National Radio Project

American Cities Battle Private Water Companies for Public Control of Water

The privatization of public water supplies is occurring in many places around the world. Sold like a common commodity, the rights for distribution and management of community water are being bought and controlled more and more by private entrepreneurs and corporations. But a global movement of activists say this most basic element of life should stay in the hands of the people who use it and out of the control of profit-seeking corporations or government bureaucracies.

On this edition, we investigate what's behind customer complaints of American Water, North America's largest private water company. And we'll take you to Detroit, Michigan, where anti-poverty activists are leading the fight to demand that access to water be treated as a human right and not a commodity.

How Climate Change Is Threatening Our Drinking Water

We profile two women activists taking on the global water crisis. Canadian Maude Barlow is a well known leader in the global struggle for water justice. Ge Yun from China is in the vanguard of her country’s growing conservation movement. In this program, they both warn us about the link between climate change and the loss of one of our most basic human requirements: water for life.

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What Happens When We Run Out of Drinking Water?

From Australia to Arizona, it's become clear that humans are using water at an unsustainable rate. Many communities only respond with water restrictions during droughts, and in most cases development continues, making things worse.

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