The Water Business

Corporations Versus People

By Ann-Christin Sjolander Holland  

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Privatization of water supplies began in England in 1989 under Margaret Thatcher; in the next 10 years, nearly £10 billion went in profits to the new water companies. Today, two giant corporations, Veolia and Suez, control 80% of the international private water market and have some 300 million customers. Protests have broken out in country after country and the water giants are switching to new markets in China, North America and Europe. Meanwhile well over a billion people still lack access to clean water supplies. Drawing on her own interviews with the poor, the experts and the corporate executives in Latin America, Africa and Europe, the author bring us a story much more complicated that simply public or private provision, or innovative mixes of the two. The ultimate question is this: is water a human right or just another tradable commodity?

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Authors

  • Ann-Christin Sjolander Holland

    Ann-Christin Sjolander Holland is a prize-winning Swedish journalist, now working for Kommunalarbetaren, the biggest trade union magazine in Sweden. In recent years, she has specialized in writing articles about how privatization affects employees and the different ways in which commercial companies now operate within the public sector. In researching this book, she traveled extensively in Latin America, Africa and Europe.