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Proposal Details

Proposal ID380
ProposalProtecting water is a priority for the Green Party at the national, state and local levels
PresenterEcoAction Committee
Floor ManagerHolly Hart
Discussion03/02/2009 - 03/15/2009
Voting03/16/2009 - 03/22/2009
Presens Quorum34 0.6666
Consens Quorum53 A Majority of Yes and No Votes


Water is the source of life. El agua es vida. The Green Party seeks
to safeguard the well-being of future generations and restore
ecological systems. Clean and available water is a critical priority which government can and
must secure for all people.

The threats to our waters are many, from depleted aquifers, to the
pollution of surface waters, to the degradation of oceanic waters
that have been treated as international waste dumps. There is no
time, and no water, to waste. In response to these growing threats, arising
from both climate change and failed governmental policies, the Green Party needs
to establish clear policy positions and establish a framework for action to
secure the implementation of those policies. This proposal provides the
clarifications and action approvals required by Resolution 195 that
established the EcoAction Committee.


The National Committee of the Green Party of the United States (1)
provides the principles listed below as guidelines to Green Party
candidates and organizers to increase the visibility of water issues
in Green campaigns and increase our ecological focus in electoral and
political activities and (2) expresses its approval for the series
of actions defined herein that the EcoAction Committee will take to
implement these guidelines.

I. Principles for water policy:
Greens and Green Party
Organizations should:

• work
together with our neighbors in making decisions on water issues that
recognize the stake that future generations have in those decisions;
(Future Focus)
• recognize
our dependence on a finite supply of fresh water, the importance of
oceanic waters and the aquatic life that provide oxygen and food for
the planet; and to respect the integrity of ecosystems and the
natural patterns of water; (Ecological Wisdom)
• support
the rights of indigenous peoples and other nations to maintain clean,
affordable water resources; (Personal and Global Responsibility,
Social Justice)
• assure
that elected officials who make decisions on water use, pricing and
quality represent the community of varied users, water specialists
and the environment; (Grassroots Democracy)
• acknowledge
the diversity of plant and animal life dependent on long-enduring
ecosystems and to recognize the necessity of water systems to all
life; (Respect for Diversity)
• prevent
the usurpation of public rights through privatization of the water
resource by multi-national corporations; (Decentralization)
• prioritize
affordable drinking water over industrial uses, recognizing that
access to water is a basic human right; and to consider the impact of
all water policy decisions on poor people, impoverished
neighborhoods, rural communities and family farmers; (Social Justice)
• support
local municipal growth policies in the context of existing water
supplies, and to maintain a working relationship between urban
economic development and local rural agriculture. (Community-based
Economics and Economic Justice)

2. EcoAction Committee Tasks.
The Green National Committee concurs
with the the following series of actions that the EcoAction
Committee will pursue to take action upon those guidelines.
Regarding water policies, EcoAction
Committee will:
• provide
policy proposals on water and watershed issues in support of Green
candidates and to increase the visibility of water issues in
political campaigns.
• support
the development of local, renewable energy sources that minimize
consumptive water use, destruction of watersheds and water pollution.
• support
legislation that promotes urban conservation, efficient agricultural
use and the integration of land use with water supply.
• support
enforcement of indigenous treaties, paramount water rights for
indigenous nations and the Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo regarding land
and water rights.
• participate
in regional and state water plans and urban development plans to
balance growth with renewable supplies.
• help
all party members to work with public interest groups on developing
bills in state legislatures and in Congress that increase the
responsible use of water.
• support
legislation in Congress to fund public water planning and investments
in upgrading and improving water infrastructure, levees and hazardous
waste dumps.
• raise
public awareness on water and water pricing issues and educate the
public about the water crisis that is already affecting our nation
and the world, and to make brochures, handout, and other educational
materials on water issues available to Green candidates and other
 • advocate
for an increased environmental responsibility
in all municipalities such as the Environmental Advisory Commission
of the Pasadena, CA municipal government.

Regarding Green electoral opportunities, EcoAction Committee will:
 • provide
policy analysis and proposals for Green Candidates.
 • review
and publicize Green candidates for water authorities, arroyo flood
control entities and other local offices.

Regarding outreach to Greens and other organizations, EcoAction committee will:
• provide
a hub for the exchange of views and summarizing of ongoing work on
water with other individuals, organizations and public officials.
 • reach
out to groups already working to link the Resolution on their
websites through the Committee’s GPUS website.
• develop
brochures for use at public events, conferences, public planning
input meetings and develop forums as appropriate addressing water

Regarding legislative advocacy the EcoAction Committee will::
 • will
increase access to legislative proposals addressing water issues at
the Federal and state levels.
• assist
with analysis and recommendations pertaining to proposed legislation
on water issues.

Recommended supporting actions.
The Green National Committee and EcoAction recommend that the following
supporting actions be considered throughout the party, connecting
Greens at all levels with the support structure the EcoAction is
putting in place.

I Notification
to Greens and state parties and discussions of Resolution
Committee Delegates should report this resolution to their state
organizations and review how it can be integrated with local actions.

• State
Green organizations are urged to make the resolution and associated
implementation plans available to all local Greens.

• Local
Green organizations should connect candidates and activists to
EcoAction's efforts where appropriate.

A. Individual Greens working in advocacy groups can present the
EcoAction Committee brochures at public events, conferences, public
planning input meetings and develop forums as appropriate addressing
water issues.

B. Individual Greens can contact individuals and organizations that
represent significant stakeholders- family farmers, land grants,
urban planners, hydrologists, environmental groups, local groups
addressing water pricing and other infrastructure issues, indigenous
organizations focused on environmental issues, local city councilors,
state legislators, community organizations and neighborhood

C. Local Greens can recruit candidates for local positions on water
boards and other governmental entities dealing with water management.

D. State parties can develop periodic reviews of the progress and
problems of activities and prioritize activities based on their
resources available and evaluate local political forces and their
positions and their potential role in the accomplishment of concrete
goals and policies support to individuals and groups working on water issues.

Work on implementation will commence immediately on approval of this
proposal and is seen as an ongoing task. A Green Party Water
Connection (hub) will be established within 60 days of approval.


Contact: Martin Zehr, 415-337-5773,

primary GPUS resource will be the EcoAction Committee. However, success
depends on mutual cooperation from all Green Party entities with water

This implementation will also require that a web presence be established on a GPUS owned
system and accessible to the public, the content to be maintained by EcoAction Committee in accordance with the current Green Party platform and the principles in this document.


Water Planning: Middle Rio Grande Water Assembly

Commodification of Water: Blue Covenant: The Global Water

Crisis and the Fight for the Right to Water – Maude Barlow

Freshwater: The World's Water 2008-2009: The Biennial Report

on Freshwater Resources by Peter H. Gleick

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