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Emanuela Roman Tommaso Dotti. Water: a global issue.

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Presentation on theme: "Emanuela Roman Tommaso Dotti. Water: a global issue."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emanuela Roman Tommaso Dotti

2 Water: a global issue

3 U.N. World Water Development Report, 2006 1 billion and 400 millions people do not have access to freshwater 1 million and 8 hundred children die every year because of sanitary problem connected to water (dysentery) 4900 children die every day of dysentery Within 2050 48% of freshwater demand will remain unanswered

4 The distribution of water in the world is not uniform (60% of water in 9 countries) This causes migratory movements and international conflicts Source: U.N. World Water Development Report, 2006

5 Water resources Source:

6 Water use Source:

7 Water business Water will become the oil of future Multinational corporations are aware of this: the run for hoarding has already started In developing countries it has the features of plunder (i.e. Bolivia) In Europe it mainly occurs as a public-private partnership

8 Italy – Origins of privatization Legge Galli n.36/1994 ATO (Ambiti Territoriali Ottimali – territorial reorganisation of public water management) possibility of privatize water management (partially or totally) Positive aspects : Public property of water resources Water is mainly for human use: we need to preseve it Negative aspects: Introduction of full recovery cost Introduction of return on invested capital

9 Italy – Consequences of privatization Following Legge Galli integrated urban water management was given almost everywhere to S.p.a. (stock companies): Both private and public Private law subjects with a board of directors and stakeholders Their aim is profit Consequences of water privatization in Italy: Tariffs increase of 60% in 10 years; Job cuts; Worsening quality in service; Investment decrease of 66% in comparison with 1990/2000 Lack of openness and democratic participation. Source: Le società controllate dai maggiori comuni italiani: costi, qualità, efficienza (4° edizione) Milano, 28 gennaio 2009, Gabriele Barbaresco (Ufficio Studi Mediobanca): Le società controllate dai maggiori comuni italiani: costi, qualità, efficienza (4° edizione) Milano, 28 gennaio 2009, Gabriele Barbaresco (Ufficio Studi Mediobanca)

10 Acqua Bene Comune movement In some parts of Italy protests arose: 3 years after the Alternative Water Forum (Florence, 2003) the Acqua Bene Comune movement was born In 2006 the first Forum Italiano dei Movimenti per lAcqua took place in Rome: they drew a bill aimed at determining a new concept of public water management. In March 2007 started the collection of signatures for the Citizens Initiative Bill: Principles for the protection, public governance and management of water and regulations for de-privatization of water management Proposta di Legge dIniziativa Popolare: Principi per la tutela, il governo e la gestione pubblica delle acque e disposizioni per la ripubblicizzazione del Servizio Idrico)

11 The Citizens Initiative Bill in 10 points 1. Water is a Common Good and a universal right. Availability and access to fresh water are fundamental human rights; 2. Water is a limited resource to be protected as essential for human life and future genarations; 3. Each territorial district should define a water management plan to preserve the resource and its quality; 4. Integrated urban water management is a public service with no economic relevance, out of trade and market logics and oriented to social and environmental purposes; 5. Integrated urban water management should be managed exclusively by public law bodies;

12 The Citizens Initiative Bill in 10 points 6. Within a well-defined period of time every private, public- private and S.p.a. management should be ended ; 7. The minimum daily subsitance water amount of 50 liters per person should be guaranteed for free; 8. Water management workers and local communities take active part in the main decisions concerning urban water management; 9. Integrated urban water management is financed through the reduction of militar expenditures and of tax evasion and through environmental taxes; 10. A national fund finances access to fresh water projects in the Global South.

13 The Citizens Initiative Bill current situation However the Italian parliament has refused to discuss the Citizens' Initiative Bill, and thus far the Citizens' Initiative Bill lies in the drawers of Montecitorio.

