Everyone knows that water is the stuff of life. But is it best viewed as a commodity or as part of the commons? Should providing safe, affordable water be the role of governments, corporations, or partnerships between the two? On Tuesday, July 13 (dates may vary for local stations), the PBS show P.O.V. is airing “Thirst,” a documentary by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman that addresses these and other issues about water privatization. In partnership with P.O.V., Grist is hosting a week-long debate on the merits of water privatization between Peter Cook, executive director of the National Association of Water Companies, and Maude Barlow and Sara Ehrhardt, anti-privatization activists with the Council of Canadians.
We would like to begin by thanking you for your comments. While we, too, would like to work toward solutions to address the water challenges that we face, we simply cannot accept the “water customer” approach that you have presented throughout this discussion. This approach presents water as an economic resource to be managed by market forces, and fails to acknowledge water as a shared social and environmental resource ... Read more