< HOME  Thursday, December 15, 2005

WATER: the last CORPORATE frontier

First, our MONEY supply; now, they want our WATER supply.

It's a crucial battle between PUBLIC and PRIVATE interests for control over the most essential of public trusts.

Joshua Holland reports from the WTO DOHA round in Hong Kong:
"WATER is . . . one of the last "profit centers" [for] international financial institutions and [global trade agreements may determine] whether it becomes a COMMODITY or stays in public hands."

"90 percent of the world's water supplies" remain public, for now.
But if, like money, WATER is transformed into a for-profit commodity controlled by private interests, they will manipulate its scarcity by "tightening" its supply, just as they "tighten" the supply of money, now.

But, unlike money which merely facilitates exchange, we cannot live without water for more than a few days.

As it is now, because money is scarce, people kill over as little as $20.

If they gain control of the water supply, people will kill over a sip of water.

This is how the battle unfolds:

"Through the WTO's "coherence agreement" with the World Bank and [IMF] . . . water behemoths [like French giants, Vivendi Universal and Suez; German, RWE; and American giant, Bechtel]. . . secure loans and grants to finance . . . operations in the developing world."

Meanwhile "[the World Bank and IMF] use water privatization as a 'conditionality'" for aid to developing countries.

"[I]n general . . . African countries . . . the smallest, poorest, and most debt ridden ...[are subject to] these conditions"

Of course, in Africa "more than five million people die each year [from] poor water access."

After all, why would private banks invest in PUBLIC water systems?

As usual, moneylenders manufacture need by tightening the money supply and then exploit it by forcing unconscionable conditions upon borrowers.

Meanwhile, "[p]rivatization is being touted as [more] efficient . . . than public water," but has a track record from HELL.

Here are just two examples of what awaits us in a CORPORATE water world.

"South Africa initiated one of five water privatization programs in 1999 . . . the brainchild of private water companies and World Bank economists."

"[millions] of South Africans had their water cut off at one time or another . . . forcing thousands of poor Africans to seek water from polluted rivers and lakes [leading] to South Africa's worst outbreak of cholera."

"Thousands [contracted] the disease and 300 died."

Privatization "was the direct cause of the cholera epidemic," said David Hemson of South Africa's Human Sciences Research Council.

* * *

"[I]n perhaps the most infamous of the ongoing "water wars," Aquas del Tunari, a consortium of multinationals including Bechtel, was awarded a $200 million water project [in Bolivia] with an initial direct investment of $15,635.

The 40-year concession gave them a monopoly on all water in the poverty-stricken [Cochabamba.]

[T]o achieve its guaranteed 15 percent return on investment, the company insisted that privately drilled wells -- in the poorest part of the poorest country in the Americas -- be metered and the communit[ies] that relied on them be charged."

"[Water] prices for many rose 300 percent. When struggling Cochabambans received water bills equaling 30 percent of their salaries, they rioted."

"During the fighting . . . the government cut power to local media outlets and used live ammunition against [protesters], killing five."

"After weeks of intense protests, Aguas del Tunari [pulled] out of Bolivia, leaving its water system (and $35 million in debt) to the government. Bechtel then [sued] Bolivia for $25 million in "lost profits" [in] a closed-door tribunal run by the World Bank."

"Technically, [poor countries] could say no . . . [but they're] in terrible debt to the wealthy countries that run the WTO [and] World Bank, and if [they] say no [they're] screwed."

"[I]f people understood what's being negotiated here with the GATS, they'd be up in arms."

"When it comes to "free trade," the DEVIL is in the details."

"When those details include WATER-- and essential resources -- the trade debate can quickly become a struggle between life and death."

BTW, American Water Works Company based in NJ and operating all over the US became a wholly owned subsidiary of German based RWE in 2002.

Please, help people understand what's happening, before it's too late.

9 Comments:

At Thursday, December 15, 2005, Anonymous Doc said...

Peak oil is nothing compared to peak water. Just go to www.dieoff.org and study the chart at the top of the page. They are not making any more fresh water. Think about that before you make yet another kid to add to the 6.5 billion already on the planet.

 
At Thursday, December 15, 2005, Blogger qrswave said...

Setting aside the issue of water, which is, no doubt, a problem.

It's really sad to hear people discourage others from having children.

I love kids and the world needs good people to help us fight the good fight.

