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How Privatizing Water Effects the U.S. and the World

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Tiffany Buu

on 1 June 2015

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Transcript of How Privatizing Water Effects the U.S. and the World

By Jennifer Medina Oct. 2, 2014
Who’s water is this? Is it yours? Who owns the water? Water is a resource - a natural resource. No one owns it. Water is not a property.
Evaluating the Article
Food and Water Watch
With Dry Taps and Toilets,
California Drought Turns Desperate
"We envision a world where all people have access to enough affordable, healthy, and wholesome food and clean water to meet their basic needs — a world in which governments are accountable to their citizens and manage essential resources sustainably."

"We believe that water is a human right, not a commodity."

Over 700 residents in the Tulare County of CA have no running water
resorting to using bottled water for all necessities
One resident, Angelica Gallegos, has not had running water for more than five months
Who is affected?

Privatized water affects where, how, and from whom we get our water.
October 14, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Hauter, Wenonah, and Richard G. Little. "Are We Better Off Privatizing Water?" The Wall Street Journal, 8 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.

Are we better off privatizing water?
NPR Article:
Global Health Covered in the Media
Yes: We Need the Investment
talking to people who are effected by the privatization of water directly, not just experts of the field
How Privatizing Water Effects the U.S. and the World
No: The Public Won't Be Served

Drinking-water systems will require staggering amounts of
in the coming decades
American Water Works Association estimates as much as
$1 trillion over the next 25 years
Charging rates
not only cover costs but also encourage
investment, innovation and technological advancement
Emphasis on

fiscal responsibility
and measurable
efficiency gains
The public interest will not be well-served by keeping prices low for everyone, especially those who can well afford to pay
more excess water will be used carelessly
best water provider

is the one that is
best able to deliver safe, reliable and accessible service
the pressure to deliver high rates of return for shareholders drives privatized companies to:

cut corners
when they are operating under contracts
raise costs
when they are operating as regulated utilities
Private companies that operate water systems have appalling track records of:

rate increases, poor system maintenance, faulty billing practices
and even
jeopardizing the health and safety of local residents
"Water service isn't a business enterprise; it's a basic human right"
Full cost pricing would disproportionately burden
low-income households
, possibly making
water service unaffordable for many families
Tiffany Buu
shows both sides to the argument
Wenonah Hauter gives
a stronger solution than Richard Little
reaches an audience focused on business - widening public health issues
Richard G. Little
Senior fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California
Wenonah Hauter
Executive director of
Food and Water Watch
an advocacy group for food and water quality
only the national level is focused
does not talk about the global impact and how privatizing water affects other countries
could have highlighted organizations and companies involved
does not stress previous issues
"Rather than privatizing water systems or asking household users to pay more, why not ask commercial and industrial water users to pay more for the services they profit from?" - Wenonah Hauter
Advocating for the federal government to dedicate federal funding as a clean-water trust fund - providing a guaranteed source of funds for replacing and maintaining public infrastructure systems.
“ You don’t think of water as privilege until you don’t have it anymore. ”
"Hundreds of these homes are hooked to wells that are treated as private property: When the water is there, it is solely controlled by owners."



Blue Gold
Personal Impact: Hispaniola Trip
Rains or Not, India Is Falling Short on Drinkable Water
By Gardiner Harris March 12, 2013
In Cherrapunji, India water is abundant during the lush rainy seasons, but a huge struggle to find during the dry seasons.
70 percent of India’s population lives in rural areas
Half of the water supply is contaminated with toxic bacteria.
600,000 Indian children die because of diarrhea or pneumonia due to toxic water and poor hygiene.
Problems of water distribution
Regulation and maintenance is nearly non-existent.
30 percent to 70 percent of the water is lost to leaky pipes and theft.
Water supplies have increased, but the expensive infrastructures needed have not been invested in.
"Are the evolving specialty and online outlets for global health news reaching policymakers and the public with independent coverage that will help them understand global health issues?"
Kaiser Foundation Article:
Published in a business news outlet
global health issues are relevant in an economic standpoint
The privatization of water has huge financial impact
invites the readers to take action in the policy making
“If we need to get somewhere, we’re going to get there and see how an issue is affecting people in distant parts of the world. I think that is going to make these stories that much more powerful,”
One of the biggest memories I have was when I was in Elias Pina, Dominican Republic.
There are several times the water shuts off without warning. People are left not knowing how long they will have or be without running water.
An older woman even told us that her water was turned off for
an entire month
causing her to travel miles just to bring back water. I remember when we were walking to a work site and we saw children - some even younger than 5 years old - swarm to collect water from a pipe that broke during road construction. They filled buckets that seemed larger than themselves and carried them back to their homes for either necessary immediate use or storage for when water could shut off again.
To them, this simple bucket of water was precious.
Works Cited
"About Food & Water Watch." Food Water Watch General. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

Barsanti, Chris. "Flow: For Love of Water." Www.filmcritic.com. AMC, 2008. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

Blue Gold : World Water Wars. Dir. Sam Bozzo. Blue Gold : World Water Wars. N.p., 2008. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

Harris, Gardiner. "Rains or Not, India Is Falling Short on Drinkable Water." The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

Little, Richard G., and Wenonah Hauter. "Are We Better Off Privatizing Water?" The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 8 Oct. 2012. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

Medina, Jennifer. "With Dry Taps and Toilets, California Drought Turns Desperate." The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Oct. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

"NPR’s New Global Health Beat Blends Social Media, Traditional Reporting | Poynter." Poynter. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

"Taking the Temperature: The Future of Global Health Journalism." Taking the Temperature: The Future of Global Health Journalism. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

"Water Privatization." Food Water Watch General. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.
Other Interesting Resources:
Video - Water Privatization in the Developing World:

Video - Remunicipalisation: Putting Water Back into Public Hands:

Water and Development - Global Issues:

Water Privatization Conflicts - Water Is Life:
Full transcript