World water supply in perilous state

1 September 2008

Maude Barlow
Maude Barlow

Leading international environmentalist and best-selling author Maude Barlow will reveal the precarious state of the world's water supply at a Sydney Ideas lecture to be held on Wednesday, 3 September, 2008.

In her lecture titled "The Blue Covenant", the Canadian activist will explain why the world's water supply is at crisis point and what can be done about it. She will also explore what scientists describe as the "hot stains" phenomena where large areas of the earth's surface are running out of clean, drinkable water.

Barlow is the author of the newly released Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right To Water (Black Inc), which argues that the water crisis poses one of the gravest threats to our survival.

An advocate for equality of access to water, Barlow has observed that the increasing rarity of water has led to its commoditisation, with some companies and countries reaping vast profits while other communities are left dry. "Life requires access to clean water; to deny the right to water is to deny the right to life," Barlow argues.

Barlow has been described as the "Al Gore" of water: she travels the world discussing the looming water crisis and the ways in which ordinary people can reclaim their right to clean water. She is the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians - Canada's largest public advocacy organisation - and the founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works internationally for the right for water.

Barlow has six honorary doctorates and is the author of 16 books including the best-selling Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water (2002). She was awarded the 2005/2006 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship Award and the 2005 Right Livelihood Award, known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize", for her global water justice work.

This Sydney Ideas lecture is co-presented with the University of Sydney's Institute for Sustainable Solutions. Maude Barlow will be introduced to Sydney Ideas by Associate Professor Rosemary Lyster from the University of Sydney's Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law.

Event details:

What: "The Blue Covenant" - author and water activist Maude Barlow at Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney's public lecture series

When: 6.30pm, Wednesday, 3 September, 2008

Where: The Seymour Theatre Centre, cnr of City Rd and Cleveland St, the University of Sydney.

Cost: $20/$15 concession

Bookings: (02) 9351 7940 orbook online. Free tickets are available to all University of Sydney staff and students. Please bring ID to Seymour Theatre Centre box office.

Contact: Mandy Sacher

Phone: 02 911 40622