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  • FreshWater.net - The Water Barons
    today only one is still U S owned The companies have tripled their political contributions in the United States and are trying to persuade Congress to require cash strapped municipal governments to consider privatizing their waterworks in exchange for federal dollars Revenue trends reflect the companies global expansion Vivendi Universal the parent of Vivendi Environnement reported earning more than 5 billion in water related revenue in 1990 by 2002 that had increased to over 12 billion RWE which moved into the world water market with its acquisition of Britain s Thames Water increased its water revenue a whopping 9 786 percent from 25 million in 1990 to 2 5 billion in fiscal 2002 Though successful in their expansion efforts the companies on the ground performance has been highly criticized In the United States the city of Atlanta recently canceled its private water contract with a Suez subsidiary after widespread complaints about poor service and dirty water The report also examines the problems many developing countries encounter in privatizing their waterworks For example in South Africa where one township transformed its utility into a profit driven enterprise poor who could not afford huge increases in water rates were forced to get drinking water from disease ridden lakes and streams resulting in the country s worst cholera outbreak The report titled The Water Barons will be released in 10 parts from Feb 3 through Feb 14 Today Cholera and the Age of the Water Barons The explosive growth of three private water utility companies in the last 10 years has raised fears that mankind may be losing control of its most vital resource to a handful of monopolistic corporations Analysts predict that within the next 15 years in Europe and North America these companies will control of 65 percent to 75 percent of what are now public waterworks Tomorrow Water and Power The French Connection France is the birthplace of modern water privatization but its leading companies have been rocked by scandals and allegations of influence peddling Wednesday Metered to Death How a Water Experiment Caused Riots and a Cholera Epidemic The biggest problem in this country ravaged by AIDS tuberculosis and malnourishment is water Few can afford it But with World Bank blessing the government is trying to end water subsidies forcing millions of South Africans to seek their water from polluted rivers and lakes The result one of the largest outbreaks of cholera Thursday The Aguas Tango Cashing in on Buenos Aires Privatization Global water giants partnered to run a water system in the Argentine capital that the World Bank touted as a model of privatization Investors extracted millions in profits But now the model is crumbling under the weight of mounting costs Friday Loaves Fishes and Dirty Dishes Manila s Privatized Water Can t Handle the Pressure In the Philippines politically connected families and private companies split Manila in two to share turf At first the two companies brought miracles by bringing running water to thousands of poor people

    Original URL path: http://www.freshwater.net/TheWaterBarons.htm (2016-05-01)
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