World Water Forum to get controversial kickoff this week in Mexico City

If you’re going to be in Mexico City on Thursday, don’t drink the water. Oh, and you might want to swing by the World Water Council’s not-very-creatively-named World Water Forum — or a protest march timed to coincide with its opening. Dozens of government ministers, hundreds of water companies, and thousands of other water-interested folks from countries around the world are expected to attend the triennial gathering. While the theme “Local Actions for Global Change” and the hundreds of planned water-related sessions may sound benign, the forum is being boycotted by numerous nongovernmental organizations that claim the agenda is to privatize water resources. Mexico City provides a creepily apt backdrop for a controversial water forum: Many of the city’s 20 million residents have as little as one hour of running water per week, wastewater goes largely untreated, and the entire city is rapidly sinking on the aquifer that it’s furiously pumping dry. Ironical, dude.