Water and sanitation

Clean water and sanitation – recently recognised by the United Nations as basic human rights – are critical to good health. They help prevent disease. Yet billions of people have no ready access to safe water. It is an essential service that governments must provide to protect their citizens and serve their common good. Read more here

Trade Unions and Civil Society Welcome the Introduction of the Human Right to Water into the Constitution of Slovenia

11 January 2017

Last November, the National Assembly of Slovenia passed an amendment to its Constitution to include a new article that recognizes the Human Right to Water. The amendment affirms water should be treated as a public good managed by the state, not as a commodity, and that drinking water must be supplied by the public sector on a not-for-profit basis.

Nigeria Water : UN expert calls for budget plans to tackle 'unacceptable' water crisis in Lagos

22 December 2016

A United Nations expert has urged the authorities in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, to ensure the 2017 budget improves funding for water and sanitation access for the estimated 21 million residents.

Report Launch: Lagos Water Crisis

14 November 2016

The Our Water Our Right coalition, fighting privatisation of water in Lagos (Nigeria), stepped up the pressure by releasing a report called "Lagos water crisis: Alternative roadmap for water sector". This new publication critiques the history of poor public administration, picks apart the deficiencies of decades of World Bank driven privatisation policies, and presents the way forward for the city administration to implement human rights obligations by ensuring universal access to water for all Lagosians. 

 

New documentary highlights aggressive efforts by Troika and corporations to privatise Greek public water

12 October 2016

A new documentary, released today, titled “Something in the water” reveals the web of special interests, diplomatic ties and corporate influence behind the privatisation of Greece's public services.

Mauritius public sector unions launch national campaign against water privatisation

27 September 2016
Mauritius against water privatisation

PSI affiliates in Mauritius launch joint campaign following announcements by the Public Utilities Minister that privatisation of the Central Water Authority was unavoidable and, more recently, that water rates will be increased. The increase could be as high as 20-30% according to some reports.

PSI addresses UN/World Bank high level panel on water

12 September 2016

PSI emphasizes benefits of public water operation, need for tax justice to fund public services at UN High Level Panel on Water.

PSI at the Stockholm World Water Week

27 August 2016
Stockholm WWWeek

PSI Deputy General Secretary David Boys is invited to speak on two panels at the 2016 Stockholm Water Week.

Tell the World Bank to stop promoting water privatization

16 June 2016
Photo: Kate Holt - Africa Practice - Creative Commons
PSI is working with a number of allies to put pressure on the World Bank to stop promoting water privatization under the disguise of public private partnerships (PPPs). Send a letter to the World Bank Executive Director representing your country asking that the World Bank end all support for water privatization!

Water and Sanitation are Human Rights, NOW!

21 March 2016
logo

On 22 March, PSI celebrated World Water Day. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 requires that governments ensure universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. However, we are seeing a new push for public-private partnerships (PPPs). We know that PPPs fail to deliver social and environmental targets, and PSI will help affiliates block this approach. We call for a rights-based approach, with public finance and management in the interests of all.

India: Coalition unites to block PPP water privatization schemes

25 January 2016

According to Corporate Accountability International, groups plan a series of escalating events to expose the truth about Nagpur’s failed PPP water privatization scheme promoted by the Modi government and World Bank. A group of trade unions in India is addressing a global petition to the World Bank.

Sign the petition against water privatisation in India

23 December 2015

A group of trade unions in India is addressing a petition to the World Bank, calling on them to end their promotion and financial support of all forms of water privatisation and acknowledge the failures behind it.

Government of Peru tries to silence union leader

02 December 2014
Luis Isarra - FENTAP General Secretary

PSI is urgently calling for letters of protest to be sent to the Peruvian Minister of Labour in support of Luis Isarra (FENTAP General Secretary) whose permanent union leave has been abrogated by the Peruvian Government. This takes place just before COP20 when Luis Isarra is responsible for coordinating Peru's labour movement mobilisation for the summit.

