Member Groups

We are a community-based effort of Michigan, Ontario and Indigenous residents opposing commodification and privatization of water.

Aamjiwnaang First Nation

Coalition to Oppose the Expansion of US “Ecology”

The Coalition to Oppose the Expansion of US “Ecology” was formed to prevent a ten-fold expansion of a hazardous waste plant in Detroit, across the railroad tracks from Hamtramck. The grass roots organization defeated the company’s plans to bring radioactive frack waste into this population center two years ago. Today, it continues to oppose the company’s plans to process a massive increase in dangerous chemicals. Up to 300,000 gallons of treated waste is dumped into public sewers every day. Our drinking water supply is at risk for contaminants. Climate change will further damage the neglected infrastructure and harm to public health.

Detroit has a large immigrant community, many from Arabic countries and Bangladesh. In the last year the Yemeni and Bengali communities turned in petitions opposed to the expansion and became the most vocal section of the community at the March 28th meeting and march on the plant the next day. Standing up against Trump’s attempts to whip up hatred against the immigrants, this community has become strengthened in  the fight against pollution of our air, land and water.

Corporate Accountability International

Corporate Accountability is a member-powered public interest organization that wages strategic campaigns that compel transnational corporations and the governments that do their bidding to stop destroying our health, human rights, democracy, and the planet. Within the Water is Life Alliance Corporate Accountability pays special attention to the role of water privatizers like Veolia and Suez, as well as water commodifiers like Nestle, have played in challenging our collective vision for water justice.

Council of Canadians

Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization, Since 1985, the Council of Canadians has brought Canadians together to act for social, economic and environmental justice here in Canada and around the world. Our work is built on a strong foundation of timely and strategic campaigns to fight for the values, social programs and progressive policies that Canadians believe in, with a network of 41 chapters in all regions across the country.

The Ontario Region of the CoC chapters (currently 16 of them) support the work of WILA through their designated representatives to the coalition.   Water is of course a huge issue across the country and the Ontario region regularly shares information with our chapter colleagues across the country. 

The Council, through its national campaigners develops creative campaigns to put some of the country’s most important issues into the spotlight. We work collaboratively with like-minded organizations at the local, regional and national levels. We produce research reports, and create popular materials. We do all of this to ensure that governments know the kind of Canada we want. Our current major campaigns are related to:

  • Water
  • Climate Change
  • Health care
  • Trade
  • Democratic elections/voter rights

Through our campaigns we advocate for water as a public commons, clean water for all; fair trade in all our international trade agreements; green sustainable energy;  publicly funded and administered health care and pharma-care for all; and a vibrant democracy. We strive to educate and empower people to hold our governments and corporations accountable. We are committed to a sustainable, green future for the planet.

Flint Democracy Defense League

Flint Rising

Flint Rising was formed in early 2016 as a grassroots response to the “official” response to the Flint Water Crisis that allowed our most vulnerable to go without the resources necessary to be able to recover from being poisoned as well as having our democracy stripped and voices silenced. Flint Rising is a coalition of community organizations and allies working to ensure that directly impacted people are building the organizing infrastructure and leadership necessary for this long-haul fight for justice and creating the future that Flint families need and deserve.

Flint Rising, through resident-to- resident contact and extensive community conversations, has identified three demands that should be met immediately by representatives in the Federal Michigan Legislatures:

  1. Replace all damaged infrastructure, including fixtures and appliances, in the streets, yards and Flint homes immediately using Flint workers 
  2. 100 percent water bill reimbursement dating back to April 2014 and no water bills issued until the water is 100% to drink for ALL residents WITHOUT a filter or any alterations.
  3. Full holistic physical and mental health care and education support services for all impacted children, adults and seniors… for LIFE. www.FlintRising.com

Food & Water Watch

For Love of Water (FLOW)

Everything we do is reflected in our name: For Love of Water or simply “FLOW.” Our mission is to safeguard the Great Lakes, the planet’s largest freshwater lake system by advancing public trust solutions and cutting-edge policy work. Through our targeted policy initiatives, FLOW has built key partnerships with state and regional Great Lakes groups, leveraged our expertise to influence agencies and impact state and federal legislation, and grown to be a trusted source of current information on issues affecting our freshwater seas. Learn more on our website flowforwater.org.

Grand Rapids Water Protectors

Gray sisters

Great Lakes Commons

The Great Lakes Commons (GLC) is an ambitious initiative to transform water governance in the Great Lakes region. We work to awaken and restore people’s relationship to these incredible lakes by using commons and Indigenous-based concepts that empower and enable communities to care for the Great Lakes. For the 40 million people who call this bioregion home, our vision is to recover and reconnect with people’s shared and sacred relationship with water. We want current and future generations to benefit from the collective vision, tools, and experiences gained during a critical time in Great Lakes history.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation

formed in 2000 in response to the discovery that Nestle (then Perrier) was drawing 400 gallons per minute from a stream in Mecosta County, Michigan and doing clear harm. A nine year court battle and million dollar debt resulted in a precedent-setting ruling that such a draw down was unsustainable and a settlement was reached reducing allowable draw of the water of the commons to half.

