The Demand for Water and Water Privatisation
On TV recently you have Indian villagers complaining that coca cola had built a bottling plant in their region and were using all the water from the underground aquifer, leaving the farmers and local population without water. Only the local bureaucrats that collected the taxes seemed happy with the situation. Water infrastructure in the developing world is either non-existent, or has not begun to keep pace with rapid population growth.
Its not only the developing world that has problems with water, much of the water infrastructure in the developed world was completed decades if not hundreds of years ago and is in acute need of overhaul,
Water privatisation only began in the last decade as governments realised began the road to privatise nearly all state assets in order to raise revenues and efficiency and to ensure that the massive infrastructure that were needed came from consumers and not the treasury.
Three of the biggest water companies in the world are European. USAs American Water Works, RWE operates water-facilities in at least 44 countries of the world between them they supply approximately 70 percent of all privatized water supply systems worldwide, most of them in developing countries.
The track record of these companies has been dubious to say the least in many developing countries. Bolivia is looking to renationalise its water companies and water privatisation in Tanzania was a failure although the World Bank says that the model is sound it just wasn't implemented properly.
There have been problems all over the USA and the developing world regarding breach of contract from firms that fail to deliver the promised drinking water and service quality within the guaranteed time. With nationalised operated water works you at least have the advantage that the collected money remains in the community, privately operated water works are often foreign owned and the profits leave the community and sometimes even the country. This is the same for all multi nationals which remit there profits back to the host county.
The water companies in the USA and UK are losing millions of litres per year via leaks in the aging supply system. The companies are always on TV saying that if they were to fix all the leaks then we would have to pay more. These companies make millions per year profit. Some of these firms are also notorious environmental offenders that dump industrial waste straight into rivers killing the fish and the wildlife. They are often fined peanuts compared to the millions they make per year in profits.
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