Water is a basic right

House Bill 77 is a corporate giveaway of Alaska’s waters. The Alaska State Constitution states that “Wherever occurring in their natural state, fish, wildlife, and waters are reserved to the people for common use”  (Article 8, Section 3). 

State regulations, processes such as public comment periods, and citizens’ right to reserve instream water flow exist to ensure that Alaska’s waters are there for the people who depend on them. HB 77 strips away public comment periods, allows the Department of Natural Resources to bypass state regulations at its own discretion, and takes away individual Alaskans’ right to file for instream flow reservations. 

HB 77 attacks Alaskans’ water rights by preventing us from speaking out to protect our water. HB77 would give corporations a green light to do as they please and treat Alaskan waters as they please. Water is a basic right. Let’s keep it for the people and not sell it to big business.  

Rebecca Siegel