The 8th World Water Forum’s total budget is reported to be €103 million. At the lowest estimate, more than half of this (€52m) was financed by the Brazilian taxpayer, through the Federal District Government (more than €30m) and ANA - National Water Agency (€22m), without any scrutiny. This massive public spending for such an obscure event is highly questionable when the Brazilian government scraps health and education budgets and programmes extensively, and faces a serious crisis of urban infrastructure. Despite an access-to-information request, the minimal accounting for the event has not been disclosed.  The 8th World Water Forum raises the serious question as to why precious public money is being used to provide space for large corporations to advance their business agenda. Before the World Water Forum, it was reported that Nestlé and Coca-Cola had reached a deal whereby they were assigned exclusive rights to extract water from the Guarani aquifer, the largest single underground renewable freshwater reservoir in the Americas. 
According to the World Water Forum website, the orginisers expected 40,000 participants but in reality it was just over a quarter of this amount (10,600 people) who attended. This would indicate that the political relevance of the World Water Forum for policy makers has decreased, and that the 8th World Water Forum has attracted only those with enough interests who are willing to pay the excessive fee (€850 for people coming from OECD countries). Since the 7th World Water Forum held in South Korea in 2015, a ‘civil society forum’ has been created to evade increasing criticism of the World Water Forum’s legitimacy. In Brasilia, alongside this civil society forum, a ‘citizen village’ was set up outside of the venue, open to members of the public and free of any entry charge. FAMA and the global justice movement rejected any participation in these artificial ‘citizen’ spaces.
Instead, FAMA successfully made its own space of diversity, welcoming the indigenous movements, quilombolas, fishermen, traditional communities, rural organisations, and socio-environmental movements from all over the world. This alternative space centred on people and communities who are affected by water contamination, deprivation and privatisation. It is worth noting that the Federal District Government supported FAMA with 1.2 million Brazilian real (about €300,000), which is 1% of the excessive amount of aid they put into the World Water Forum. One third of the amount given to FAMA was not cash but an ‘in-kind’ contribution, an agreement allowing FAMA to use the University of Brasilia campus for two days. FAMA was largely organised by individual donations, contributions from progressive foundations and trade unions, and through people’s commitment. FAMA participants were asked to make a contribution, if they were able to, of 50 reais (€12.50 for the 6-day event). FAMA provided a space for discussion about the strategies for alternatives which are now emerging from water justice struggles. Some of these are showcased below.