under the radar

The world is talking about oil, but under the radar the issue of water privitization is becoming more urgent.

This Sojourners story is an early indicator of what will be happening to the poor of the world, safely out of the eye of our TV screens, over the next decade. Water rights bought out from under poor landowners with the price of the water sold back to them at “market rates” they cannot afford. Families flooded out of their homes without compensation by dams built by the water privateers.

I had a friend who worked as a futurist for Enron back in the heady 1990 pre-scandal days. She eventually quit because they wouldn’t listen to her – her horizon was too far sighted for them. But, she told me, Enron was far-sighted enough to see an opportunity to exploit the flaws in California’s electricity deregulation. And they also were far-sighted enough to see the looming opportunity in private water and to start buying water rights like they were going out of style. Just an illustration of the caliber of the water multinational we’ll be dealing with in the future. Who’s to say that Bechtel and Suez are any more ethical than Enron?

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