In February and March of 2000, protests broke out in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in response to the skyrocketing price of water. Many people saw their bills triple or even quadruple, just weeks after Aguas del Tunari, a private company owned by London-based multinational International Water Ltd., took over the city’s water system. For thousands of families, the rate hike meant up to half of their monthly income went to paying for water. Unable to survive under these conditions, the citizens demanded that the water contract be terminated. After
suffering civil rights abuses, injuries and even death at the hands of the police and military, the protesters were heard and their water rights were restored. Read Report About Water Privatization in Bolivia.
The private water industry, dominated by a handful of multinationals and their
subsidiaries, stands to benefit handsomely as the global water crisis deepens. These corporations and other proponents of water privatization argue that the private sector can deliver basic goods and services more efficiently and at lower costs than the public sector. In reality, there is little evidence to
support the argument that privatization actually benefits consumers — particularly the poor — by improving access and lowering costs. Quite often, water prices increase and quality problems follow on the heels of
privatization. Read the Report: When Commodification Annuls
the Human Right to Water.
In’s Not Just Bolivia, Africa That Are Threatened. It’s Come to Your “Hood.”