A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The mega-banks and investing powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Macquarie Bank, Barclays Bank, the Blackstone Group, Allianz, and HSBC Bank, among others, are consolidating their control over water.
By “water,” it includes water rights (i.e., the right to tap groundwater, aquifers, and rivers), land with bodies of water on it or under it (i.e., lakes, ponds, and natural springs on the surface, or groundwater underneath), desalination projects, water-purification and treatment technologies (e.g., desalination, treatment chemicals and equipment), irrigation and well-drilling technologies, water and sanitation services and utilities, water infrastructure maintenance and construction (from pipes and distribution to all scales of treatment plants for residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal uses), water engineering services (e.g., those involved in the design and construction of water-related facilities), and retail water sector (such as those involved in the production, operation, and sales of bottled water, water vending machines, bottled water subscription and delivery services, water trucks, and water tankers).
Whilst the millionaires are fighting for control, governments are moving fast to limit citizens' ability to be water self-sufficient. Ordinary citizens are criminalised when collecting rainwater from the ponds of the land they own. It is strange how wealthy elitists can own aquifers and lakes, when others cannot collect water from their private land.
But unfortunately, the global water and infrastructure-privatization fever is unstoppable: many local and state governments are suffering from revenue shortfalls and are under financial and budgetary strains. The elite multinational and Wall Street banks and investment banks have been preparing and waiting for this golden moment for years.
“Water is the oil of the 21st century.” Andrew Liveris, The Economist magazine.