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The Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City (March 16-22 2006) showed that the international debate about water and sanitation is at crossroads. After the unashamed promotion of privatisation at the previous editions of the World Water Forum (The Hague in 2000 and Kyoto in 2003), the Mexico City conference indicated a growing recognition of the widespread failures of private sector water management and the need to prioritise improved public water supply. Read the article The Tide Turns - Observations on the World Water Forum in Mexico City.

Campaigners, unionists and water professionals representing over fifteen countries from across the globe, came together for a seminar in Madrid (Spain) on 17-18 November 2005. The seminar participants decided to launch the "Reclaiming Public Water" network in order to strengthen the international voice of those promoting progressive models of public water delivery. Read the full summary of the seminar outcomes.

"Reclaiming Public Water - Achievements, Struggles and Visions from Around the World" (co-published January 2005 by Transnational Institute and Corporate Europe Observatory) is also available online. The book is written by public water utility managers, trade unionists and civil society activists from more than twenty countries.

On March 22 2005 (World Water Day), over 70 European civil society groups called for "a re-assessment and change of course in the EU's approach to the crisis in access to clean water and sanitation in developing countries". Read the Open Letter to European Commissioner Louis Michel.

October 16-18th 2003, CEO and Transnational Institute (TNI) co-hosted a strategy meeting on water privatisation in the South. Read the summary plan for action.

The EU Water Fund, to be officially presented at the Evian G8 Summit (June 1-3), seems more about corporate welfare than helping the world's poorest.
Read more in our latest water info brief: Evian: Corporate Welfare or Water for All?

In preparation for the Third World Water Forum to be held in Kyoto, Japan (March 16-23), Corporate Europe Observatory has prepared the following info briefs on some key issues around the global water debate.

1. European Water TNCs: Towards Global Domination?

2. World Water Forum - Diluting Dissent?

3. WTO and Water: the EU’s Crusade for Corporate Expansion

4. Alternatives to Privatisation: the Power of Participation

5. Anti-privatisation Wave Sinks Corporate Lobby Group

See also: ...And Not a Drop to Drink! Water Forum Promotes Privatisation and Deregulation of World's Water


Paulus Potterstraat 20 1071 DA Amsterdam Netherlands tel/fax: +31-20-612-7023 e-mail: <ceo@corporateeurope.org>