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Whose Water Is It?

The Lamoine Conservation Commission is pleased to present an evening with James E. Wilfong to discuss groundwater preservation and protection on Thursday, May 9th at 7:00 p.m. at the Ellsworth Unitarian Universalist Church – located on the Bucksport Road .

James Wilfong is founder and director of H20 for ME, an environmental citizen's group involved with water resource issues. H20 for ME is committed to providing sustainability standards and monitoring of all Maine aquifers in the hopes that traditional use (homeowners, farmers and industrial users at the local level) have the first options on all water takings. Beyond traditional use, other uses including bottled water, water could be taken but the users would have to ensure sustainability and pay for monitoring before they could take the water for other uses. Under the World Trade Organization water is considered a tradable commodity, not a right. We in Maine need to reinforce that water is a right and that traditional use comes first ahead of all other uses of the water.

Wilfong says:

Water. Our lives depend on it. Yet, we in Maine always assumed our supply was more than abundant. Who could have predicted that in the 21st Century, Maine 's groundwater would be exported far and wide? Are there safeguards in place that will protect our aquifers and ensure we will have enough clean drinking water? Those safeguards do not now exist. They should and that is a goal worth working and fighting for.

Maine uses the common law principle of “capture” to define ownership of water. This raises a host of questions, in Maine and other states, such as:

There will be time for Q&A. Light refreshments will be served. Please join us!