Drinking water delivery in most EU countries is exclusively or predominantly run by public utilities, but internationally the EU advocates water privatisation. The problem lies in the European Commission’s strong tendency to identify itself with the interests of large EU-based corporations.
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.
Citizen struggles for public water in Peru and Uruguay share many similarities and a common vision, with "public-community partnerships" bringing trade unions and water utility managers together on a shared platform.
Proponents of privatization argue that it saves costs due to competitive pressures private providers face to be more efficient, but our comprehensive scientific analysis found no empirical support for cost savings.
TNI's Water Justice programme is marking this year's UN World Water Day in Cape Town at the GWOPA (Global Water Operator partnerships Alliance) Congress, in the continuing struggle to reclaim public water.
Recent plans to cut funds for the UN's water related work - meaning support for water operator partnership (WOP) alliances would be lost - is a major threat to the great progress which has already been achieved and threatens to undermine the provision of universal access to clean public water.
Susan George, aleksej, Mthandeki Nhlapo, Peter Waldorff
28 ဧပြီလ 2011
Privatisation offers nothing to the 43 percent of Africans in cities who have no access to water. On World Water Day 2011, experts met in Cape Town to share experiences of successful public-public partnerships for equal public access.
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.