Comments on Article 1.9 of CETA


Translation into English of comments written in Spanish by

Francesc La Roca
Professor, University of Valencia
Member of Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua

“Water is not a commercial product like any other but, rather, a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such.” (Water Framework Directive)

CETA’s statement “water in its natural state (…) is not a good or a product” distorts the first recital of the Water Framework Directive, introducing a restrictive element that is not acceptable from a scientific point of view. It ignores the unitary nature of the water cycle and also ignores water limits in the planet, as well as the multifunctional nature of water in ecosystems.


CETA and Water: A Guide for Activists

CETA and Water: A Guide for Activists

Brussels, October 2016

During the secret negotiations of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada (known as CETA), the European Commission always maintained that water would be excluded from the treaty, and that the choice on how to manage Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI) related to water (production and distribution of drinking water and sanitation, among others) by the public authorities would not be questioned. But a careful reading of the final text of CETA shows that the reality is different.

Food & Water Europe and the European Water Movement are really concerned about the impact CETA could have in water as a natural resource and in public water management. When one of the key controversies regarding this treaty are its impact on public services, we want to put on the table an analysis of its potential impacts on water, with the hope that it can be useful for activists around Europe campaigning to stop CETA.

The European Citizens Initiative on the Right to Water has been one of the most successful movements in Europe in the last few years. There is a lot of awareness raised about the importance of taking water back to public control, democratizing water management and that water should be a commons, not a commodity. We are sure we can build on that energy to help defeating CETA and other trade agreements, as one of the biggest threats we have seen of water commodification and privatization.


How trees cool down towns in summer


In the temperate zone during a clear sunny day the income of solar irradiance is about 1000 W m-2, which means that an area of 1ha gets up to 10 MW of solar energy. What happens with this energy depends on the availability of water and the type of land cover (2, 5). Most of the solar energy on dry surfaces is converted into sensible heat, which warms up the ground and the air above it (3). In summer, temperatures of such surfaces can exceed 50°C. However, if the surface is covered by functional vegetation (and well stocked with water) 70 – 80 % of the energy can be dissipated through water evapotranspiration (the sum of transpiration and evaporation), which means conversion into latent heat, responsible for landscape cooling (2, 6). As a consequence of the cooling effect of evapotranspiration, the vegetation cover well supplied with water is substantially cooler than adjacent dry surfaces. This can be conveniently documented by means of thermo-vision (4).

The aim of this poster is to demonstrate how trees may work as a perfect air-conditioning system driven by the solar energy and using water. We present several IR photographs of towns with adjacent tree stands in South Bohemia (Czech Republic), which clearly illustrate how vegetation cover in urban areas have a substantial effect on the local climate.