Vast numbers of people have no access to safe drinking water, and even more lack any kind of effective sanitation. Most of the world's water supply remains in public ownership. Neither drought nor flood is as much a meteorological phenomenon as it is the result of mismananagement. So is privatisation the route to solving this most urgent of problems? The authors argue that, on the contrary, neoliberal economics and the power structures responsible for widening global inequalities are blocking the way to progress towards universal provision of safe water and effective sanitation. Behind these malign influences stands the growing power of the European Union and the corporations in whose interests it operates. On the basis of an analysis of the political economy of water and of the European Union's policies, Poisoned Spring will place the problem of water supply in the broad context of corporate control of the world's resources.
Kartika Liotard was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and represents the Socialist Party of the Netherlands, which is affiliated to the United European Left group of MEPs. She is a member of the parliamentary committees on the Environment and Public Health, on Agriculture and on Women's Rights. Before her election she worked as a legal advisor to a department of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture. Steven P. McGiffen works for the United Left Group in the European Parliament. He is also an advisor to the Socialist Party of the Netherlands and editor of Spectre, a radical left on-line magazine. He has worked within the European Parliament since 1986.
Introduction 1 Drought and Deprivation 2 Flood 3 Conflict and Cooperation 4 It Never Rains But It Pours: Climate Change, Water Shortage, and Flood 5 The European Union Within its Borders: Why privatisation? The ideology behind the theft of public property 6 European Union Within Its Borders, Part 2: The Water Framework Directive 7 The European Union Beyond Its Borders 8 A Better Water Policy is Possible Bibliography Index