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By Fedrik Segerfeldt

This publication indicates why the protesters are flawed and the way extra reforms may keep the hundreds of thousands of lives and enhance the lives of hundred of others.

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Extra info for Water for Sale: How Business and the Market Can Resolve the World's Water Crisis

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A 10 percent improvement in the distribution of water to agriculture would double the world’s potable water supply. Here is another example: Tomato growing by traditional irrigation requires 40 percent more water than with drip irrigation. 71 If water costs what it is really worth, 48 WATER FOR SALE instead of being subsidized, farmers are very likely to make investments aimed at reducing the amount of water needed for food production. One very clear example of the perverse effects of mistaken water pricing comes from California.

Quite simply, neither the public sector nor local private-sector firms have enough money to finance the investments needed. In a report compiled by the World Water Council, an international think-tank whose membership includes international organizations, governments, NGOs, and the private sector, it was estimated that over the next 25 years as much as $180 billion per annum would have to be invested, mostly in developing and transitional countries, to guarantee universal access to safe water and Shortage of Good Policies, Not of Water 19 sanitation.

It depends on the kind of comparison we choose to make. First, though, it has to be made clear that a distinction ought to be made between discussing political versus market-driven pricing and, on the other hand, discussing private versus public water. These are two different issues. Placing water distribution in private hands does not necessarily mean the price will be determined by the market. There is nothing to stop politicians from still controlling the price of water supplied under private auspices.

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