some long range and early planning to assure an orderly and timely development of well designed structures to protect this resource." said Bob Marshall in a statement for NMEAC.

In her statement to the Commission, Holly Spaulding of Sweetwater Alliance North said transnational Nestle Corporation has stated that if their Ice Mountain brand of water is successful, they will build more wells and bottling plants in Michigan.

In opposition to that idea, the resolution states, "We urge that a moratorium be imposed whereby fresh water cannot be bottled and/or sold without a public process to determine its sustainability, and the environmental impact.

Resolution supporters believe it sends a message to any corporations that might be eyeing the Traverse Area for future water diversion schemes.

"I see this as our opportunity to be leaders in stewardship, in protecting basic human rights, leaders in preserving the character of our communities," said Justin Rowe of Sweetwater North.
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