14 Rodotà Commission June 2007: establishment of the Commission on Public Goods (ministry of Justice decree, Prodi Government) headed by Stefano Rodotà (members: Ugo Mattei, Edoardo Reviglio, Alberto Lucarelli, Luca Nivarra…) Aim: drawing a law to reform the Civil Code regulations concerning public goods (which dated back to 1942) February 2008: the Rodotà Commission Bill was ready: 3 ownership forms: Common property Public property Private property

15 Rodotà Commission Introduction and definition of the legal category of the Commons: Defined as goods functional to the exercise of fundamental rights and to a free development of the human being A list of examples is provided Introduction and definition of 3 new typologies of public goods: Necessarily public ownership goods Social public goods Interest-bearing public goods Source: U. Mattei, A. Gallarati, Economia politica del diritto civile, Giappichelli, Torino, 2009

16 Rodotà Commission Bill current situation After the Prodi government fell, the new Berlusconi government refused to discuss Rodotà Commision Bill in Parliament. Until now it is lying in the drawers of Montecitorio as the Citizens Initiative Bill.

17 Decreto Ronchi: forced privatization 19 November 2009: Italian parliament approved Decreto Ronchi (legge n. 166/2009) which forced the privatization of water management and other essential public services. Under Decreto Ronchi (see art. 15) the whole public services management has to be put on the financial market, thus subjecting the Commons to the neoliberal rules of profit and competition. Citizens are completely excluded from the common and public goods management: only private corporations, listed on the stock exchange, are allowed to purchase control of the water management system. Source:

18 Fighting Decreto Ronchi Acqua Bene Comune movement started immediately another national campaign to hold a referendum to abolish Decreto Ronchi 1.400.000 signatures were collected in the spring of 2010 (between April and July) to support the citizens referendum request The Italian Constitutional Court approved 2 of the 3 referendum questions prepared by the movement and declared that a referendum would have taken place on July 12 th and 13 th 2011

19 Referendum questions The first referendum question concerns whether water management privatization should stop and whether Decreto Ronchi should be abolished.

20 The second referendum question concerns whether water should be managed without any profit and whether the return on invested capital should be abolished. Referendum questions

21 Electoral campaign Throughout Italy an electoral campaign started to promote the referendum: Lead and financed only by citizens without funding from parties In every single city and village a referendum committee was created by citizens Mainstream media boycotted the campaign. Internet was the most relevant mean to promote referendum and share informationInternet To reach every voter a door to door action was carried out (flash mob, demonstration, conferences and leaflet)

22 We are citizens, free women and men that for years have been fighting for public, participatory and democratic water management. With engagement, work and passion we have defended water from speculations, market and private interests. In all our territories local committees were born, forming a living network active throughout the country. This is the water people: inclusive, lively, proactive. We are fighting against the logic of the market, which wants to regulate every moment of our lives. We pretend to decide on water: we want to remove water from markets and profits from water, we want to give the management of this common good back to the communities. We want this to guarantee free access to water for everybody. To protect it as a collective common good. To preserve it for future generations. You write water, you read democracy

23 The referendum victory More then 65% of Italians went to the polling station (more than 27 millions people) 95% of voters chose to vote yes against the privatization of water It was 16 years that the quorum was not reached Source:


25 Referendum enforcement National level Despite the referendum unequivocal victory, in August 2011 our government passed a financial bill (decree n. 138/2011) in an effort to re-open the way to the privatization of public services; We still have two bills lying in Parliament; Italian Constitution provides the legal basis for a specific law concerning the Commons (art. 41 and art. 43).

26 Local and municipal level To enforce the second referendum question, citizens are lobbying on majors and ATO to obtain the adjustement of the water bill consequently to the abolition of the return on invested capital In some Regions committees are promoting a regulation to introduce the legal concept of the Commons in the Statuto Regionale (i.e. Veneto) In many municipalities committees are lobbying on the city council to increase the citizens participation in urban water management (i.e. Marostica) Referendum enforcement

27 Napoli calls Paris Antonio De Magistris, the new major of Napoli, elected in June 2011, appointed Prof. Alberto Lucarelli as Alderman for the Commons 7 July 2011: the city council passed a deliberation which introduced in Statuto Comunale an article to recognise the legal concept of the Commons 23 Semptember 2011: the city council changed Arin S.p.a. into A.B.C. Napoli: a «special company» of public law, with no economic relevance. For the first time citizens and committees are officially included in decision-making processes of urban water management

28 … and so the citizens mobilisation in Italy is still going on!

29 And remember…

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