Global Policy – Local Action

a symposium to discuss and examine the rights to the use of water by those who are the accountable guardians of this resource

Thursday March 4- Friday March 5, 2010, 1-5 pm In Flux; Regis Center for Art
In conjunction with “Women and Water Rights: Rivers of regeneration” an exhibition and related programming at the Katherine Nash Gallery, February 23 – March 25, 2010.

Sponsored by the Department of Art, University of Minnesota,Twin Cities; the Women’s Caucus for Art ( WCA); The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom ( WILPF); The Puffin Foundation: The University Women’s Center.

The purpose of this symposium is to bring together knowledgeable local and global representatives to discuss their perceptions of accountable guardianship that will insure “water is a fundamental human right” in Minnesota. Locally and globally, who are those responsible for the decisions regarding water as a resource for survival and as an amenity that adds quality to life? How might viable change to present practice be initiated?

DEBORAH SWACKHAMER, co-director of U of MN Water Resource Center and a leading chemist of water quality


1. NIKKI STRONG, PhD, Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Minnesota St. Anthony Falls Laboratory and visiting faculty at St.Olaf College with the Department of Environmental Studies; will give a multimedia exploration of water, the state of water in the world today, reflections on a new way of thinking for the 21st century and how women are making a difference.

2. REBECCA FLOOD, B.S, Assistant Commissioner for Water Policy, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; will highlight the history of Minnesota’s Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment and the first appropriations for clean water from the constitutionally dedicated funds.

3. MARTHA C. BRAND, JD, Recently retired Executive Director of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy; currently serves on the Headwaters Council; will discuss the current projections for water supply in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the regulatory structure that governs water use and why it is important for women to participate in water quantity and quality decisions at all levels of government.

4. KAREN CAMPBELL, M.A., Education Director, National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory; designs and implements outreach programs related to the science of rivers and how they sculpt the landscape; will describe the significant role river water plays in the hydrological cycle, in life along its banks, and the materials it distributes along its way; will indicate the increasing role for women in river management.

5. PEGGY KNAPP, EdD, Assistant Professor, Hamline University, Center for Global Environmental Education; formerly an award-winning correspondent and video producer specializing in science
and environmental issues, appeared regularly on national PBS science series “Newton’s Apple”, and as a reporter and producer for CNN; will look at how Minnesota’s education standards do and do not support teachers and students learning about their environment, including water, and why girls need environmental and science education.

SPEAKERS – MARCH 5 (1-5 pm)

1. AMY HART, B.A., Filmmaker-in-residence and founding director of Public Health Productions at
the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM); she will show a clip from her award-winning film, “Water First: Reaching the Millennium Goals” that highlights the connection of clean water and the empowerment of women and girls.

2. DARCEY O’CALLAGHAN, M.A., International Policy Coordinator, Food and Water Watch, Washington D.C., works with communities and organizations around the world, particularly in the Global South, to prevent the privatization of public water resources and to protect water as a human right.; was one the lead organizers of the People’s Water Forum, the grassroots response to the corporate-led World Water Forum in Istanbul, March 2009; will contextualize the global water crisis and the increased attention it is receiving; will point out that water has often taken a back seat among global campaigns precisely because it is a women’s issue; will describe strong role women are playing in global water justice movement; will offer audience opportunities to get involved.

3. NELLIS KENNEDY-HOWARD J.D, graduate of New Mexico School of Law with dual certificates in Federal Indian law and Natural Resources with a focus on Indian Water Law; works as National Campaign Associate for Honor The Earth; is author of textbook on the Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project used in law courses; speaker on environmental justice issues; will talk about protection of indigenous waters, U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing mining companies to dump tailings in clean lakes, and how women can work to protect their waters.

4. JUDITH L. HUACUJA, PhD, Associate Professor, Contemporary & Latin American Art History in the Department of Visual Arts, University of Dayton, Ohio. Her teaching and research examine multi-ethnic activism in the arts of America and Latin America. She will discuss ‘acequia’ cultures of the Hispanic Southwest focused on a philosophy of watershed consciousness, environmental justice and sustainable eco-aesthetics. This research builds upon the writings of Jose Rivera and Sylvia Rodriguez by discussing artists committed to the Latino ideals of environmental ethics, bioregional values, and embodied experiences associated with the land, including Chicana artists and writers and eco-feminism.

Among our questions:

Is water a “property”? Who has the “right” to “own” it? Who can grant permission to “use” it?
Who holds the rights to the Mississippi River?

What are the issues involved in making water available to all?

How can we design cities in which the amenities of the river are available not just to the wealthy but to all?

In the US, water rights are not a particularly gendered issue. Internationally, because women are not involved in the administrative or management decisions regarding water, it is.

Do women bring a different perspective to the use of water?
Do the current laws and rights affect women and girls differently than men and boys?
Do women and girls receive environmental education mostly from male teachers? Does it matter?

Why has gender equality become such a mainstream issue in water management around the world and what does that mean for Minnesota?