New Internationalist

Water de-privatization on the rise

Water privatization has been high on the globalisation agenda over the last years. But privatizers haven’t necessarily found it easy to get their way, thanks to vibrant campaigns by local residents, trade unionists and environmental and social justice activists. Campaigns against water privatization have been so successful – and privatization experiements so disastrous – that a trend towards de-privatization of water services has been gathering a head of steam.

Now, a new website, brought to you by my old friends at Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and the Transnational Institute: ‘highlights the growing trend to return failing privately managed water services to public management.’

‘Just this month, the Mayor of Paris announced that the city would be returning services to public management from 2009. France - arguably the heartland of privatised water services - is at the forefront of the remunicipalisation trend that is also manifesting itself in parts of South America, North America and Africa. Increased tariffs and a failure to deliver on promised improvements have left water multinationals facing increasing opposition from local communities and politicians. Some have taken steps to end contracts with private operators. Others are considering doing so. The remunicipalisation tracker (www.remunicipalisation.org) provides case studies from these communities - giving details of the problems faced and the victories won.’

Visit www.remunicipalisation.org for more information.

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