The privatisation of water
1st March, 2004
The privatisation of global water services means billion-dollar profits for corporations and pollution, disconnection and soaring prices for consumers
Even before the water turned brown, Gordon Certain had plenty to worry about. With his neighbourhood in the southern US city of Atlanta in the middle of a growth boom, the president of the North Buckhead Civic Association had been busy fielding complaints about traffic, a sewer tunnel being built near a nature reserve, and developers razing tidy but modest 1950s-era houses to make room for new mini-mansions.
But nothing compared to the volume of calls and emails that flooded Certain’s home office in May 2002, when the state of Georgia’s environmental protection agency issued an alert to North Buckhead residents: their tap water, the agency warned, wasn’t safe to drink unless it was boiled first.
Some neighbours, Certain recalls, had just given their babies their baby formula when they heard the alert. ‘I had parents calling me in tears,’ he says. ‘The things that have happened to the water here have sure scared the hell out of a lot of people.’ A month... To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
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