Peru water privatisation - stop robbing workers and citizens of their rights

16 March 2014
Water

The global union federation Public Services International and our affiliate unions in Peru call on supporters around the world to send a strong message to the Peruvian government: ‘Don’t sell off Peru’s public water and sanitation services for private profit!’

Innovative non-profit water partnerships in ACP countries

02 December 2013

PSI is calling upon affiliates to sign on to letter sent to the EU Commissioner for Development expressing concern about the future of EU support for innovative non-profit partnerships in the Water sector in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP).

Letter to Thessaloniki water bidders

01 July 2013
water drop

Please support the letter to the investors and companies that wish to partake in the privatisation of the water company of Thessaloniki. We ask them to withdraw their bid as they are not wanted in Thessaloniki.

Implementing the Right to Water in the green economy

21 March 2012
Demonstration at the alternative water forum

Water Justice activists, including PSI unions, have successfully pushed the human right to water and sanitation (RTW) onto the global agenda. The UN General Assembly Resolution 64/292 of 2010 has set the standard for government obligations in ensuring universal access. Many national campaigns insist that governments adopt RTW and implement universal access to water and sanitation. Unions are working with a broad range of allies at global, regional, national and local levels.

It’s a matter of democracy – Vote to block water privatisation

12 June 2011

Public Services International requests urgent assistance from unions and NGOs to help overturn plans for water privatisation in Italy. We ask trade unions in specific countries and cities to spread this message encouraging expatriate Italians to vote in Italy’s upcoming referendum.

Lagos Water crisis: Alternative roadmap for public water sector

14 November 2016

The Our Water, Our Right coalition has released a new report entitled Lagos Water crisis: Alternative roadmap for public water sector promoting a solution to the critical situation of access to water in Lagos.

Policy brief EB-148 : Utilities

04 October 2016

This policy brief on utilities was produced for the PSI Executive Board EB-148 held at the ILO in Geneva (Switzerland) on 19-20 May 2016. Its objective is to inform EB-148 of activities in the utilities sector since the PSI Steering Committee SC-19 that took place in Geneva (Switzerland) in November 2015 and inform EB-148 of activities planned for 2016. The brief is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish and Japanese.

Logos for the World Water Day (WWD) 2016

19 March 2016

Logos for the World Water Day 2016 are available for download in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese in both JPG and PDF format.

Development Cooperation

17 March 2016

PSI provided input to an assessment from the water justice network of development cooperation support for the implementation of human rights. Development partners, including the World Bank, have violated human rights, including with their conditionalities for private sector participation. We call for the suspension of grant and loan programs which implicitly or explicitly promote PPP schemes. The implementation of Sustainable Development Goal #6 on water and sanitation presents opportunities to improve the practices of development partners. We point to the examples of public-public partnerships (PUPs), which are gaining in popularity but have not received adequate support from development partners – in part, because PUPs are not-for-profit. We also call for more rigorous measures to ensure that all rights holders can participate in decision-making.

PSI Report: Gender equality and water

17 March 2016

PSI submitted case studies from India, Kenya, Argentina and Ecuador on the gender implications of the human right to water and sanitation for the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. The studies touch on gender implications of legislation, public finance, participatory decision-making, and monitoring.

Our public water future: The global experience with remunicipalisation

18 April 2015

Privatisation on the backfoot as new book shows that the growing wave of cities putting water back under public control has now spread to 37 countries impacting 100 million people.

Publication: Why Public-Private Partnerships don’t work

17 March 2015
Why Public Private Partnerships don’t work

The new report Why Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) don’t work: The many advantages of the public alternative contains a combination of 30 years of research by David Hall, former Director of Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) University of Greenwich, UK.

The Unfair Cooperation Agreement on Water Privatisation

19 January 2015
The Unfair Cooperation Agreement on Water Privatisation

This leaflet on water privatization in Jakarta is the third in a series of four leaflets published by Public Services International, Transnational Institute, Amrta Institute for Water Literacy and Jakarta Water Trade Union.

