Water is life.

Rep. Jan Dodge proposed these two pieces of legislation: LD1474, An Act to Ensure Water Equity and Accountability for the People of the State of Maine; and LD197, An Act to Convene a Working Group to Authorize a Public Trust for Maine’s Groundwater and to Impose a Two-Year Moratorium on Large-Scale Groundwater Extraction.

And they failed. Why would Jan Dodge not get support for this legislation? Our water isn’t being stolen, we are giving it away when legislation like what she proposed doesn’t pass.

It was incredibly timely legislation at a moment when Nordic Aquafarms was (and still is) poised to take 630,000-plus gallons of water a year from the citizens of Belfast. And Nestlé is negotiating with a private equity firm, One Rock Capital, to sell its water business for about $4 billion.

This is our water. Where are the citizens of Maine, who should be protecting their own best interests? The beautiful state of Maine, thanks to Gov. Janet Mills, is being pillaged by extractive corporations from Nordic to Nestlé, to CMP to Wolfden metal mining. All these corporations are out to make billions mining our water, air, land, forests and our spaciousness, right out from under our noses. And the majority of Mainers are allowing it. We are quickly losing our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No matter your political persuasion, this matters.

It’s past time to start protecting Maine’s resources. On Valentine’s Day, a group of Belfast citizens left valentines on the door of the Belfast Water District, pleading with them not to sell our water to Nordic, and the BWD called the police — like it was an affront for ordinary people to want to secure their right to water over a multinational corporation. Look up absolute dominion, an antiquated law that only Texas, Indiana and Maine still have on the books. Do the citizens of Belfast understand that in a water shortage Nordic gets the water, not Belfast citizens?

Maine has the beautiful and clean environment that brings people here, but these “resources” — water, air, forests and land — are our lifeblood, not just resources. These are the sources from which life springs, for humans and non-humans alike. We need these elements to survive, and the accelerated rate of degradation is daunting to address because we need it all protected now.

People are arriving here in Maine and New England at an unprecedented rate; often, land and homes are being purchased sight unseen as people want to escape their own densely populated, polluted, sick-and-getting-sicker communities.

We can live without so much. But we cannot live without water. And, we will not survive if we continue to break the interconnected web of life.

Remember, there are no jobs on a dead planet.

Aimee Moffitt-Mercer, Belfast