Mary Ann B. Manahan, Focus on the Global South; Gabriella Zanzanaini, FoodFirst Information and Action Network, Water Watch; Claudia Campero, Water Watch/RED VIDA
28 March 2012
The international water movement has been working for several years with important success in bringing solidarity to local struggles and impacting international policy. Broad consensus in significant issues has allowed good communication, support and collaborative efforts around the globe. However, the changing and challenging context compels us to go further in our coordination efforts and collaboration work.
It had been billed as a summit to push for universal access to water, but attending the Budapest Water Summit held last week felt like grasping at a mirage of water in a desert. The slogans and appearance were attractive, but held no prospect of delivering the human right to water for all.
At UN meetings in Addis Ababa, private finance has been touted as key to achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals, but campaigners argue that public finance is more reliable and more likely to secure the human right to water for all.
The first CITIES FOR PUBLIC WATER MEETING took place on 3rd and 4th November, 2016 in Madrid, convened by La Red Agua Pública/the Public Water network in collaboration with the Municipal Council of Madrid. The event can be considered a milestone in the public water movement as it has strengthened the alliance of different actors involved in the defence of the public management of water, from a perspective of common good and human rights and will permit a closer collaboration with municipal councils and other public institutions (universities, professional colleges, cultural entities, etc.) in the future.
Public-private partnerships were heralded as a solution to the millions who still lack access to water, but after two decades the evidence is in: they have failed. An unprecedented surge of cities is now bringing water back under public control.
Public water operators and social movements from 90 countries gathered in Barcelona in mid-September to reflect on how to consolidate a public model of water provision and how to address critical issues of financing clean water for all.
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.
Spain maybe on the edge of a remunicipalisation renaissance, with all the relevant legal, financial and technical issues attracting surprisingly intense interest throughout the state. These trends in Spain provide inspiring examples for other countries too, in Europe and worldwide. On 1st December Barcelona City Council organised a remarkable conference on the topic.
For the last decade, the water justice movements from around the world have been struggling against the privatization and commercialization of water. But the big challenge for the movements is always to be one step ahead of the privateers.
After 18 years of underperforming private management, water services in Jakarta could be returning to public management to guarantee the human right to water in accordance with the Central Jakarta District Court ruling of 24 March 2015, which annulled the current contract agreements.