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MARCH 22ND IS WORLD WATER DAY 2006 - Water and Culture
-Water For All

Water Privatization Overview

A worldwide crisis over water is brewing. According to the United Nations, 31 countries are now facing water scarcity and 1 billion people lack access clean drinking water. Water consumption is doubling every 20 years and yet at the same time, water sources are rapidly being polluted, depleted, diverted and exploited by corporate interests ranging from industrial agriculture and manufacturing to electricity production and mining. The World Bank predicts that by 2025, two-thirds of the world's population will suffer from lack of clean and safe drinking water.

We believe: Water is a human right and a right for all living beings

  • Water is a common good

    Water must be controlled by those people, whose lives are depending on it
  • Water should not be used for profit and speculation
    Water is not a commodity
List of Big Water Corporations
RWE / Thames WaterGermany / UK /

Bouygues /
AWG plc / Anglian
Kelda / Yorkshire
Bechtel / International WaterUSA /
Coca ColaUS
The Forum was held in the three neighboring Japanese cities of Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka from March 16-23, holding 351 separate sessions on 38 interlocking themes dealing with water, especially on how to bring safe water and sanitation to the entire world.

Some 24,000 participants from 182 countries, more than triple the number of participants expected, attended the sessions. The key issues that they addressed revolved around balancing increasing human requirements for adequate water supplies and improved health and sanitation with food production, transportation, energy and environmental needs, while most countries will require more effective governance, improved capacity and adequate financing.

"The 3rd World Water Forum has become a truly 'action-oriented' conference," said Kenzo Hiroki, Vice Secretary General of the 3rd World Water Forum."

"I have talked with hundreds of participants in sessions and in the corridors," said William J. Cosgrove, Vice President of the World Water Council, one of the main conveners of the World Water Forums, held every three years in a different host country. "Without exception, they reported that they consider that the Forum exceeded their expectations. It was a unique opportunity to form partnerships, join networks and learn from the experience of others."

They agreed that the "community level public participation is fundamental to achieving these goals," and that the "common basic requirement for water is an opportunity for cooperation and peace." The Organizing Committee issued a preliminary 8-page Forum Statement, in which the Committee agreed that they will be "solemnly committed to facing the global water challenges and to meeting the goals set forth at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in New York (2000)" ミ cutting in half the proportion of poor people without secure access to water and sanitation by 2015.

"This statement is only preliminary," said Mr. Cosgrove, Vice President of the World Water Council. "It has been posted on the Forum's website ( If any group feels its statement has not been included, or have changes to suggest, they may send comments to the Secretariat until April 30th, to be reflected in the final statement.

Of the more than 100 commitments reached during the Forum, the climate theme accounted for more than 20 commitments, and gender issues produced 13 commitments.

Some of the global agreements included: The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Japan has supported the establishment of the International Flood Network (IFNet), launched during the Third World Water Forum for flood mitigation at the global stages. IFNET is committed to launching the "Global Flood Warning System" project, with the capacity to create the precipitation maps all over the world every 3 hours. As a result, flood warnings in the world will be vastly improved, benefiting up to 4.8 billion people.

The World Water Council committed to developing and implementing with a consortium of International financial institutions, UN agencies, international non-governmental organizations, and research institutions a program aiming to precisely identify and highlight the benefits brought by sound water management and provide governments with appropriate tools and analysis so that they may be considered in priority setting, planning, development, management, and budgeting for the water sector.

UN-HABITAT signed a memorandum of understanding with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to create a program to build the capacity of Asian cities to secure and manage pro-poor investments and to help the region meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of halving, by 2015, the proportion of people without safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The program will cover a pipeline of US$10 million in grants from ADB and UN-HABITAT for the first two phases and US$500 million in ADB loans for water and sanitation projects in cities across Asia over the next five years. Additional funding for Water for Asian Cities has also been made available to UN-HABITAT by the Government of Netherlands.

UNESCO and the World Water Council committed to promote, develop and support the establishment and operation of an independent, easily accessible facility that can help solving problems related to trans-boundary waters by providing on request access to experienced technical advisers, tools, training sessions and mediators.

