We commemorate World Water Day 2015 by celebrating the struggles and victories of the global water justice movements. These achievements are a testament to the strength of our ties of solidarity and the resolve of communities to protect watersheds and maintain control over water services.
The 2008 Constitution of Ecuador enshrines the rights of nature and the human right to water. Juan Carlos Romero, former official at the water public utility EPMAPS, argues that guaranteeing the human right to water is not only about providing a service, but also requires mainstreaming environmental, social, financial and political sustainability into the company's activities.
The largest Public-Private Partnership in water sector in Germany ended in 2013 after the longstanding social mobilisation. Remunicipalisation cost a high price for the city of Berlin though. Berliners have striven for new challenges.
Despite large aid support, Ghana's privatised water utility AVRL consistently failed to meet its contractual commitments. Water is now back in state hands, but it will need increased investment and a vigilant civil society to deliver the services Ghanaians need.
Already subjected to the consequences of the European and Greek debt crisis and the resulting austerity measures, privatisation will continue to hit Thessaloniki hard. In a referendum the people voted overwhelmingly against water privatisation. While their struggle continues, they look upon the crisis as an opportunity to intensify the search for democratic alternatives.
Instead of an ideological obsession with illusory private sector ‘solutions’, the international community would do better to support socially ambitious public operators working together in partnership with other public utilities.