For Immediate Release
Water for the World Act of 2009 Well-Meaning, But Flawed
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
WASHINGTON - "While the efforts of Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and
Donald Payne (D-N.J.) set forth in the Senator Paul Simon Water for the
World Act of 2009 are well-intended, the legislation is deeply flawed.
This act sets the goal of providing 100 million of the world's poorest
with sustainable drinking water and sanitation by 2015. Inadequate
drinking and waste water infrastructure is a serious problem, one that
plagues millions of people in developing nations and accounts for some
2 million deaths each year. While the act attempts to mitigate these
problems, if passed, it will further enable the role of private
investment in public drinking and waste water infrastructure in
"Water privatization has proven a commercial failure in most
countries around the world because private companies have, time and
again, proven incapable of meeting their obligations to both their
customers and their shareholders. Most of the time, their loyalties
fall with the latter. In developing nations especially, private
companies have little incentive to address the need to expand access to
potable water when large sections of the population cannot afford to
pay for their services.
"Reinforcing the role of private investment in the water
infrastructure systems of developing countries will only perpetuate the
problems that this well-intended act is designed to solve. Instead, we
must work with developing countries to implement sound water policies
based on public management of this essential resource."
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.