The partner international organizations and research institutes (WWC, UNESCO-IHE, FAO, KIP, IFPRI, IWMI and SOAS) committed to continue their efforts and to lobby for financial support to develop a better understanding of the concept of Virtual Water, its application and its impact and to provide governments with information and tools to consciously utilize virtual water trade as an effective way to promote water saving and make it an integral part of government's national and regional water, food and environmental policies.

A broad consortium of organizations (GWP, NRC, FAO, WWC, IWA, WMO, UNEP, IUCN, UNESCO, UNDP, WB, ISDR) which supported the International Dialogue on Water and Climate, are committed to continue building bridges between the climate and water sector, and develop activities to better cope with climate impacts. These organizations will form an "International Water and Climate Alliance".

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) commits to a Community Water Initiative, aimed at building on the power of the local community to solve water and sanitation challenges. Its aim is to provide innovative communities with small grants to expand and improve their solutions to the water and sanitation crisis. The Community Water Initiative has an estimated target budget of $50 million for 2003-2008.

Through the Indigenous Peoples Kyoto Water Declaration, the indigenous participants of the 3rd World Water Forum commit themselves to forming a network on water issues that will strengthen the voice of indigenous people generally, and help empower local communities struggling to protect their water rights.

The Water and Sanitation Program (World Bank) committed itself to funding national capacity building projects for MDG monitoring. Candidate countries are welcomed to apply.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, UN Water and Care International commit to a Global Water Initiative, to bring a substantial contribution to the MDG. It will start soon with a pilot project in Africa supported by the French Government, with results by the end of the year 2003.

Some of the regional commitments include: The international organizations active in the American region (IADB, OAS, ECLAC, IUCN, SICA, IWRN, CAN, LANBO and GWP) commit themselves to find and negotiate solutions for the following issues: (a) policy development, including rules for efficient and equitable water allocation; (b) meeting financial needs for water resources management; (c) effect of international trade agreements on national water public interest; (d) capacity building for effective decentralization, water governance, management and regulation of services; (e) participatory and efficient risk management; and (f) impact of first world agricultural subsidies on sustainable water management. Australia commits overAUD $80 million in the current financial year for water activities, primarily in countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Caribbean and Pacific organizations (CEHI and SOPAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement the Joint Programme for Action (37 member states), providing for co-operation on matters including the freshwater environment, capacity-building, data and information management, applied research, sharing of expertise.

The Netherlands will concentrate its support to Africa and assist 10 countries in the development of their national plans. Further, it is committed to support the African Water Facility.

The European Commission is committed through EUREAU to include benchmarking into the EU Water Initiative.

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) with the governments of Cambodia, Laos PDR, Thailand and Vietnam, in collaboration with partners will prepare a navigation strategy and program by the end of 2003. The long-term goals of the strategy are to develop sustainable, effective and safe navigation on the Mekong, and to increase the international trade opportunities for the mutual benefit of the member countries of the MRC.

The final statement said that though increasing water use efficiency through developments in science and technology and improved demand management are essential, these alone may not be sufficient to meet the growing demand for water in most developing regions and particularly in cities.

"All options to augment the available water supply, including increased storage through the use of groundwater recharge and dams, need to be considered, ensuring that all those who will be affected will also benefit," the final statement said. "The recommendations from the World Commission on Dams (2002) can be used as a reference. A wider adoption of good practice is required in order to avoid the environmental and social costs and risks of the past."

Other key issues:

Governance: Many countries face a governance crisis, rather than a water crisis, the final statement said. "Good water governance requires effective and accountable socio-political and administrative systems adopting an integrated water resources management (IWRM) approach with transparent and participatory processes that address ecological and human needs."

Capacity Building: The need for capacity building, education and access to information for enhanced effectiveness in water management is unquestioned. These critical elements of the water development process are often treated as an add-on to programs, with scant regard to local capacity-building institutions, gender mainstreaming, cultural diversity and traditional knowledge or to long-term commitment.

