The rush to privatize water continues unencumbered, despite its unpopularity among residents worldwide who are affected by it. Countries faced with large debts are forced by the World Bank and IMF to privatize water. Water deregulation is a common demand of the World Bank and IMF as part of their loan conditions. In 2000, out of 40 IMF loans distributed through the International Finance Corporation, 12 had requirements of partial or full privatization of water supplies.
They also insisted on the creation of policies to stimulate "full cost recovery" and the elimination of subsidies. African governments, such as Ghana, increasingly give in to pressures for water privatization. In Ghana, the World Bank and IMF policies forced the sale of water at market rate, requiring the poor to spend up to 50 percent of their earnings on water purchases.
As Vandana Shiva writes in Water Wars, "The water crisis is the most pervasive, most severe, and most invisible dimension of the ecological devastation of the earth."
This is from the amazingly comprehensive Water is Life "class website on water privatization and commodification, produced by students of Geography 378 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA, May 2004." They have a huge amount of information and links on water privatization, check it out.