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Citizens' Assembly on Water

deep dive

The ultimate goal of Dirty Water Wave 6 is to arrive together at this point. In the face of government inertia, the Citizens’ Assembly is the ideal mechanism to deliver a reset for water provision. It cuts across all social divisions to bring a representative group of citizens together to make informed decisions that are proven to mirror wider public opinion. The people can take ownership of the solution. It sets a precedent for returning agency in swathes of public life, currently controlled by unaccountable quangos or local monopolies. And it will build public support for XR's Central Demand, the Citizens' Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice.

The focus of the Citizens' Assembly on Water will be on the implementation of effective governance structures and regulatory mechanisms to work in alignment with the needs of people and nature.

Citizens will choose between water being used as a profit making commodity, as the current management prefers, and the other possible means of delivering quality supply, conservation, management, and recycling. It is a natural resource and belongs to us all.

We must achieve the continuous publication and free access to all water quality and pollution data. These are our right.

The Proposal for the Citizens' Assembly on Water
nb - details here will change as we organise the Water Assembly coalition

See an Assembly at work - America in One Room

Don't take "no" for an answer!

There are many obstacles to frustrate the Citizens' Assembly or to compromise its recommendations. Let's look at a major one, the complaint that there's no money to do what needs to be done.

Cost ("who pays?") could forestall the deliberations of the Assembly, appearing to be a baked-in constraint to thinking freely about how to resolve our water issues. The Citizens' Assembly must be free to say what it recommends without anticipating cost implications, or there is no effective statement of the proper standard - the Assembly is hamstrung. And the full statement of what is needed is not given.


That amount of money?!

There are two counters to the costs-oh-dear do-nothing resisters. Or governments.

The first is, everything that we want as a national community will fail if we don't provide a working national infrastructure. Even the politicians' own fantasy of Growth doesn't flicker into view if nothing works. Capitalism was built on energy, water, transport systems and regulation which are provided by the state with public funds.

The second is, the money is available. If assets are taxed as enthusiatically as wages. For instance, a Land Value Tax constructed to drive out economically useless rentiers will see land use returns/rents going into public funds, making the necessary sums available for national renewal projects - starting with the water infrastructure! Taxes on investment properties, second homes, and other assets would yield still more, plus a levy of a few pence on share transactions much more still. Such measures address the gross inequalities in our society at the same time.

Never be told there's no money.

We did that ... we had to.