Financing: Financing infrastructure for the water sector comes mainly from the public sector of developing countries and is "topped-up" with contributions from foreign aid, international financial institutions, commercial loans and private equity. Despite the link between water security, development and poverty alleviation, overall investment in water resources management has been seriously neglected. According to the Vision and other estimates, developing and transitional countries will require $180 billion annually in order to produce global water security over the next 25 years. This will require greater efficiency and better financial management. Several models for combining public, donor and/or private funding have been attempted, and the results have been mixed. The debate concerning public-private partnerships has not been resolved.

Participation: In many regions, countries and local communities have come to realize that water is a multi-stakeholder issue, and that partnerships of all interested and affected parties are a viable mechanism to translate IWRM into practice. Major groups including CEOs, unions, indigenous people, water journalists, parliamentarians, youth and children all have a point of view and deserve the right to be heard. Yet large segments of society, especially women and the poor, are not given a voice. There is a need for a closer examination of participation based on race, ethnicity, economic status, age, and religion to ensure inclusiveness.
Regional Issues: Although most of the issues outlined above are global, some are of particular concern in certain regions. Asia and the Pacific face a main water challenge due to the growth in both water demand and population. Pervasive poverty has confined Africa to a vicious cycle of underdevelopment, conflict, and suffering. In the Americas, large investments in water-related projects and macroeconomic reforms have failed to stimulate sustainable economic growth. Dwindling water resources are threatening people's livelihood, the environment, and economic growth in the Middle East-Mediterranean. And Europe's water resources are subject to considerable pressure due to the relatively high population density, significant industrial activity and intensive agricultural production

- On-Line Water Rights Library
- A Guide to Protecting and Restoring your Drinking Water
-Indiana Drinking Water
-EPA Ground Water and Drinking Water
-WHO Guidelines for drinking water quality
-Water Science for Schools - Information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center.
-Water Issues - General reference information about earth's drinking water supply from the Temperate Forest Foundation.
-The Worldwatch Institute
-World Water Council (WWC)
-Water for Health © World Health Organisation
Water Quality Report for Indiana
The Electronic Watershed - Publication sources
Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District Information
The Coalition to Oppose PCB Ash in Monroe County Indiana
Indiana Water Quality Information
Indiana Water Quality Association
Storm Water Education in Monroe County
Ground Water Maps/Publications for Monroe County, Indiana
Indiana Water Resources
US Geologic Water Resources
Indiana Water Environment Association
Indiana Water Resources Association
Indiana Water Quality Atlas
The Coalition Opposed to PCB Ash in Monroe County
Warning! Eat no fish from Clear Creek, Pleasant Run, Salt or Richland Creeks.
The Storm Drain Marking Program (SDMP) (MonroeCounty)is a consolidated effort by many local agencies and volunteers to limit the amount of pollutants that enter our waterways and hence, help keep our water clean. As time goes by, you will notice markers being placed near certain storm drains and will be hearing more about this important and timely project.
Indiana Water Resources Association, 2006 Annual Symposium will be held
June 21-23, 2006 at Purdue University
EPA Updates Water Reuse Guidelines
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Water and Office of Research and Development, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. AID), has released the 2004 Guidelines for Water Reuse Manual. The information toolkit was compiled to assist water and wastewater utilities and regulatory agencies in their treatment of wastewater to produce reclaimed water for public use. The Water Reuse Guidelines include recommendations on water reuse procedures and updates on water reclamation treatment technologies and current health-related issues that include information on emerging chemicals and pathogens.
The updated guidelines were developed to help water managers advance water conservation and sustainability efforts. The 2004 guidelines update the 1992 version of the document by incorporating information on water reuse issues and practices on a global level.
The Guidelines document is being distributed by EPA's Office of Research and Development/Technology Transfer Program as one of their Manuals of Practice. For more information, please visit:

World Water Day 2005
Water is critical for sustainable development, including environmental integrity and the alleviation of poverty and hunger, and is indispensable for human health and well-being.
The United Nations General Assembly at its 58th session in December 2003 agreed to proclaim the years 2005 to 2015 as the International Decade for Action, "Water for Life", and beginning with World Water Day, March 22, 2005.

