Four German Cities are now Blue Communities!

October 25, 2018

Maude Barlow, founder of the Blue Planet Project and honorary chairperson of the Council of Canadians welcomed four German cities to the Blue Communities Project this week. The Blue Communities Project  is a global initiative aimed at promoting local policies that recognize water and sanitation as human rights, keep water and sanitation services public and stop the sale of bottled water in municipal facilities.

The city of Augsburg voted on October 24 to become a Blue Community after a visit from Barlow earlier in the week. Augsburg is the fourth city so far to adopt the project in Germany. Municipal water provision in Augsburg dates back to 1412 when the first wooden water tours were built. The city is applying to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its historic public water management systems.

On October 23, Barlow was in Berlin at a ceremony where Senator Regine Gunther, officially signed onto the project on behalf of the city. She was joined by Dorothea Harlin of the Berlin Water Table, Jorg Simon, CEO of Berlin Waterwork, and Christa Hecht Executive Director of the German Association of Public Water Operators. Hecht has been a driving force of the Blue Communities movement in German and was one of the main organizers of Barlow’s tour in Germany.

In 2013, Berlin made history by terminating a contract with Veolia for drinking water services Veolia. The city had previously bought back shares from the private consortium RWE after many years of strong public opposition to the privatization of drinking water services. Today the German city is taking it a step further through the Blue Communities Project.

Barlow was joined by the Lord Mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter at a public event at the Marienplatz. The Lord Mayor spoke out against the privatization of water and of the importance of the human right to water before officially pledging his city’s commitment to the Blue Communities Project.

The city first voted in favour of the Blue Communities Project in October 2017 through the leadership of the Munich Wasser Allianz, making it the first German Blue Community. Barlow’s visit allowed for the campaign to be officially and publicly announced.

The city of Marburg also voted to become a Blue Community in July 2018.

As Barlow notes, the Blue Communities Project in Germany is led by local community activists who aim to send a strong message about local opposition to the privatization of water services and the commodification of water resources.

Read more on the website of the Council of Canadians

Protecting rivers from dams and hydropower plants projects

Activists from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, France and Spain participated on 13 October 2018 in a workshop co-organised by the European Water Movement and the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation in Belgrade.

The main objective of this workshop was to think about how to protect the rivers and communities living nearby from dam and hydropower plant projects with high environmental and social impacts.

Workshop Dams


Berlin has become Blue Community - a very special World Water Day

Today, by resolution of the House of Representatives, Berlin became a “Blue Community” on the occasion of World Water Day 2018.

The State of Berlin thus commits to truly implement the human right to water and basic sanitation within the city, and thus to make drinking water fountains and toilets extensively available free of charge in public areas. Additional principles include maintaining the water supply as a public good, protecting Berlin’s rivers, canals and lakes, cultivating international partnerships and promoting the use of tap water instead of bottled water. The last of these points is especially appropriate for projects in schools and universities, which is why the Senate specifically highlighted educational work in the field of water in its resolution. Such work ranges from explaining the quality of our tap water compared to many bottled waters (which, tests have shown, are of inferior quality), includes the avoidance of plastic waste and extends through to explaining the water footprint, particularly with respect to water in many of the foods and goods that we import from countries of the South.


Veolia, Suez, Aqualia and Aguas de Valencia embroiled in several corruption cases in Europe

Veolia, Suez, Aqualia and Aguas de Valencia were selected by the Toulouse metropolitan government in October 2017 to present their bids for two concession contracts; one for the production and distribution of drinking water and the other for sanitation.

However, these four private companies are embroiled in several corruption cases for the award of public and concessions contracts elsewhere in Europe.


Declaration of organizations and movements for the co-operative management of the Thessaloniki water by citizens


Citizens of Thessaloniki,

now that the processes of water privatization (EYATH, EYDAP) are moving again,
now that it was clearly perceived the illusion that the assignment of our affairs to third parties (parties, governments and all kinds of power) can provide solutions for the benefit of citizens,
now it's time for us all to realize that if we do not get the citizens themselves the management of the water in our hands, no one will save us!