Mexico: Demands surfacing for water

Environmental issues scarcely make the top of the news unless a disaster occurs, such as Hurricane Stan, or unless a homicide claims an activist, such as Parota Dam opponent Tomás Cruz Zamora.

So it is not surprising that the Mexican Coalition of Organizations for the Right to Water attracted little attention with its Oct. 11 debut.

But the minimal coverage belies the groundswell of interest in water issues that is building in the lead-up to the World Bank’s Fourth World Water Forum set for March in Mexico City. The 16 groups that recently founded the coalition will sponsor an alternative to the event, featuring a tribunal that will bring to task three cases of water mismanagement in the hemisphere.

The main concerns of the water activists are unfair distribution of water, privatization of water services, and lack of mechanisms guaranteeing public participation in water decisions.

This is a worldwide issue and struggle. Large corporations, aided and abetted by the World Bank, want to privatize water. Inevitably the price of water goes up and the quality goes down when public water is privatized. Access to clean, low cost water is a right. It shouldn’t be controlled by corporations who only care about making a profit. 

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