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Saudi Arabia’s water sector seeks private partners

Riyadh is turning to the private sector to meet the growing demand for wastewater and potable water infrastructure. “Already in the early part of 2019 contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been awarded for Saudi Arabia’s first public-private partnership (PPP) water and wastewater schemes, and more awards and tenders are expected before the end of the year. (…) The kingdom’s Water & Electricity Company (WEC), an entity fully owned by the Ministry of Finance and charged with overseeing the development of PPP desalination and wastewater projects, has awarded several contracts for the kingdoms first independent water project (IWP) and independent sewage treatment project (ISTP) since the end of 2018.”

Source: Water Technology

Summit against water privatization gathers in Abuja

Global activists, unionists and human rights advocates will meet in Abuja, on 29-30 January for a national summit that aims at achieving the human right to water in Nigeria and around the world. Participants will come from communities around the world which have been directly impacted by the damages caused by private water industry.

Source: PSI

Rahm and Elon’s Public-Private Partnership

The city of Chicago, home to one of the worst infrastructure privatizations in history, the sale of the city’s revenue producing parking meters, is poised to conclude another disastrous ‘public-private partnership’ deal with Tesla mogul Elon Musk to build an underground express train from downtown to O’Hare International Airport. “Decades of tax cuts in the name of austerity have shrunk infrastructure spending at all levels of American government. As roads, transit, schools, and water systems crumble nationwide, a burgeoning industry of private equity investors, construction giants, and global water companies are shopping “public-private partnerships,” i.e., private financing, as a silver bullet.”

Source: jacobinmag.com

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Water Equals Life. How Privatization Undermines the Human Right to Water

Due to a misalignment of public and private interests, bad regulation and poor implementation, public private partnerships can fail to achieve their goals and lead to increases in the price of water service. The U.N. General Assembly declared in July 2010 that access to clean water and sanitation is an essential human right, calling on states and organizations to help provide access for the 884 million people currently without safe drinking water and the more than 2.6 billion people without basic sanitation. In the past, public-private partnerships -- agreements between governments and water companies for the private operation of publicly owned water systems -- were heralded as a solution to meeting this crucial need. However, evidence is mounting that private control of water services can actually stand in the way of the human right to water more than it can help achieve it.


Letter to UN Secretary General cautions against more pressure for PPPs in Water

Letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon cautions against more pressure for PPPs in Water from High Level Panel. On the eve of Earth Day, Global Water Justice and a number of unions (including Public Services International, Food and Water Watch, and the Coalición de Organizaciones Mexicanas por el Derecho al Agua), water justice, and social justice organisations from around the world sent a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon saying they are “are particularly concerned about the strong emphasis on private sector participation and private financing given the overwhelming evidence that privatization has resulted in the inability of governments to ensure the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation for all.