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A damning report should spell the end of England’s privatised water industry

The chief executive of the public regulator of private water companies in England and Wales (Ofwat) says the companies “have ‘created the perfect conditions for renationalization” as a result of their own actions. Writing in The Canary, James Aitchison says a damning report should spell the end of England's privatized water industry. “The report, by the University of Greenwich Public Services International Research Unit, compared the privatised English water industry with the public Scottish industry. It provides compelling proof that the privatized water industry in England is inefficient, unnecessarily overpriced, and benefits shareholders at the expense of consumers.” [The Privatised Water Industry in the UK: An ATM for Investors, by Karol Yearwood, September 2018]

Let’s take back what’s ours!

In the wake of a £120 million fine levied against Thames Water by Britain’s regulatory authority for failing to stop leaks, critics are calling for the water system to be brought back into municipal operation. “But if the minister thinks a slap on the wrist will be enough to make Thames Water mend its ways—or even its pipes—he hasn’t been doing his homework. A firm with monopoly control of the supply of water to the capital, which registered operating profits of over £600m last year and which has paid out billions in dividends to private shareholders even while more than doubling its long-term debt (which was over £10 billion in 2016) will hardly feel the pinch at being fined a few million. (…) Thames’s owners—a faceless coterie of Canadian pension funds, the Abu Dhabi and Kuwait investment funds, BT and the China Investment Corporation—can sleep sound in the knowledge that the privatized water supply in England and Wales will keep the payouts flowing. (…) Water belongs to us all and its supply is a natural monopoly. Let’s take back what’s ours.”

Source: Morning Star

Jakarta should just return water management to the public

The Jakarta Post says that “instead of confusing the public with legal technicalities of contract restructuring, Jakarta should just return water management to the public. Like Paris, it should form a Water Observatory, a space where citizens can ensure that the water company is publicly held accountable.” The media outlet was responding to a demonstration by Jakarta residents on World Water Day demanding “that water management be returned to the public, as part of a global trend called ‘remunicipalisation.’”

Source: The Jakarta Post

Documents (11)

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Water Justice Toolkit "Public Water for All". Part 1: Remunicipalization: a practical guide for communities and policy makers

The water justice toolkit is the joint effort of organizations and grassroots groups from around the world, that are loosely connected through the global water justice movement. "Public Water for All" is the first module of the toolkit and includes tools to support local campaigns to defend and reclaim public water and sanitation services. This guide is designed to give local activists and decision makers a better understanding of this growing trend, and provide some strategies about how to move forward with local remunicipalization campaigns.

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Here to stay: Water remunicipalisation as a global trend

A new report called “Here to stay: Water remunicipalisation as a global trend” was released on 13 November 2014 by the Transnational Institute (TNI), Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) and the Multinational Observatory. The report documents how despite more than three decades of relentless promotion of privatisation and public-private partnerships (PPPs) by international financial institutions and some national governments, the negative experience of water privatisation is leading many policy makers to decide that the public sector is better placed to provide quality services to citizens and to promote the human right to water.

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