MCWC has since expanded to organize around other water issues state-wide. We have worked on the ballot initiative to get a ban on fracking and frack waste; educated about injection wells and organized with communities opposing them; been part of the Oil & Water Don’t Mix coalition opposing Line 5; supported the Coalition to Oppose the Expansion of US Ecology; been a member of the People’s Water Board Coalition; ally of Grand Rapids Water Protectors; founding member of Water is Life Alliance. Our primary work in the last three years has been to connect the dots between Nestle’s latest water grab in Evart and the injustice of the Detroit shut-offs and the Flint water crisis. We are committed to opposing privatization, pollution and plunder of the waters of the Great Lakes Basin. Currently we are engaged in a legal challenge to Nestle’s permit and legal challenge to injection well permits issued to a potash mine operation in Osceola County. Our website is saveMIwater.org. We are a 501c3 all volunteer non-profit, taking no corporate or government money.

Michigan Welfare Rights Organization

MWRO is a low-income, statewide membership organization based in Detroit, Michigan that fights for the rights of the poor. We represent, train and advocate for residents who are being denied public assistance benefits that they are entitled to receive while working to end poverty. With the passage of the 1996 welfare deform legislation in the U.S., low income households with children are limited to only five years of assistance benefits. In the years since then, millions of families have struggled to afford utilities and housing for their basic needs. In Detroit, Highland Park, Flint and many other Emergency Manager-taken over cities in the state have used austerity measures to deny water and sanitation services to poor residents. This crisis has contributed to thousands of Michiganders losing their homes; children being separated from parents; neighborhoods being gentrified; and low income people struggling to pursue education and work because of unaffordable water. MWRO is working with WILA to ensure the human right to clean, affordable and accessible water and sanitation that is held in the public trust, and is protected from privatization.

People’s Water Board (Detroit)

People’s Water Board is a coalition of three dozen member organizations that advocate affordable, accessible and safe drinking water and sanitation, especially for vulnerable households. We believe that water is a human right and part of the commons that should be protected, conserved and held in the public trust free of privatization. We work with partners and allies to promote awareness of these issues and the interconnectedness of all people and resources. Through WILA, we seek to work alongside Great Lakes communities to ensure water equity and education on the risks to these values and to promote legal, legislative and cultural rights to safeguard these for coming generations.

Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff Project’s journey began with a 20-minute online movie about the way we make, use and throw away all the Stuff in our lives. Five years and 40 million views later, we’re a Community of more than a million changemakers worldwide, working to build a more healthy and just planet. We invite you to watch and share our movies, participate in our water and plastic campaigns, and join our movement. Learn more.

Water You Fighting For

Water You Fighting For was formed in January 2015 as the city of Flint being held in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for Total Trihalomethanes (or cancer-causing disinfection byproducts) in addition to bacterial outbreaks and discolored, foul-smelling water that costs Flint residents 8 times the national average. Water You Fighting For was created as a portal of accurate information for Flint residents to help protect themselves from the overwhelming misinformation that is still being forced up on us as we struggle to this very day for safe, clean, affordable tap water. Over the past several years, Water You Fighting For has fought in the streets, courts, labs and in legislation to put an end to the Flint Water Crisis and to enact permanent change on local, state and federal levels so no other city becomes poisoned and tossed away like Flint has. Water You Fighting For is led by affected Flint residents who will do what it takes to stand up for our basic human right of access to clean, safe, affordable water for all.  www.wateryoufightingfor.com

Wellington Water Watchers

Wellington Water Watchers (WWW) is a non-profit organization founded in 2007. We are primarily run by volunteer citizens from Guelph-Wellington, Ontario, Canada. Our first ten years of work centred on protection of local water and educating the public about threats to the Grand River Watershed. Through this work we have grown exponentially by reaching out, not just in Ontario, but also nationally and internationally.

Communities everywhere deserve accessible, potable water. When the right to clean water is denied or threatened, WWW works with local grassroots groups to navigate the hurdles and steer them “out of the bubble”.
Our organization rests on three pillars:
1) Advocate
2) Educate
3) Celebrate

We seek constructive engagement with those that affect water policy and demand accountability from corporations. We promote tap water as a healthy and environmentally preferable alternative to packaged water. People protect what they love. For this reason we nurture connection to nature through the lakes and rivers that support and sustain our communities.

Our core belief: Water For Life, Not Profit

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