The Water for Life decade sets the world's goals on "a greater focus on water-related issues, while striving to ensure the participation of women in water-related development efforts, and further cooperation at all levels to achieve water-related goals of the Millennium Declaration, Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit for Sustainable Development and Agenda 21."
The assembly called upon the relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, regional commissions and other organisations of the United Nations to deliver a coordinated response, utilizing existing resources and voluntary funds, to make "Water for Life" a "decade for action".
The first water decade from 1981 to1990 brought water to over a billion people and sanitation to almost 770 million. Much more still needs to be done. Safe water supply and adequate sanitation to protect health are among the basic human rights. Today, there are still almost 1.1 billion people who have inadequate access to water and 2.4 billion without appropriate sanitation.
For more information, please visit the UN site.

Events around World Water Day
This is an overview of events around World Water Day. If you are organizing an event that is not listed here, please submit it.
Water, Gender and Poverty Alleviation
"Water for Life" is a very broad slogan, which gives everybody an opportunity to stress topics of their own interest for World Water Day 2005. At IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre the focus will be on Water, Gender and Poverty Alleviation.
Read more

Our Water Our Future - article

About World Day for Water
The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993, in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) contained in Chapter 18 (Fresh Water Resources) of Agenda 21. States were invited to devote the Day, as appropriate in the national context, to concrete activities such as the promotion of public awareness through the publication and diffusion of documentaries and the organization of conferences, round tables, seminars and expositions related to the conservation and development of water resources and the implementation of the recommendations of Agenda 21.
World Day for Water 2005
World Water Day (WWD) 2005 will be guided by the upcoming water decade's theme "Water for Life". It will be the starting day for this International Decade for Action, "Water for Life" 2005 - 2015, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/58/217 (PDF format - 29KB).
The UN body designated to coordinate WWD 2005 activities is :
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
Division for Sustainable Development
Two United Nations Plaza, Room DC2-2220
New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: + 1 212-963-2803
Fax: + 1-212-963-4260
UN DESA Website

Monroe County Indiana Water Resource Links Added to Green Dove
Bush Administration Directs Agencies to Ignore Clean Water Act
According to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Bush administration insiders issued guidelines last year directing field staff of the Environmental Protection Agency not to issue protection for wetlands, streams and other waters unless they first obtain permission from the agency's headquarters in Washington.
Read more
Related: [United States] [Governance] [Environmental Activism] [Water/Sanitation]
American Water Resources Association 2004 Annual Conference Preliminary Program, November 1-4, 2004
The 49th Annual Midwest Ground Water Conference, October 27th thorugh 29th, and the Indiana Water Resources Association Fall Meeting will be held in Bloomington, Indiana. There will also be a pre-conference field trip through the karst region of south-central Indiana on October 26th.
The "International Conference on "Security and Sustainability in Water Resources" to be held from September 6-9, 2004 at Radisson Hotel Kathmandu in Kathmandu, Nepal has been postponed until further notice.
Lead contamination serious problem in dozens of drinking-water systems
WASHINGTON -- Dozens of the nation's largest drinking water utilities have tried to hide lead contamination and failed to correct problems, it was reported.

An examination of 65 of the 3,000 largest utilities found cities such as Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Providence, R.I., and Portland, Ore., are "manipulating the results of tests used to detect lead in water, violating federal law and putting millions of Americans at risk,'' The Washington Post said.

Agricultural runoff, shrinking wetlands threaten Gulf fisheries
SAN ANTONIO -- Fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico are threatened by loss of coastal wetlands and agricultural runoff, from which a "dead zone" of oxygen-depleted water has grown, experts say.
Three Emerging Technologies Could Help Improve Water Conservation
October 08, 2004 - By Tamara Chuang, The Orange County Register, Calif.
Oct. 8-The sprinklers at John Koeller's Yorba Linda home seem to have a life of their own.
Some mornings, the automated system sprinkles for five minutes. Other mornings, it turns on for three minutes, shuts off for five minutes and then turns on again for three more minutes. And on particularly damp days, it doesn't turn on at all.

