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Global Challenges: Water and Global Health - Water Wars

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Elizabeth Hauke

on 13 May 2013

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Transcript of Global Challenges: Water and Global Health - Water Wars

Water Wars Case Study: Cochabamba, Bolivia Global Challenges
4th February 2013 Session Plan 4.30-6.30pm Globalisation 4.40pm 5.10pm Even The Rain - Clips 1+2 Improving the Water Supply 5.00pm Even the Rain Clips 3+4 5.40pm Looking at the Future 5.50pm Even the Rain Clips 5+6 What is globalisation?
What does it mean for the players in this case study? An international perspective
A capitalist perspective
A national perspective
A local perspective What is the current situation?
What would be an acceptable outcome?
How can this be achieved? 6.05pm Globalisation Globalisation "The worldwide movement toward economic, financial, trade, and communications integration.
Globalization implies the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a broader outlook of an interconnected and interdependent world with free transfer of capital, goods, and services across national frontiers. However, it may hurt smaller or fragile economies if applied indiscriminately." Water Wars Series of public protests following the attempted privatisation of the water supply in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2000 Bolivia Cochabamba Cochabamba Population: 700,000 (>1,000,000 in greater Cochabamba)
Surrounding mountains with fertile, productive soil in the valley
Agriculture: potatoes, coffee, sugarcane, grains, cocoa beans, tobacco, fruit
Industry: mining, auto manufacture, cement, garment factories, chemicals
Typical income: $60/month
Established water shortage
<60% of residents have piped water
Typical availability of piped water: 4 hours/day Emerging from Dictatorship Democracy established in 1980s
Former dictators elected to power with as little as 20% of the popular vote
High levels of government corruption
many projects started and maintained in state of non-completion so that officials can continue embezzling money Emerging from Dictatorship Popular and lucrative coca leaf trade forcibly illegalised to reduce cocaine trafficking to USA
however, there were many legal, local uses of coca leaf that were not protected
loss of income and trade for farmers
Significant levels of civil self-organisation and protesting to good effect Economic Situation Dire economic situation
Bolivia received a number of loans from the World Bank
In 1999, the World Bank stated that it would only renew the latest $25 million loan if Bolivia privatised its water services Water Situation Established water shortage
Increasing demand for water
population in 1950 was 75,000
population in 2010 was 700,000
Citizens self-organised into water co-operatives
villagers would purchase or dig a well - often far from the village, then build a pipeline
everyone contributed time, labour or money to the maintenance of the water supply Discussion In your groups (Cochabambinos, government, water company and world bank), think about what 'globalisation' means to you - is it an opportunity to make progress, improve lives, make money, lose independence, lose human rights? 10 minutes Film Clips A film crew arrive in Cochabamba to make a film about Spanish colonisation, using the locals as extras, only to find themselves in the middle of the water wars

Sebastian (Gael Garcia Bernal) - film director
Costa - film producer (bald, big eyebrows)
Daniel - actor and activist (representing real-life Oscar Olivera)
Belen - actor and Daniel's daughter

Whole film available to watch on Blackboard Even the Rain Discussion How can the water situation in Cochabamba be improved? Discuss in your groups what your perspective is on the problem. What are the key demands of the Cochabambinos? How can the infrastructure be improved? How can this be funded? Who has a right to the water resources? Can they be monetised? 10 minutes The Water Wars: Role of the World Bank Required Bolivia to privatise its water services before it would renew a critical $25 million loan
Advised that an expensive and ill-advised dam-building project (Misicuni Project) be abandoned
Advised that a new project to bring water from a near by lake would be better value (Corani Project) The Water Wars: Role of the Bolivian Government The government refused to abandon the Misicuni Project
They made continuing Misicuni a condition of the privatisation contract
This made the contract very unattractive The Water Wars: The Role of Aguas del Tunari Only one company bid for the water contract
Aguas del Tunari
Bechtel (USA)
International Waters Ltd (UK)
Edison (Italy)
Abengoa (Spain)
Very strong bargaining position
claimed ownership of ALL natural water resources
claimed guaranteed 16% annual profits
40 year term with no up-front investment The 'Benefits' of Privatisation Water rates increased by 38-51%
Cochabambinos now spent more on water than food
Piped water supply decreased to 40%
Water availability decreased to 3 hours/day
Privately owned wells seized by Aguas del Tunari
Now illegal to collect rainwater Cochabambinos At War The Cochabambinos effectively organised themselves for protest
Protesters were called the Coordinadora and were led by Oscar Olivera Cochabambinos At War When small scale rallies were ignored, they escalated to blockading the city's roads
Protests were met with arrests and finally occupation by the army, with violence and kidnappings Film Clips Triumph (or not) Aguas del Tunari fled the country
The government dissolved the contract
Aguas del Tunari tried to sue Bolivia
In 2006 they settled for 2 Bolivianos ($0.30)
40% of Cochabambinos have piped water
Water availability is limited to 4 hours/day But... Cochabambinos are free:
to collect the rain
to self-organise into co-operatives Discussion In your groups develop a solution to the problem of water supply in Cochabamba, that answers the concerns of your group.

This will be hard (there is no right
answer, otherwise someone would
already have thought of it and done it).

Be prepared to negotiate with the other parties to find the best solution for everyone. 10 minutes
Full transcript