Austerity Measures in Europe and the Right to Water

In July 2010 the United Nations General Assembly finally adopted resolution 64/292 recognizing the human right to water and sanitation. In order to ensure that the newly recognized right served as a tool for social movements and frontline communities, Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians and Blue Planet Project) wrote and released the report: Our Right to Water: A Peoples' Guide to implementing the United Nation's Recognition of Water and Sanitation as a Human Right. (available in EN, FR, ES, PT)

As part of a series of reports as additional chapters to Our Right to Water, several reports examine the status of the human right to water and sanitation from the frontlines of struggles across the globe. They provide insight and analysis into how our allies around the world are promoting the human right to water and sanitation in their countries against a backdrop of land grabs, mining injustice, economic austerity and environmental racism. 

Our Right to Water: Case Studies on Austerity and Privatization in Europe

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Our Right to Water

In July 2010 the United Nations General Assembly finally adopted resolution 64/292 recognizing the human right to water and sanitation.

Various useful reports on the Right to Water and Privatization:

1. In order to ensure that the newly recognized right served as a tool for social movements and frontline communities, Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians and Blue Planet Project) wrote and released the report: Our Right to Water: A Peoples' Guide to implementing the United Nation's Recognition of Water and Sanitation as a Human Right. (available in EN, FR, ES, PT) 

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Remunicipalization of Water

1. Remunicipalisation: Putting Water Back in Public Hands

Cities worldwide are experiencing the failures of water privatisation. Unequal access, broken promises, environmental hazards and scandalous profit margins are prompting municipalities to take back control of this essential service. Water ‘remunicipalisation’ is a new, exciting trend that this book explores at length. Case studies analyse the transition from private to public water provision in Paris, Dar es Salaam, Buenos Aires and Hamilton, as well as look at a national level experiment in Malaysia. The journey toward better public water illustrates the benefits and challenges of municipal ownership, while at the same time underlining the stranglehold of international financial institutions and the legacies of corporate control.

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Water for the recovery of the climate – A new water paradigm

Presentation of the book "Water for the recovery of the climate: a new water paradigm" freely available on the website of waterparadigm.org

The circulation of water in nature takes place through the large and small water cycles. Humanity, through its activities and systematic transformation of natural land into cultured land, accelerates the runoff of rainwater from land. Limiting evaporation and the infiltration of water into the soil decreases the supply of water to the small water cycle. The equilibrium of the water balance in the small water cycle is thus disturbed and it gradually starts to break down over land.

If there is insufficient water in the soil, on its surface and in plants, immense flows of solar energy cannot be transformed into the latent heat of water evaporation but are instead changed into sensible heat. The surface of the ground soon overheats, and as a result, a breakdown in the supply of water from the large water cycle arises over the affected land. Local processes over huge areas inhabited and exploited by human beings are changed into global processes and with processes that occur without the assistance of human beings; together they create the phenomenon known as global climate change. The part of global climate change caused by human activities then is largely based on the drainage of water from the land, the consequent rise in temperature differences triggering off mechanisms which cause a rise in climatic extremes. The disruption of the small water cycle is accompanied by growing extremes in the weather, a gradual drop in groundwater reserves, more frequent flooding, longer periods of drought and an increase in the water shortage in the region.

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