Nottingham, NH, residents have stood their ground to protect the Lamprey River Watershed – a water ecosystem supporting innumerable surrounding human and natural communities, including Nottingham.
Beginning in 2006, the water was threatened by USA Springs corporation. Corporate directors sought to withdraw water against the will of the people. Why? To bottle and sell it for profit – in Europe.
In 2008, Nottingham residents worked with CELDF to draft the Nottingham Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance. They adopted the ordinance at their annual Town Meeting. In doing so, they:
- Secured their right to water
- Established the Rights of Nature
- Eliminated corporate “rights” when they conflicted with the community’s and nature’s rights
- Banned water extraction for resale as a violation of those rights
For ten years, residents have advanced and protected Community Rights and the Rights of Nature via their rights-based ordinance, and stopped the stealing from the Watershed. When USA Springs declared bankruptcy, other interested investors were deterred by the Community Bill of Rights. Nottingham water was safe.
Today, and everyday, continued due diligence to protect their water is necessary.
In 2016, a new round of investors sought to make a bid to purchase the USA Springs property and assets. Their goal is to withdraw water from the Watershed, bottle and sell for profit.
“They are water thieves,” stated Gail Millsfrom the local community group. “When the people have said no, and they attempt to take the water anyway – that’s nothing less than stealing.”
A United Front with CELDF
CELDF and Nottingham residents are ready, along with neighboring Barrington residents, in a united front. Both communities are at risk with increasing corporate interest around the world, to profit from the taking of quality drinking water from local communities. In 2016, Barrington worked with CELDF and adopted a similar local rights-based ordinance protecting their water rights around the Isinglass River Watershed, and prohibiting corporate resource extractions – including water, minerals, gravel, and sand.
Further, Nottingham residents are advancing a second CELDF-drafted Community Bill of Rights ordinance for their 2018 Town Meeting – the new rights-based ordinance strengthens their existing ordinance and adds protections against water contamination, including enforcement measures against corporations that violate the ordinances.
Together, residents are protecting their communities and their water.
CELDF is There
As corporate representatives use the corporate shield to invade growing numbers of communities, CELDF is there – providing grassroots organizing, education, and legal support. Please show your support to Nottingham and Barrington residents, and help spread their story!
Sign up now to show your support
Dear people of Nottingham and Barrington:
I support Nottingham and Barrington’s Right to Water Ordinances! The people of Nottingham and Barrington – and across the U.S. – have the right to access water within their community and protect it from theft for corporate profit. The right to democratic, local self-government free from corporate and government interference, and the right to water that is free of toxic contaminates, is essential to the survival of both human and natural communities. Now is the time to protect Community Rights over corporate privileges. Your perseverance and dedication to stand up against the corporate-state is encouraging, uplifting, and inspirational.
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