Private rivers

Will Transnational water companies swallow El Salvador’s water supply?

The office of SETA, El Salvador’s water workers union, sits like a mouse at the elephant’s feet. The union’s plain, two room office sits next door to the huge, block-long two story building which is the headquarters for El Salvador’s national water company, ANDA (National Water and Sewage Administration). Inside the SETA office, union reps equipped with an old computer and chairs with broken rollers are bracing for a fight against government attempts to privatize their industry. Representatives for SETA say losing the fight could mean the “extinction” of their union and limits on Salvadoran’s access to clean water.

The battle for clean, public, low-priced water is worldwide. This is just one more example. Multinational water companies working together with the World Bank often force water privatization as terms for their onerous loans. It’s the people, especially poor people who then suffer. Water quality worsens as prices soar, often making it impossible for them to afford water. Capitalism steals one of their most precious resources from them.