Water is necessary for all life on Earth and the right to clean water must be protected. The Animal Justice Party (AJP) supports water management that is responsive to climate change and that prioritises animals, the environment and people over commercial interests. When it comes to water, the best way to protect the rights of humans and other animals is to protect the environment which collects, holds and cleans the water. The AJP advocates for a transition away from animal agriculture to more water-efficient plant-based agriculture.
- Recognise the scarcity of water in much of Australia and address climate change to reduce the likelihood of severe droughts and
floods (see our Climate Emergency Policy and Human Population & Planning policy) while investigating ways to harness more fresh water where environmentally appropriate.
- Ensure that the regulation of Australia’s water, via market-based mechanisms or otherwise, is independent, fair and transparent, and that water allocations prioritise environmental health as well as animal and human well-being over commercial interests.
- Prosecute those profiting from large-scale water theft and ensure that regulators are sufficiently equipped to enforce the law.
- Involve First Nations communities in developing water plans and include First Nations’ knowledge, values and sovereign rights.
- Remove water subsidies for animal agriculture, including feed crops, and transition towards water-efficient plant-based agriculture.
- Incentivise efficient water use in agriculture and industry, e.g., making cotton more water efficient.
- Increase the number of protected water systems (including Ramsar wetlands) as these systems are important for biodiversity and ecosystems services, and rehabilitate and rewild degraded waterways.
- Grant legal personhood to ecologically and/or culturally significant water systems, e.g., the Murray Darling, Lake Eyre and the Fitzroy River.
- Critically assess development and infrastructure projects, including dams and floodplain harvesting infrastructure, against their water usage and cumulative impact on local waterways, ecosystems and communities.
- At the local government level, promote and support water-efficient appliances and practices, water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) and biodiversity-sensitive urban design (BSUD), the use of recycled water, constructed wetlands and phytoremediation (treatment of waste water with plants), as well as waterway cleanups.