Water Privatization

Topics: Water, Bolivia, Water industry Pages: 4 (1598 words) Published: December 11, 2012
The privatization of fresh water creates a global system of ‘have and have not’s

Water privatization creates a world where people ‘have’ access to water and those whom ‘do not have’ access to fresh water. Water privatization schemes throughout the world have a track record of exceedingly high prices, creation of water monopolies, and deteriorating quality and service and this does support the global system that water privatization creates of have and have not’s.

Water privatization can negatively impact low-income and underserved communities by unfair rate increases and poor service to these communities. In Cochabamba, Bolivia, Bechtel, a private corporation promised to deliver water to all the residents of Cochabamba and they did. But there was a skyrocket in prices of water and this made the company less welcomed by the poorer population. Water pumps, local wells, and the public system infrastructure that was already in place were all taken over, and more was added to the existing infrastructure. The costs for these improvements and additions were passed on to customers, sometimes doubling the cost many people had previously been paying when water systems were controlled by the government. This is one of the main causes for high prices, which as an implication of water privatization, creates a bold and bigger line between the people who can afford and the small amount of people who can.

Bechtel was also working hand in hand with Suez, a multi-national corporation working mainly with water, gas and electricity. Bechtel is a company based in engineering hence the extra addition to infrastructure while Suez gained rights to all of the water in Cochabamba. The two companies merged to make Aguas del Tunari, which then took control and rights of all the water in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Another culprit to the crisis was the World Bank. The World Bank officially declared that they would not renew a USD $25 million loan to Bolivia unless they privatized their...
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