Not the sexiest topic for the mass media to cover, but over in a city I like very much – Istanbul – the 5th World Water Forum is taking place. Essentially a meeting about addressing the state and future of the planet’s water, this is supposed to be the gathering where conflicts and concerns are discussed and hopefully solutions are found.
Looking around at what organizations and individuals are attending, one could argue that the concerns about protecting access to water, quality and affordability especially, is definitely on the agenda. But as with the previous 4 meetings, the big name water companies like RWE and Suez will also be there, corporations that have been busy buying up water systems throughout the world for more than a decade. Naturally if any discussions are going to take place, it makes sense that all stakeholders in the water management world are a part of them. Yet the record of many of these players call into question any serious claim of wanting water as a human right and an essential resource for life, to be protected and respected. The spirit of viewing water as a commodity is very much still out there.
Over the next 5 days I’ll gather up what I can coming from the conference and its participants. Taking a look at what gives hope and what brings concern from the 5th World Water Forum.