Reclaiming Public Water

17 August 2006
Cover Reclaiming Public Water

Reclaiming Public Water
Achievements, Struggles and Visions from Around the World

Edited by Belén Balanyá, Brid Brennan, Olivier Hoedeman, Satoko Kishimoto and Philipp Terhorst
Transnational Institute and Corporate Europe Observatory, January 2005 (1rst edition) March 2005 (2nd edition)
ISBN: 90-71007-10-3

Book on global water challenges released at World Social Forum
WaterWorld Online, 4 February 2005

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Feb. 3, 2005 -- Challenging widespread prejudices, Reclaiming Public Water, released in Brazil by two European groups, presents a wide range of examples of how public utility reform has resulted in major improvements in access to clean water and sanitation, not least for the poorest. The book is written by water utility managers and civil society campaigners from more than 20 countries from around the world.

Reclaiming Public Water was launched on Jan. 28 during the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. This Brazilian city is a prime example of how public water delivery can be improved through democratic reform, a common theme of the book. Increased citizens involvement in decision-making, including Participatory Budgeting, has helped Porto Alegre's public water utility become one of the most effective in Latin America.

The book emphasizes that expansion of access to clean water to the poorest happens against major odds, including the continued bias against public utilities in the policies of international financial institutions and donor governments. Reclaiming Public Water includes concrete recommendations for creating a more enabling environment for public water supply in developing countries.

The book is available online at

Reclaiming Public Water - Achievements, Struggles and Visions from Around the World (January 2005) is co-published by Transnational Institute (TNI) and Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO).

The book covers the cities of Porto Alegre (Brazil), Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Olavanna (Kerala, India), Penang (Malaysia), Grenoble (France), Bogota (Colombia), Recife (Brazil), Cochabamba (Bolivia), Savelugu (Ghana), Harrismith (South Africa) and Manila (Philippines), and also includes overview chapters on the United States, Germany, Argentina, Venezuela, South Africa, Uruguay, Ukraine, Slovakia, Indonesia, and Mexico.