It comes as no surprise to learn that yet again Glasgow University is wasting money. For once it is not on grossly inflated management salaries or a completely unnecessary new student website. This time it is on water. Glasgow University’s management is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on the stuff that comes gushing from the tap and more often the sky. Between 2007 and 2011 Glasgow University spend £212,203 on a contract with water company Eden Springs while at the same time forcing the closure of entire departments and cutting staff positions.
However Eden Springs is no ordinary water company, it is a company that profits from an illegal occupation of the Golan Heights by Israel. Mayanot Eden, the parent company of Eden Springs, illegally sources water from the Salukia Spring in Golan and also have a bottling plant in Katzin- an illegal Israeli settlement in Golan. This enterprise renders Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and its occupation of the Golan Heights is in direct contravention of the United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 452 (1972), 465 (1980), 471(1980) and 497 (1981).
Not only has Israel flouted international law by occupying the Golan Heights but through Eden Springs it is violating Article 55 of the Hague Regulations which limits the use of water resources of an occupying force to that of military necessity only. By exceeding this limit Israel continues to completely ignore this legislation and by sourcing water to bottle and sell worldwide Eden Springs is showing complete disregard for international law, blatantly exploiting a murderous occupation to ruthlessly seek profit at the expense of people’s human rights to live freely with access to the essentials of life.
In a region where water is so scarce and unequally distributed, Eden Springs is profiting from illegally exploiting Syria’s water resources while ordinary Syrians live on only 40% of the minimum recommended water consumption advised by the World Health Organization. As long as Glasgow University maintains its contract with such a company we are complicit in supporting this company and in sustaining Israel’s illegal occupation.
The Hetherington Languages Building has already got rid of Eden Springs. They took the refurbishment of the building as a chance to change to using water coolers that feed off the main system which they have found to be a perfectly suitable alternative.
There have been successful boycotts of Eden Springs in Scotland with Glasgow Caledonian, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and St Andrews dropping their contracts. Glasgow University Palestine Society has launched a campaign to get Eden Spring off our campus and we hope we can soon add our names to this list of Universities who refuse to support this illegal occupation.