Learn more about water issues
In many developing countries, the majority of poor villages and urban slum areas are not served by a piped water system. Often, the poor must find alternative water sources in polluted rivers, lakes and shallow hand-dug wells.
Big dams, pollution, deforestation, industrialized agriculture and mining are all part of the problem, resulting in pollution and inequitable access to water. International Financial Institutions, trade treaties and multinational water corporations that promote the privatization of water services are decreasing people’s access to water.
Friends of the Earth International believes that water is a human right; it is essential to sustain livelihoods, and should not be treated as an economic good. Water territories – from the source to the tap – must be protected and managed sustainably for the benefit of communities and biodiversity. Large scale mega-projects like hydro-dams and mining operations should only go ahead with the full consent of local people, and should not threaten their access to water.
So called Public-Public Partnerships are new partnerships for the management of water services and provide one possible solution to the water crisis. These partnerships involve public water operators, communities, trade unions and others, who work together on a basis of equality. The partners may come from within the same country or from other countries. These arrangements are most effective when all partners have an understanding of each other's goals and are willing to work together to reach secure affordable clean water for all.
What we’re doing
Friends of the Earth International groups campaign for water justice by promoting Public-Public Partnerships for water management systems, urging water reduction and reuse, and restoring rivers and wetlands to more natural states. We work together with local communities in protecting their right to water. We oppose large scale ‘development’ projects that pollute rivers and that use large quantities of water. Finally, we mobilize the public to vote for new laws and regulations that keep water in the public domain. Our slogan is: water for life!