The Reliable Performance of Public Water Services

19 January 2015
The Reliable Performance of Public Water Services

This leaflet on water privatization in Jakarta is the forth in a series of four leaflets published by Public Services International, Transnational Institute, Amrta Institute for Water Literacy and Jakarta Water Trade Union.

The impact of water services privatization in Jakarta

19 January 2015
The impact of water services privatization in Jakarta

This leaflet on water privatization in Jakarta is the second in a series of four leaflets published by Public Services International, Transnational Institute, Amrta Institute for Water Literacy and Jakarta Water Trade Union.

Troubled Waters: Misleading industry PR and the case for public water

15 December 2014

Emanuele Lobina of the PSI Research Unit (PSIRU) and author of a new report "Troubled Waters", commissioned by Corporate Accountability International, argues private water companies could spell disaster for the city's water system

COP20: The public option in green policies

09 December 2014
Windmills - Photo: Pablo LordFerguson (Creative Commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

As the UN Climate Change Summit, COP20, in Lima, Peru, draws to an end, PSI highlights the special role of local and national government structures in developing, implementing and monitoring green policies.

Here to stay: Water remunicipalisation as a global trend

01 December 2014
Here to stay

On 13 November 2014, the Transnational Institute (TNI), Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) and the Multinational Observatory released a new report called “Here to stay: Water remunicipalisation as a global trend”.

The work of the ants: Labour and community reinventing public water in Colombia

15 October 2014

Water services in Colombia’s rural and peri-urban areas have traditionally been delivered by a rich variety of autonomous community-owned aqueducts. This action-research project documents the struggles of one such community to preserve and reinforce its aqueduct as an alternative to both private and ‘state’ modes of service delivery.

India: Core labour standards not implemented in ADB funded projects

02 September 2014
India - Sewage treatment plant, Kavoor, Mangalore, India. Photo: ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Handbook on Core Labour Standards 2005, committed to comply with the internationally recognized core labour standards (CLS) and related labour laws in the design, formulation and operation of its loans to the developing countries. However the workers in the projects have identified union busting, harassment or physical violence against unions and discrimination and dismissals and other work-related anti-union/worker actions etc. in the projects and the compliance according to the CLS handbook is not strictly observed.

Seminar on the Human Right to Water (Vatican city)

02 December 2016
Human right to water

Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary will take part in a seminar on the human right to water which will take place on 23 and 24 February at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City.

PSI at the Stockholm World Water Week

27 August 2016
Stockholm WWWeek

PSI Deputy General Secretary David Boys is invited to speak on two panels at the 2016 Stockholm Water Week.

Water for All

30 March 2015

PSI affiliate, the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU) and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) are organising an international forum to seek alternatives to privatisation policies and to strengthen public water services.

Uruguay celebrates ten years of constitutional reform in defence of water

10 October 2014
Por el agua

On 9 October, the people of Uruguay celebrated the tenth anniversary of the victorious referendum in defence of water that forced a change to the constitution. Amendments to the constitution recognised water as a basic human right and made it impossible to privatise water resources and services.

World Water Day

22 March 2014

PSI Global Energy Meeting

24 September 2013

PSI unions will deal with the major challenges facing workers in energy and develop strategies to organise and mobilise in-country, by region and globally. We will ask 4-5 unions to help develop the agenda.

World Water Day

22 March 2013

PSI’s 29th World Congress in Durban, South Africa, 27-30 November 2012

22 November 2012

As part of its World Congress events, PSI is holding a series of pre-congress meetings on key issues.

6th World Water Forum and Alternative Water Forum

08 March 2012
Alternative water forum logo

Unions from 30 countries will gather in Marseille, France to express loud and clear their concerns about water policies.  The occasion is the triennial World Water Forum –WWF6, a corporate tradeshow which masquerades as a global policy arena.  The water forum was the brainchild of the French multinational corporations Veolia and Suez, in cahoots with the World Bank, created back when privatisation was the only solution for getting water to poor people in developing countries.  Now, the gloss is off the rose, and only the sharp spines are left.

