What is a Blue Community?

"The wars of the 21st century will not be fought over oil, but over water," said the later UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1986. Even then, the dispute over water was part of many people's everyday lives, and global warming has exacerbated the water shortage and thus the potential for conflict. The shortage primarily affects the poorest of the poor.

Blue Communities recognize water as a public good. They pay attention to sustainable water management and work to ensure that water supply and use remain in public hands. They support other countries in providing a functioning public drinking water supply and in achieving sustainable water management. To this end, they maintain a long-term exchange of knowledge and experience with partners at home and abroad.

Blue Communities encourage people in their communities to drink more tap water again. Within their own structures and operational processes, they strive to use drinking water responsibly and, as far as possible, use drinking water from the public water supply. Drinking local, non-bottled and non-transported water protects the environment. The provision of tap water requires a thousand times less energy than that of mineral water.

The Blue Communities initiative was launched by the Council of Canadians, a Canadian social and environmental justice organization.

«With their commitment to the international Blue Community initiative, the City of Bern, the University of Bern and the Reformed Church of St. John are leading the way for all of Europe. Water belongs to all of us and must be protected as a human right and public good and preserved for future generations. »

Maude Barlow,
Initiator of Blue Community, Chairman of the Board Council of Canadians

Read also: The four key pledges/principles of the Swiss Blue Communities