Spronk, Susan J. “The Politics of Water Privatization in the Third World.” Review of Radical Political Economics 39: (Winter 2007): 126-131

This image was found on an online open journal discussing the privatization of water. It accurately depicts the injustice of charging for a natural resource essential for all life.

Susan J. Spronk of York University compares several different literary sources of events of the privatization of water in Third World countries by wealthy private companies.  She describes the original good intentions of the act to bring water to the poorer populations previously unable to attain fresh and clean water, but also the corruption that occurred in the end.   Most of the efforts resulted in the main goal being to make money rather than focusing on the basic human needs.

Spronk strongly agrees with the need for alternatives that focus more on the citizens than the profits of the privatization companies attempting to exploit them.  She describes the 1999 Water Wars in Cochabamba, Bolivia in which a multinational company was granted a contract to privatize the water system.  When the Bolivian population learned that the corporation was given all rights to the water, they rebelled.  They refused to pay the ridiculous rise in water bills and demanded the control of water be returned to the people.  Now, the community elects members of the general population to serve on the board of directors to “democratize the management of the local water system” (131).

Susan Spronk provides a reliable source of information as a PhD candidate focusing on the politics of neoliberal water privatization in Bolivia.  While the majority of the article focuses on the disadvantages of multinational private corporations controlling water supply in Third World countries, she uses Cochabamba Water Wars as a successful example of how a poorer and underdeveloped community can band together to overpower big companies solely interested in making a personal profit.

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