News (178)

Japan Enacts a Revised Water Supply Act to all for-profit PPPs

Despite the mounting evidence of the problems of public-private partnerships (PPPs), private concessions, or other forms of turning public water utilities into profit machines for private corporations, the pro-market national government of Japan snuck in a legislative provision to do just that. PSI supports Jichiro, Zensuido and allies opposing water privatisation bill in Japan.

Victory for anti-privatization activists

In a victory for anti-privatization activists, the National Water Commission (Conagua) has postponed the entry into force for six months of the new Conagua Digital system. Several social organizations have denounced Conagua for its plan to “open national waters to massive privatization through the automatic and unconditional granting of concessions” over the internet until they are exhausted.

Mexico City needs more planning for its water system

Jesús Villanueva Manzo, a specialist in engineering and hydraulic infrastructure, says that Mexico City needs more planning for its water system. “He explained that to avoid a possible privatization of water, close wells, treat leaks in the water network, rescue the National Canal, rehabilitate the treatment plant of Cerro de la Estrella and establish a domiciliary program of capture of rainwater,” will only cushion the water problem, not solve it.

Privatization of water should be prohibited by law

Senate President Marti Batres says the privatization of water should be prohibited by law. “The Morena legislator said it is a cyclical issue, given the intention of President Enrique Peña Nieto to grant concessions for the exploitation of water before concluding his mandate, and although they can be revoked by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador when he assumes government, it is important to establish in law the explicit prohibition of delivering the country's water resources to individuals.”

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]

Thousands of teachers, peasants and students voted in favor of revoking the decree of the privatization of water

In Chiapas, thousands of teachers, peasants and students marched in San Cristobal and Tuxtla Gutierrez “to commemorate the 526th anniversary of the colonization of America and Mexico; They demanded the repeal of education and energy reforms and the fulfillment of the San Andres Accords. They also voted in favor of revoking the decree of the privatization of water and respect for our sacred places, springs and all the spaces we use to survive.”

The outgoing government is attempting to privatize some national water sources

Business News Americas reports that “according to the groups, the outgoing government is attempting to privatize some national water sources before the new administration of president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) takes office on December 1. AMLO made a campaign promise to repeal 10 water decrees that President Peña Nieto signed in June, which opponents say lift bans on the implementation of a concession system to privatize water.”

Municipal sanitation workers have struck against privatization

Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) municipal sanitation workers have struck against privatization. They are “demanding revocation of the order which allowed privatization of the sanitation maintenance work and gave the right of employing workers to contractors. With only a few permanent sanitation workers on hand, the VMC is struggling to clean up the city. Most of the dumper bins are overflowing with garbage and households are also feeling the heat with no door-to-door collection.”

Privatization plans are moving ahead

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman tells Bloomberg that privatization plans are moving ahead. “In 2019, we will have more than 20 services that will be privatized, most of them in water, agriculture, energy and some of it in sports. Now we’re talking with investors. (…) So in 2019, more than 20 companies will definitely start privatizing. Most of the companies will be in desalination.”

Basra’s water woes reflect lack of political will

Nazli Tarzi and Mohammad Dylan report on the role of privatization in economic recovery in the Arab Weekly. “These pitfalls and promises illuminate the political instrumentalisation of Iraq’s crisis—whether political or environmental—that has been used to evade reform and outsource inherently governmental functions to foreign firms.”

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