How can there be water wars, look at the water in the oceans and seas etc etc? That's the usual response one gets to a discussion started on this topic. But in 2006 history was created in Bolivia as t he cabinet of its first indigenous President, Evo Morales, was sworn in. For those concerned with the privatisation of water this cabinet was seriously significant. The President comes from Cochabamba, the city of the now famous "water wars" . The charge of the ministry for water went to one of the leaders of El ALto's struggle against a french water company. this was later privatised and handed over to aguas del illimani (AISA) a subsidiary of Suez. they got concessions including soft loans and assured rate of return, so what happened ?? these guys hiked the connection charges steeply, leaving thousands of peole without any choice/chance of getting access to water...
In India, look at Gurgaon, at the edge of the desert and the government allows people to draw water from private tube wells. how is this possible how can ground water be made a perosnal private property? The person who owns the land owns the water belwo the land even though te boundaries of the ground water storage may go beyond the person's lands. this has given rise to well developed water markets. water supply through private tankers too has been part and parcel of indian life since long. looking from a slightly different angle, the prevention of dalits from using certain water facilities in the villages liuke wells, ponds, and so on is also a form of privatisation- the owners in this case being the so called higher castes.
another commodification of water has been the burgeoning of the bottled water industry in india. it had already grown to huge proportions in the west ut in a country where it is considered punya karma to give water to the thirsty and people set up drinking water booths in the summer as part of their dharma,t he rapid spread of the bottled water market is a bit of apradox tht illustrates the power of the market.
look at india again, the government (int heir usual blind bat manner) announced a policy of opening the power sector to private players and part of this was hydropower sector being opned to the private players. so what happens virgin forest start disappearing, projects like the Malana, and Baspa projects in HP, Vishnuprayag project in Uttaranchal amongst several others.