In its ongoing investigation into options for feeding the world, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has released a report that lists fresh water scarcity as the leading issue limiting global food production, stating that "groundwater levels are plummeting and our rivers are already overstressed, yet there is a lot of complacency about the future." IWMI's report suggests a dietary shift, wherein meat consumption is reduced, would greatly alleviate these problems. Meat consumption in the world's wealthiest nations continues to be on the rise, yet it takes up to ten times as much water to produce a pound of beef, for example, as it does to produce an equivalent amount of nutrients and calories via fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. The report does not state the human population of the world needs to become vegetarian, but does recommend a basic reduction in meat intake. Read more...

Agricultural runoff, shrinking wetlands threaten Gulf fisheries
SAN ANTONIO -- Fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico are threatened by loss of coastal wetlands and agricultural runoff, from which a "dead zone" of oxygen-depleted water has grown, experts say.

Lead contamination serious problem in dozens of drinking-water systems
.S. Water News Online
WASHINGTON -- Dozens of the nation's largest drinking water utilities have tried to hide lead contamination and failed to correct problems, it was reported.

An examination of 65 of the 3,000 largest utilities found cities such as Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Providence, R.I., and Portland, Ore., are "manipulating the results of tests used to detect lead in water, violating federal law and putting millions of Americans at risk,'' The Washington Post said.

Dying tanks, dwindling water
In Tamilnadu, the temple tanks were once the heart of water management, and ensured riparian rights and sustainable use. But community care has long since vanished, and with it, so has the water. Lalitha Sridhar reports.

September 2004 - "In traditional societies water was sacred and, concurrently, rivers were deified. This has many implications for the protection and management of water supplies," says Dr. R Nagaswamy, former Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India and author of books on epicgraphy. "For example, Rajendra Chola I, one of the greatest emperors of South India, marched on a conquering quest right upto present day Bangladesh, which was then known as Vangaaladesham. This is a historically documented fact. From this triumphant journey, he brought back the waters of the sacred Ganges and constructed the incredible temple at Gangaikondachozhapuram (The Chola land where the Ganges Was brought by conquest).

Clean Water Fund, the Campaign for Safe and Affordable Drinking Water and the Clean Water Network have partnered in an exciting project to promote drinking water source protection. Under the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, states are required to complete Source Water Assessments by 2003. Under the Source Water Assessment Program all water systems in the US are required to compile an inventory of all actual and potential sources of pollution, rank the vulnerability of the drinking water source to the pollution and recommend protection efforts for the source water area. The challenge for communities concerned about clean and safe water is to move beyond the assessments to real protection of drinking water sources. The project will provide citizen leaders with information, tools, training and support to develop models for source water protection activities. Click For More Information -
- A Guide to Protecting and Restoring your Drinking Water Introduction
The 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act contain a new focus on protecting our drinking water sources, in addition to treating drinking water to remove contaminants.To meet the new requirements, states must ensure that each water system has a Source Water Assessment (assessment). An assessment provides information about the source of drinking water in your community, whether it is from ground or surface water.
Water Privitization: The World Bank's Latest Market Fantasy
By Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke
Polaris Institute
The impacts of World Bank and IMF structural adjustment programs on countries in the Global South have been well-documented in the areas of health and education, food security and jobs. However, less is known about the impacts of the World Bank's latest obsession -- the privatization of water services. In country after country in recent years, the World Bank has been quietly imposing a for-profit system of water delivery, leaving millions of people without access to water.
Click to Read - //

WARNING! US TREND TOWARDS PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES Across the United States, there has been an increasing trend towards privatization of public utilities. This is particularly true for water utilities. The trend is for local governments to relinquish some or all of their control over the design, construction, ownership, and operation of water services. This trend has accelerated as giant multinational corporations have sought to enter into the U.S. utility market. Today, approximately 15% of U.S. water delivery systems and 5% of wastewater utilities are privately owned, serving about 15% of U.S. utility consumers. Click to Read -

Water For All -As the world's water becomes scarcer and corporations seek to exploit this scarcity for profit, people around the world are losing ownership and control of water resources on which they depend. Water is a human right; to the extent one has the right to live, one has the right to water. Public Citizen's Water for All Campaign is dedicated to protecting water as a common resource, stopping water privatization and bulk water sales, and defending access to clean and affordable water around the world. Click to Read -

