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Water is life. And yet, it is arguably the most controversial issue surrounding the global impact of climate on Black lives. As the planet warms, sea levels are rising—resulting in disappearing land and a loss of our ability to grow enough food. And while some places are dealing with too much water, others are experiencing drought conditions, while still others do not have access to clean or safe water. 

Corporations now treat water as a commodity, privatizing and generating profits for shareholders. It is, in fact, freely provided by the planet, and all humans and plants need it to survive. 

For generations, governments have failed to invest in  the necessary infrastructure to provide clean and safe water—especially in Black communities. As new conditions are created by global temperature shifts and rising populations, we must ensure our human right to clean water and sanitation.

There must be protections for Black communities historically marginalized by environmental racism that will provide equitable protections and enable us to build toward a safe and sustainable future. Governments and corporations must be held liable for the deaths on their hands, and provide reparations for the historical harm done, all while acknowledging that water is a human right. They must return water to communities, so it can be a publicly managed resource. 

The Black Hive @M4BL Demands: 

  • A U.S. national ban on selling off control of municipal water systems to private corporations, including through design, building, and operation 
  • Closed loopholes for the commodification and private prioritization of water, oil, gas production, and aqua ecology vital to the environment
  • Immediate replacement of all lead pipes and lead paint contaminating Black communities 
  • Enshrinement of our human right to clean water and sanitation by making it a health and safety right
  • Investment in universal access to untainted ground water and coastal water systems 
  • Establishment and activation of a national emergency water assistance in priority disaster areas, effectively putting an end to the environmentally racist and unjust practice that prioritizes private access during emergencies, which denies Black communities any decision-making power or agency
  • An immediate end to deepwater fracking and drilling, a ban on all new fossil-fuel drilling and fracking, protection of marine habitats, an expansion of marine-protected areas, restoration of vulnerable marine ecosystems, and investment in the protection and repair of fisheries
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