It's not procreating we should be discouraging, but the unproductive lifestyles and behaviors that weigh us down and make us easy targets for others to oppress and enslave.

If we can regain control of our currency and economy, there is no problem we can't solve, together.

 
At Friday, December 16, 2005, Anonymous Doc said...

I believe most people love children, I know I do. I love them enough to do what I can to leave behind a world they can find joy in. Go to www.dieoff.org and really let that chart sink in. The current population is off the chart and growing at the rate of 3 people every second.

If anyone really cares about children, then don't give our out of control governments any more bullet stoppers to send off to die for oil or water.

If you really care about children, try loving the ones that are here. With 6.5 billion already here, and more coming at the rate of three every second, nobody needs to inflict the world with another copy of themselves.

And yes, I do put my actions where my mouth is, and have the vasectomy to prove it. Yes, it is sad to discourage reckless reproduction. It is even more sad that we can do it with our pets, yet not have the maturity to do it ourselves.

This wonderful forum makes my point for me. The financial trap we are in is caused by a fiat currency, supported by nothing, and inflated more each day. Every fiat currency in history has failed, and the U.S. dollar is already bankrupt. The population trap mirrors the financial one. More and more people supported by nothing equals famine and death.

Do you love childre? Great! Don't have any.

Doc

 
At Friday, December 16, 2005, Blogger qrswave said...

Thanks for your comment, Doc.

You know I LOVE your website. It's got a lot of invaluable advice.

I have to differ with you on this, though.

First, the fiat currency is not the problem.

The problem is the abuse of the fiat currency.

And, actually it is backed by something--our labor!!!

Money systems are nothing but standardized systems of trust by which people of nations facilitate trade among eachother.

Real wealth resides only in labor and the fruits of labor.

Next, although I agree with you that our children should not be used as cannon fodder, I disagree on the approach to the problem.

IMHO, people should have children but raise them responsibly, giving them the values and knowledge they need to protect themselves from being manipulated by greedy bastards.

And the population trap: NO ONE is trapped in life, WE ALL DIE.

As children are born, the elderly die. In fact, so do other children and young people.

I am not concerned about the world population.

I'm concerned with the selfish way people treat each other and the stupid way those in control abuse the earth's resources.

Human beings have an amazing capacity to solve problems and innovate--when they work together.

Peace.

 
At Friday, December 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, things are worse than I thought. I kind of had an iddea things were this bad when we spoke on Wednesday, but did not realize the extent of the privatization of water already going on.

There is a real battle to maintain free water. Remember...we already have conditioned the American population into thinking it's normal to drink bottled water. Privatizing the water supply is not far off.

 
At Friday, December 16, 2005, Blogger Jeff G said...

I don't like advise folks in absolute terms, so I'm not going to encourage people not to have children. But I would advise them to take a look at all of the children in the world that need a good home before making their decision.

 
At Friday, December 16, 2005, Blogger qrswave said...

I couldn't agree with you more, morpheus; every child deserves a loving home.

But, caring for orphans and having children are not mutually exclusive.

 
At Friday, December 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see that this thread is a year old but I still have something to add.

grswave said:
"But, caring for orphans and having children are not mutually exclusive."

and

"Setting aside the issue of water, which is, no doubt, a problem. "

Oh yeah? Well... If those beloved children are going to have a habitable planet on which to be beautiful some thinking had better start to change. You appear to be a good example of one who needs to look before you leap.

This site has been up for years and even this page almost a decade old. Read it!

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/1631

 
At Friday, December 15, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

"In the absence of a concerted effort by national governments and the international community to quickly shift to smaller families, events in many countries could spiral out of control, leading to spreading political instability and economic decline,"

This is such a bunch of racist, capitalistic (read: moneychanging) drivel.

Get a clue.

Your mind is being manipulated.

This is not about population - it's about DEMOGRAPHICS, SUPREMACISM, and the ability to STAY IN CONTROL.

That has nothing to do with the statement I made, which is true regardless of whether they are white, brown, or yellow populations and whether they are increasing or decreasing. It's simply a principle by which you do what you can to help.

People shouldn't have children if they don't want to, but they shouldn't NOT have them just because some rich MF is telling them that it's not economically or demographically PRUDENT - for THE RICH, WHITE SUPREMACISTS.

 

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