Will The World Bank Back Down?
Water Privatization in a Climate of Global Protest
A Special Report by Public Citizen's Water For All Program
Sara Grusky and Maj Fiil-Flynn

Click to Read -

Culture Change Letter #44
Sustainable Energy Institute -
Overpopulation's toll

by Jan Lundberg

Your water is being stolen from you. The latest, greatest crime is called privatization. That people already have to pay for water through a utility seems outrageous, if we stop and question it: To look at waste in tax revenue, water could and should be free of charge. But in the U.S., for example, hundreds of billions of dollars are wasted in such time-honored programs as building new roads, making more weaponry, and chasing terrorists in the wrong places.

People accept such a screwing from government and its cronies just, in part, to be patriotic and go with the mainstream. But even those who have observed trends critically find it is shocking that among our rights that are diminishing, we are losing an assured supply of water. If we are rich, we don't have to be concerned. But over nine out of ten of us have to start worrying and taking action. It's part of the war of the rich against the poor.

Also during these modern times, pollution of our water has increased to the point that in countless cities, a person had better be able to afford a water filter or bottled water. Many of us are long since dispossessed of our birthrights as human beings. Didn't you grow up thinking ample, clean water was a right? Our masters wish us to revise that notion. Because of so many similar developments in the overall trend of corporate hegemony, the recent Culture Change Letter on nanotechnology stated as its title, "They're coming for you." Will you defend your land and water, or are most of the elements of life mere abstractions thanks to consumerism?

No one has a right to own the water. But this is what is well underway. Privatization used to mean that a government's transit department, for instance, would be taken over by a company that supposedly runs things more efficiently. Now, water supplies and water delivery systems are bought and sold by extremely large corporations that are often beyond any nation's laws. Their handmaidens are governments, banks, and others.

"Water, say the World Bank and the United Nations, is a 'human need,' not a 'human right.'... A human need can be supplied in many ways, especially by those with money. No one can sell or trade a human right." - Maude Barlow, co-author of Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World's Water.

Clean fresh water has been becoming scarce due to overpopulation for several decades. It is also true that waste and greed are creating artificial shortages of water, as happens with food. But, behavior resulting in injustice is a symptom of overpopulation and is aggravated by population growth. One sad result of greed, waste, and overpopulation is that mismanagement and skewed priorities deprive over one billion people of access to clean fresh water... (read remainder of column at


References and recommendations (see for links):
- A new Gandhian movement is explored in a prior Culture Change Letter, #42
- Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
- International Rivers Network briefing kit
- Recent water privatization articles are in Resurgence magazine's July-August issue, available through the Resurgence website.
- Jim Hightower on Bolivia says No to Globaloney
- Susan Bryce's history article from Nexus Magazine
- Waterways are a source of drinking water, and are being attacked and defended: See WaterKeeper Alliance.
- regarding African water privatization
- Global Warming Crisis Council
- Overpopulation: Resources for Understanding and Taking Action

*****Sustainable Energy Institute / Culture Change is a nonprofit charity 501(c)(3) California corporation.
To make a donation:

Sign up for Culture Change Letter by going to:

Please forward to a friend who might be interested in the connections between oil, war, terrorism, and climate change. This e-newsletter's writer and publisher, Jan Lundberg, co-founded the Lundberg Letter, called "the bible of the oil industry," in 1973 and founded the Sustainable Energy Institute (SEI) in 1988.

SEI/Culture Change: P.O. Box 4347, Arcata, California 95518 USA Fax: (603) 825-2696 E-mail: <>

The World's Thirstiest Children
The world's children feel the burden of the world's water crisis more than anyone. Each day it is estimated that 6,000 people lose their lives to diarrheal disease. Most of these people are children under the age of five. Visit Earth Day Network (, to learn about the challenges faced by a child living near the Mexico-U.S.A. border, a young girl in Tanzania, a 12-year-old girl in Ghana, an 11-year-old boy in China, an orphan child in Kenya, school children in Romania, and other countries: India, Togo, Jordan, and Somalia.
Click Here to read "The Iraqi Water Project" and "WATER PRIVATIZATION AND THE RISING CONFLICT"

Iraq Water Project: An Update
Barry Riesch

The Veterans For Peace Iraq Water Project (VFPIWP) began as a project to make Americans aware of the effects of U.S. policy on the ordinary people of Iraq. After the recent Shock and Awe assault on that country, that work was done for us. Those few who read halfway reliable news accounts must be aware of the chaotic and dire conditions prevailing throughout Iraq today.

