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  • 2019.11.11 Monday
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  • by スポンサードリンク


Water Supply Business

    The Abe Cabinet is planning to privatize the water supply. Considering the negative consequences which have occurred in foreign countries, I’m definitely opposed to this policy.                                                                              The water supply has been operated by local governments as public entities. Recently, the finances of such public utilities have been suffering under the burden of increasingly high maintenance costs for facilities as well as the decreasing revenue from reducing water demand as the population shrinks.                                                                             According to the Water Privatization Bill, both tap water and sewerage systems would be owned by local governments, but managed by private firms. This system is called the concession method. Already in August last year, Hamamatsu City sold its sewerage operation to a private company mainly controlled by the French conglomerate “Veolia” for 2.5 billion yen (about 22 million US dollars).                                                                                                                                                   Paris privatized its water supply system in 1984. In the following year, its water bill skyrocketed by 265%. Consequently, its water utility was re-socialized in 2010.                                                                              In Manila, the Philippines, the water bill soared by 5 times in 1997, and lines of children who had to draw water from wells appeared. In South Africa, due to the surge of the water bill, over 10 million people became unable to utilize the tap water.                                                                              The most tragic case was Bolivia. The World Bank, which is controlled by the U.S., made a loan on the condition that the water supply in its third city, Cochabamba, be privatized. After the water supply business was sold to a subsidy of U.S. conglomerate Bechtel in 1999, the water bill more than tripled. Riots occurred, and tens of people were injured and 6 were killed. As a result, the American company withdrew, and the water supply system was returned to public control.                                                                              In the U.K., its water supply was privatized under the Thatcher administration during the 1980s. The British government organized 3 regulatory departments to monitor the water quality and the bill, and to receive complaints from the residents. However, the water supply business operated in the red, transferring their revenues to tax heavens, and skirting infrastructure investments for maintenance. The water bill tripled while the leak frequency increased due to the decay of the pipes. Various survey showed that 60 to 70% of British citizens hoped to re-socialize their water supply in the near future.                                                                              In Berlin, the water supply business was re-socialized by 2013. It cost more than 1.2 billion euros (1.37 billion US dollars).                                                                             A British-based research center reported that the water supply was re-socialized in 235 areas in 37 countries. Once a water supply is privatized, it’s difficult to reinstate the original system, and it takes considerable time and effort. The Abe Cabinet had better not privatized our water supply any time soon.


  • 2019.11.11 Monday
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  • 23:54
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  • by スポンサードリンク


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