Segments in this Video

Water: A Valuable Commodity (03:43)


Population growth and pollution turn water into a valuable and profitable commodity. A combination of capital interests and vital necessities leave over a billion people worldwide without safe drinking water.

Corruption of Aguas Argentina (03:19)

Ostensibly, Aguas Argentina is established to improve the supply of safe drinking water to the poorest areas of Buenos Aires. Instead, it only cleans up the water where the wealthiest Argentineans live.

Thames Water Company in Jakarta (03:00)

Jakarta, Indonesia contracts Thames Water to develop its deficient water system. The combination of growing population and greater demand leads to a total collapse of the system, making it unprofitable for any company to manage.

Privatization and Bechtel Corporation (03:27)

Bolivia's government, in its attempt to privatize the water system, gives Bechtel the rights to farmers' centuries-old irrigation systems. Bolivia breaks its contract with Bechtel, and a new regulatory agency influences the situation for the better.

European Waterworks (03:24)

European countries vary in public or private ownership of water systems. France's private system of ownership has worked well for over a century. Berlin, Germany privatizes its water system to make up for governmental deficits.

Public-Private Partnership in Albania (04:45)

Albania's water system has hardly been touched since the fall of the Stalinist regime. Many Albanians refuse to pay their water bills because water quality is so low. New water meters regulate water consumption.

Community-Scaled Water Systems (03:27)

In Saint Raphael, Haiti, few people can afford the luxury of running water. Citizens dig their own canal to serve fifteen hundred families. Self-administration takes the place of privatization, to the benefit of citizens and farmers.

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Water for Profit

Part of the Series : Thirsty Planet
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



The moment demand outpaces supply, water becomes a commodity to be traded in the global market. But who owns the rights to water? And how can a price be set on water? In this program, the pros and cons of privatization are assessed in a number of water management situations around the world: Aguas Argentina in Buenos Aires; the Bechtel corporation in Cochabamba, Bolivia; Thames Water company in Jakarta; and a public/private test partnership in Albania. Corporate representatives, anti-privatization activists, farmers, and industry experts offer commentary from all sides of the issue. (27 minutes)

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL33076

ISBN: 978-0-7365-8995-6

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.