Innovative approaches based on citizens' engagement have substantially improved public water and sanitation services in developing countries. Olivier Hoedeman, Satoko Kishimoto and Philipp Terhorst, who edited the recently published book Reclaiming Public Water, discuss specific democratic utility reforms that have led to improved services, and the political and financial hurdles that hinder public utilities from achieving success.
The aggressive agenda of services corporations, with regards to TTIP and CETA, pushes for far-reaching market opening in areas such as health, cultural and postal services, and water, which would allow them to enter and dominate the markets. Those in charge of EU trade negotiations are rolling out the red carpet for the services industry, with CETA and TTIP reflecting the wishlist of corporate lobbyists.
Public water and electricity are back in vogue. Yet many state-owned utilities are now undergoing corporatisation: they have legal autonomy and manage their own finances. Is this a positive development in the struggle for equitable public services? Or a slippery slope toward privatization?
BERLIN, Mar. 14, 2012 (IPS) - The trend of privatisation and commercialisation of water services, which set in in the 1980s and continued throughout the 1990s, has come to a halt due to the process’ own failures, and has given rise to a return of those services into efficient public management, according to a new book.