At this point, few Iraqis are feeling in any way rewarded by their country's new status as an American dependency. Also, American GI's feel increasing animosity toward Iraqis - who are not thanking them for their liberation. Not knowing who is friend or foe brings back feelings of Viet Nam, where we would be fighting the villagers in the evening that we bought soda from in the day.
In a closed-door process that was restricted to a handful of U.S. companies, Bechtel was awarded a $680,000,000 contract for rebuilding Iraq.

Of course, our Washington administration is proclaiming its intentions to rebuild the desolate land into a new Garden of Eden, a political and material Light unto the Nations, a gift from us, America, beneficent and pure. We at VFP know the real intentions of this administration - a hidden agenda to ensure massive privatization of public services for the benefit of primarily U.S. corporations. In a closed-door process that was restricted to a handful of U.S. companies, Bechtel was awarded a 680 million dollar contract for rebuilding Iraq. In the case of water, it is possible they will have the exclusive contract.

It is useful to know that Bechtel was recently expelled from Bolivia after taking possession of public water services, and then raising rates to a level beyond the reach of the poor. Bechtel is now suing impoverished Bolivia for millions of dollars in lost profits. The only freedom happening from "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is freedom for corporations to profit and loot.
The U.S. invasion and military occupation has caused a major dislocation in the purposes and direction of VFP Iraq Water Project. We have a quite different agenda than our government. Our entire purpose is to benefit the people of Iraq, not shareholders, not free-market ideologues. Once again, we find ourselves crossing philosophical swords with this present administration. If, in fact, privatization is the future being offered the desperate Iraqi people, we hope to make our little collection of water treatment plants a demonstration of a very different way of doing things. We plan to be noticed.
The World's Thirstiest ChildrenThe world's children feel the burden of the world's water crisis more than anyone. Each day it is estimated that 6,000 people lose their lives to diarrheal disease. Most of these people are children under the age of five.Visit Earth Day Network (, to learn about the challenges faced by a child living near the Mexico-U.S.A. border, a young girl in Tanzania, a 12-year-old girl in Ghana, an 11-year-old boy in China, an orphan child in Kenya, school children in Romania, and other countries: India, Togo, Jordan, and Somalia.

Tom Sager, VFPIWP project coordinator, has just returned from Iraq, where he assessed the damage done to our plants. Of the six plants previously rehabilitated, some suffered damage from shelling, others were looted, and all require continue maintenance. We, as a committee, have decided to continue to raise funds to bring these facilities back to reliable service and keep them going.
As before, work on the ground will be contracted and supervised by LIFE for Relief and Development, an American Islamic charity that has toiled tirelessly in Iraq for a decade. LIFE was one of the first Non-Government Agency (NGO), to plunge into the dangerous chaos of Iraq when the bombing ceased. It is the sense of the committee that this approach satisfies our strong resistance to the American occupation, while at the same time keeping faith with the Iraqi people we have tried to help with this project. We thank all those that have supported this project in the past and hope you will see our difficulty and hope through the same lens and will continue to support the VFP Iraq Water Project.

We at Veterans for Peace are convinced that military intimidation and violence are more likely to aggravate than resolve conflict and know that countless Americans, like millions of people around the world share this vision.

The Iraq Water Project is intended to become a model for a sustainable and independent life in that desert land. It will also serve a more immediate and pressing purpose: it will save lives. I personally am very gratified for the continuance of this project, as it gives me a vehicle to feel that, in some small way, I am helping our brothers and sisters in Iraq. "Water is God's gift, not merchandise; water is life."

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Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one.
--John Lennon

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