Contribution from the European Water Movement to the Irish Independent Water Commission

Dear Mr. Kevin Duffy,

The European Water movement is an open, inclusive and pluralistic network of movements, social organizations, committees and trade unions at the European level that aims to reinforce the recognition of water as a commons and access to water and sanitation as a fundamental universal right, an essential element for all living beings. In that sense, the members of the European Water Movement have followed quite closely the debate about water charges in Ireland. We are deeply worried about how the Troika has imposed rules that threaten the Human Right to Water and Sanitation and that lead to privatise water management across Europe. Therefore, we would like to share with you some reflexions.

We welcome the creation of the independent Commission in Ireland and we wish more similar efforts will be made at the European level.


Reversing The Tide: Spain Moves Into Water Remunicipalization

Just one year ago we were arguing about how Spain was still resisting the last wave of water privatization, as a result of austerity policies and debt, seasoned with corruption scandals.

But as a result of the local and regional elections a year ago, the tide changed. As a reaction to the long-term crisis, attacks to public services and corruption in traditional parties, many citizen movements organized to run for the elections, with great success in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Ferrol, Santiago, Cádiz, Coruña and Valencia, among others.

One of the key achievements of those movements was to introduce in the public sphere the debate on how to manage public services, like water. By the end of 2015, 57 percent of the population in Spain received their tap water from a private operator. One of the most worrying consequences is that more than 500,000 families receive water cut off warnings every year, according to data from the Spanish public water companies association.

Valladolid, a city of around 300,000 inhabitants and capital of the northwestern region of Castilla y León, took the first big move a few weeks ago. The local government announced that the city would recover public control of water management, 20 years after the privatization of Aguas de Valladolid, when the contract expires in July 2017. Aguas de Valladolid is now part of the AGBAR-Suez group.

Read more on the blog of Food & Water Europe

How water supply in Germany would be affected by CETA, TTIP and TiSA

Note: The summary below is about the potential effects of the currently prepared EU trade/investment agreements CETA, TTIP and TiSA in regards to public water supply. The summary shows the results of a survey relating to the provisions on water supply, sanitation and wastewaster disposal services in these agreements. The survey is based on papers that have been officially published by the EU Commission as well as a continuous and in-depth investigation beginning in 2013. The survey is being complemented by five sheets relating to technical basics and offering reading aid for the texts and annexes of the agreements. The survey was accompanied by a close and continuous exchange with academical and institutional experts including the BDEW German Association of Energy and Water Industries. The summary below is focussed only on water supply and leaves out sanitation and wastewater disposal services. Explanations on technical terms can be found in the survey.Due to given capacity this survey is only available in German on the website of Stadtwerke Karlsruhe. It is noted that the following summary represents the view of Stadtwerke Karlsruhe and that mistakes cannot be ruled out. It is meant to be a contribution to an objective debate and increased understanding of the agreements regarding water supply. In regards to TiSA no conclusions can be drawn as no current information is available. Non-commercial use of the summary is permitted as long as the source is quoted and a This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The pdf file of the summary


The overexploitation of ground water in the South Western Vosges by Nestlé Waters and the Ermitage cheese dairy

An environmental disaster and obvious conflicts of interest implicating Nestlé

These two agribusinesses, which use 50% of water resources, have been responsible for at least 30 years of permanent deficits (in the order of 1.3 million cubic meters per year) in the underground water basin called the « Vosges Sandstones ».

The three environmental associations sitting on the Local Water Commission condemn the solutions proposed by this commission: water savings by households, no savings by industry and a massive transfer of water on a distance of 30 to 50 kilometres (the Suez group is in charge of this study). Without any assessment of the environmental impacts and despite climate change warnings, the Vosges Departmental Council has already provisionally funded a first phase of the works in March 2016.


How the new Greek Super-Fund affects water services

With this press release, SaveGreekWater attempts to investigate the consequences of the to-be-approved multi bill, on the Greek water services EYATH and EYDAP.

As John Locke, one of the Enlightenment founders, so our initiative believes that “the actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts”. After addressing this quote to those in power as well as to those who should control them, we consider it our duty that one of our “actions” should be to inform our fellow citizens.

In an effort to pierce through the uproar of misleading screaming voices and shifting of focus which constitute nowadays the greek “public sphere”, with this press release, we attempt to investigate the consequences of the to-be-approved multi bill, on the Greek water services since EYATH and EYDAP are both mentioned in an article in appendix D of the bill which establishes, among others, a “Super-Fund”, entitled “Hellenic Company of Assets and Participations S.A. (HCAP).

In the draft of the bill (Article 198), EYATH and EYDAP appear among those publicly controlled companies which will be transferred in their entirety to EDHS (“Company of Public Paticipations S.A.”) within “a next period of time”, with EDHS being founded at the same bill and described as one of the subsidiaries of the new “Super- Fund”.