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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

Cameroon Water Back in Public Hands

01 May 2018

On May Day 2018, Cameroon celebrates not only the gains made by workers and trade unions over the years, but can also celebrate the end of a ten-year experiment with privatisation of water services management. May 1st 2018 is the day that the government of Cameroon regains control of its water utility.

On World Water Day Nigerians protest against water privatisation

23 March 2018

In Lagos Nigeria, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth led protest actions on some major streets in continued campaigns to kick against plans by the Lagos State Government to privatize its water. PSI Nigerian affiliate the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service and Recreational Services Employees participated in the protest.

Marching for Quality Water: PSI Affiliates in Kenya march to promote water safety on World Water Day 2018

23 March 2018

Through the streets of Nairobi, over 300 trade unionists from PSI affiliates, dressed in matching shirts and carrying placards with messages concerning the protection of water, poured onto the streets to celebrate World Water Day.

The End of Water Privatisation?

22 March 2018

Across the world, a wave of remunicipalisations has delivered water services back into public hands, often after decades of private mismanagement.

The Alternative World Water Forum has begun!

20 March 2018

Academics, social movements, trade unions and civil society organisations are meeting in Brasilia until 22 March to discuss how to resist the commodification of water in the world.

Jakarta Closer to Regaining Public Control of Water

12 February 2018
Photo: Indah Budiarti

Jakarta vice-governor Sandiaga Uno met with an international delegation including PSI Deputy General Secretary David Boys, Satoko Kishimoto, researcher with the Transnational Institute and former deputy mayor of Paris and former head of Eau de Paris Anne Le Strat.

Lagos water Workshop: "claims that PPP is not privatization should not be believed”

08 February 2018

A heightening campaign among trade unions is pushing back against the Adiyan Phase II Water Scheme which constitutes a major threat on the security of water of Nigeria’s capital.

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.

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.

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.

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.