Water charges: Leading international expert warns of impact on marginalised communities

Council of Canadians’ Maude Barlow calls taxation-based funding model ‘exemplary’ and warns against ‘major step backwards’ for Ireland

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Right2Water demonstration in Dublin, Maude Barlow – environmentalist and National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians – today warned that any departure from what she termed Ireland’s ‘exemplary model’ of funding water and sanitation services through progressive taxation would impact on disadvantaged communities. 

Ms Barlow is founder of the ‘Blue Planet Project’ which made a submission to the Expert Independent Commission on Water.

"The Irish system of paying for water and sanitation services through progressive taxation and non-domestic user fees, is an exemplary model of fair equitable and sustainable service delivery for the entire world”, Ms Barlow said.

She added: “For Ireland to succumb to external pressures to roll back the responsibilities of the state would be a major step backwards for Ireland and will have detrimental impacts on poor and marginalised communities.

“This is a false strategy to solving the water crisis in Ireland or anywhere in the world”, Maude Barlow concluded.

The Blue Planet Project’s submission to the Expert Commission is available here.  Canadian author and activist Maude Barlow is the Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works internationally for the human right to water. Ms Barlow has served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly.  She is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and awards in recognition of her activism and achievements. She has also written 16 books including Blue Covenent, Blue Future and Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World’s Water.