World Bank wants water privatized, despite risks

Water is the most basic building block of all life. Own that, they own you. You don't pay, you die. Nice one?

And since when have private interests considered existing as non profits. Water is a basic right to all people, not just the rich, the poor bleed equally as well. High time to push water availability being the domain of local public government agencies or local not profit corporations free from political influence and globalization.

  • Efforts endanger access to and pricing of life’s most precious resource

Aljazeera America
By Anna Lappe
17 April 2014

Humans can survive weeks without food, but only days without water — in some conditions, only hours. It may sound clich├ęd, but it’s no hyperbole: Water is life. So what happens when private companies control the spigot? Evidence from water privatization projects around the world paints a pretty clear picture — public health is at stake.

In the run-up to its annual spring meeting this month, the World Bank Group, which offers loans, advice and other resources to developing countries, held four days of dialogues in Washington, D.C. Civil society groups from around the world and World Bank Group staff convened to discuss many topics. Water was high on the list.

It’s hard to think of a more important topic. We face a global water crisis, made worse by the warming temperatures of climate change. A quarter of the world’s people don’t have sufficient access to clean drinking water, and more people die every year from waterborne illnesses — such as cholera and typhoid fever — than from all forms of violence, including war, combined. Every hour, the United Nations estimates, 240 babies die from unsafe water.

The World Bank Group pushes privatization as a key solution to the water crisis. It is the largest funder of water management in the developing world, with loans and financing channeled through the group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). Since the 1980s, the IFC has been promoting these water projects as part of a broader set of privatization policies, with loans and financing tied to enacting austerity measures designed to shrink the state, from the telecom industry to water utilities.

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