The PSI messages at WWF6 include:

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference

31 January 2011

The primary objective of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference is to bring together a broad range of stakeholders from the water, energy and food sectors in an effort to improve understanding of the interdependencies and develop a joint perspective on the common challenges.

Each one teach one

31 January 2011

The “Each One Teach One” WOP conference is an opportunity for those who are interested in beginning a new WOP with partners in the North or partners in the South. It will be an interesting meeting point for policy makers and water operators on capacity development for our ultimate goal: Universal access to drinking water and sanitation in a safe environment.

OECD Global Forum on Environment: Making Water Reform Happen

31 January 2011

Well-managed water systems are a fundamental policy goal for all countries and can be an important driver for green growth.

Video: Why Public-Private Partnerships don’t work

16 March 2015

In this video, PSI Deputy General Secretary David Boys introduces the new publication “Why Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) don’t work” by Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU).

Video: Water and power: are public services still public?

10 February 2015

This new video by the Municipal Services Project examines the question of corporatisation and how it can affect public services, specifically in the energy and water sectors.

Video: Stop water privatisation in Nagpur

15 December 2014

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation Employees Union is running a major campaign against the privatisation of water in the City of Nagpur as explained by Brother Jammu Anand, President of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation Employees Union, in a video.

Video: The fightback against austerity

07 July 2014

Public Services International (PSI), the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), together with our affiliate unions, ADEDY, and allies in Greece brought together a team of expert union journalists and communicators. This solidarity exchange enabled PSI communicators from other countries to learn more about the issues facing Greek trade unionists and share this understanding with their union members and communities around the world.

Audio: RadioLabour interview - Stopping the privatization of water supply

21 March 2014

David Boys - Deputy General SecretaryGiant multinationals are trying to privatize publicly-owned water supply systems. The latest attempt is in Peru. A RadioLabour interview with David Boys, the Deputy General-Secretary of Public Services International, the PSI.
Duration: 8'59"

Video: Something's up with the water

04 March 2014

New advertising campaign taps into public support to keep water as a public good

Video: Defending public water in Greece

21 December 2013

Public workers who deliver water services in Athens and Thessaloniki are working with community allies, including “Save Greek Water,” and EPSU - the European arm of Public Services International, to keep public water systems in public hands. The government is trying to privatise and sell off these vital services under austerity measures.

David Boys of PSI at GWOPA’s global forum

02 December 2013

David Boys, Public Service International’s (PSI) deputy general secretary, talks to Akvo's Mark Charmer and challenges theories that market-based financing is the right approach for financing water utilities around the world at the Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance’s (GWOPA) global forum that took place in Barcelona from 27-29 November 2013.

Putting Water Back into Public Hands - Remunicipalisation

18 March 2013

An inspiring video animation about how cities are reversing water privatisation to regain public control.

Photos: Strike in India - Feb 2013

22 February 2013

An estimated 100 million workers took to the streets for a two-day strike organised by national trade union centres in India. PSI affiliated unions representing workers in the electricity, defense, water and municipal sectors were there in force.

Bankable versus taxable

04 November 2011

Interview with David Boys (Public Services International and appointed to the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation - UNSGAB) at the Water Operators' Partnerships conference in Amsterdam, 2 November 2011.

Video: World Social Forum Dakar 2011

28 June 2011

PSI utilities officer David Boys tells us about the nature and mechanisms of worldwide privatization of key public services such as water, energy, waste treatment and pension funds in an interview at the 2011 World Social Forum in Dakar.

The Way Forward - Voices from the Global Water Operator Partnership Alliance

22 March 2011

GWOPA brings together public water operators, trade unions, workers and civil society on a platform to discuss, learn and develop model practices for the provision of fair and equal access to public water.