The Coastal Packet: Communities taking back privatized water

Saturday, April 18

Communities taking back privatized water

Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams - In communities across the world, people are taking back their water. Cases of remunicipalization—getting what were privatized water and sanitation services back under public control—is the focus of a new book by the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute), and offers welcome respite from tales of the ever-encroaching reach of corporate power.

The trend of remunicipalization is accelerating, the new research says, and it's "a story crying to be told."..

In the last fifteen years, the researchers note there have been 235 cases of such public take-back spanning 37 countries. A recent notable example happened just last month in Jakarta, Indonesia, where, the researchers write, a citizen lawsuit brought the privatization of the city's water systems to a end, as the private control "was deemed negligent in fulfilling the human right to water for Jakarta’s residents."

But many of the success stories are closer to home; fifty-eight of the public reclamations since 2000 have taken place in the United States. Food & Water Watch's Mary Grant outlines some of them for the report, writing:
Since 2000, major water companies have lost 169 contractions to remunicipalization. That's a large number compared to existing private water management contracts, considering that four of the largest companies, representing an estimated 70 percent of the US water outsourcing market, had a total of just 760 government clients in 2013.

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