Samir Bensaid is author of the new chapter addition to the collaborative book project "Reclaiming Public Water"- part of TNI's Water Justice programme - which brings experience and insight from Morocco and Mauritania.
Reclaiming Public Water has been one of TNI's most successful publications, obviously meeting a need in many countries and many languages. The latest in the series, which includes Spanish, Bahasa Indonesian, Italian with more to come, is Chinese, in a translation undertaken by our friend in Hong Kong, Au Ly. This is my preface, which he has now also translated. The book will be mostly distributed in Hong Kong [where people are fighting against privatisation of the public water system] and Taiwan, but Au has hopes that through the internet, people in mainland China will also be able to access it.
The President of Paris' remunicipalised water utility tells the inspiring story of how water was taken back into public hands, and why this has prompted a major expansion in reinvestment, public participation, and international solidarity cooperation.
The EU's announced fund of 40 million Euros to support “non-profit partnerships” of water and sanitation utilities in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific is the latest evidence that the corporate push for water privatisation has been forced on to the back foot.
A return to public forms of administration in water supplies is a phenomenon that has been spreading globally. Over the past 15 years almost 235 cities around the world, among them Paris, Berlin, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur have either terminated or have desisted from renewing the contracts with private concessionary companies. In the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and the Scandinavian countries, for example, water delivery is, by a tradition, almost 100 percent public.
Since the mid-1990s (1) , Morocco's economic and political decision-makers have pushed for the liberalisation, privatisation and the lowering of the trade barriers agenda that has been prevalent in the country since 1983. (2)
While water privatisation continues to be imposed throughout the world, particularly in the Global South, more and more communities are demanding public management of water and wastewater services and forcing out private actors. On World Water Day we bring you 10 inspiring stories of communities and cities working to reclaim control over this essential resource.
As water shortages in developing countries become more acute due to climate change, the EU is backing policies to manage the demands of all sectors, prioritising health, sanitation and cooperation between states.
TNI's Water Justice project supports public, effective, participatory public water services that are socially just and ecologically sustainable. TNI’s water work forms part of its work on Public Sector Solutions and is embedded in the Reclaiming Public Water (RPW) network made up of public water utilities, trade unions, academics and citizens from 58 countries.
Reclaiming Public Services is vital reading for anyone interested in the future of local, democratic services like energy, water and health care. This is an in-depth world tour of new initiatives in public ownership and the variety of approaches to deprivatisation.
In Mexico, a 2012 constitutional amendment recognised the human right to water, requiring a new national water law. Coordinadora Nacional Agua para Tod@s Agua para la Vida has proposed the citizens' bill, which has been developed through a nation-wide bottom up process. It connects local grassroots struggles against privatisation, water resource contamination, indigenous peoples, and urban popular movements for access to, and local control over, water resources. Important local water struggles in Puebla, Guadalajara, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Ramos Arizpe, Saltillo and Mexico City are the background of this national mobilisation. The citizens' bill ambitiously addresses sustainable water basin plans and democratic water service provision in an integrated way.