100 signatures reached
To: Enda Kenny - Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland
Stop the Privatisation of Irish Water
In support of the Irish people in their fight against the privatisation of Ireland's water which is a natural resource, we call on the Irish Government stop this robbery. The Irish government does not have a mandate to sell off any natural resources which belong to the Irish state and therefore it's people. We call on the Irish diaspora throughout the world and people from other nations to support us. Access to water is a human right!
Why is this important?
The commercialisation of water and the setting up of the Irish Water company has been a huge problem from the very beginning. Irish Water has already created a costly burden on our public funds and it has caused huge anger among the people.
The government cannot use the excuse of Troika (ECB, IMF and EU) to continue the project of privatising and charging for water. We have to fight to stop the Irish Water project and instead create a public works programme to fix our old water infrastructure. This is the only action to take if the government claims to aim to save water wastage and tackle any future water shortage.
Water charges will be driven by the profit ambitions and targets and not by a proper democratic, need basis management.
The poorest people will be hit the most by the water charges. It is not a progressive charge. Irish Water will continuously manipulate the prices to achieve the target profits. People who can’t pay their water bills will be left without running water.
We can survive without many things we use today and take them for granted but the same is not true for our water.
According to the World Bank predictions by 2025, nearly two-thirds of countries will be water-stressed and 2.4 billion people will face absolute water scarcity. This is on top Oxfam’s estimate of 85 richest people in the world having more wealth than 3.5 billion people.
No wonder that Fortune Magazine describes water as “Water will be to the 21st Century what oil was to the 20th”. During the 20thcentury and beyond oil made billions of profit for multinational corporations, and now water has a similar potential for hungry profit-makers of the world.
However much a free-natural resource, water is becoming increasingly a class issue where the rich of the world want to own and sell it to anyone who can afford it while the taps of the poor will run dry.
No wonder the CEO of Nestle says that water is not a human right but a product that needs to be sold and bought. Who sells it? Nestlé… Who has to buy it? Us, the people… Whose resource is it? Our resource, the people’s resource… Who makes the profits? Nestlé’s CEO for his shareholders.
We, the people know the value of water. We don’t waste it beyond our essential needs. What about the multinationals operating in Africa, India, Asia, taking away the fresh water sources from the people and causing man-made disasters and suffering, do they know about these and what purpose do they use the fresh water in those countries?
According to the United Nations, by the year 2025, as much as two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in conditions of serious water shortage and one-third will be living in conditions of absolute water scarcity. For this reason, the vice-president of the World Bank has said, “the wars of the next century will be about water."
Where most people see a humanitarian crisis requiring immediate changes in consumption patterns, conservation, environmental protections, and distribution, corporations see enormous profits.
As one Canadian water privatization company, Global Water Corporation, has said, “water has moved from being an endless commodity that may be taken for granted to a rationed necessity that may be taken by force.
Multinational corporations are using the WTO to increase their control over water by: (1) privatizing water services; (2) reducing the ability of governments to regulate corporate activity; and (3) exporting water to sell for a profit.[iii]
The only goal of any private company is to maximize its profits for its shareholders. Side effects of this objective, such as creating employment are only a means to achieve this goal. Maximising profits is achieved in many ways available to these companies.
Some of these are (1) Reduction of costs in terms of cutting workers’ wages and terms and conditions; (2) reducing essential controls and measures for quality and safety; and (3) controlling and increasing prices. Selling water is not any different to other things they sell. There is nothing different in the business of water, except the lack of safety, unavailability and high prices will be a huge direct negative impact to our society.
If this can happen to us in Ireland, it can happen to you wherever you are.