Volatile food prices, drought and moral reasons why Canada is wrong on water (again)

Yesterday it was reported that Canada would be withdrawing its (somewhat meager, $350 000) annual contribution to a 1995 UN Convention addressing drought in Africa. Canada is the the one and only country now not party to the convention.

The official reason? The bureaucratic costs of the program eat up too much of the contribution.Ethical_Water

Carol Off, from CBC Radio, interviews Bob Sandford (co-author of Ethical Water, among many other things) on this issue and Canada’s continuing withdrawal from initiatives that would help understand drought not only in Africa, but here in North America as well. The interview also situates these developments relative to Canada’s recent decisions to shut down its preeminent watershed science program and climate change (in)action. The interview is just under 7 minutes long, but covers a lot of worthwhile ground.

Bob makes a number of good points, which he grounds in the moral obligations we have regarding water. This is a point virtually lost in the contemporary media debates – these tend to jump to theories about political ideology, political economy interests, and so on. All quite plausible. And all fit the procedural formula for story telling that is typical fare in quick political jabs or news stories.

Carol Off, by contrast, has been doing an outstanding job on these recent water issues.