Summary of The Price of Thirst

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This chilling, upsetting book reports that corporate, governmental and quasi-governmental institutions deliberately control or diminish the world’s clean water supply, creating humanitarian problems in a quest for profits. If you have ever taken water for granted, think again. Drinkable water is a rare commodity worldwide; one-fifth of the world’s population lacks access to clean water. This dismal fact results, in part, from a twisted system that privatizes water and profits from it. Author Karen Piper spent “almost a decade” researching this tough topic in areas of water crisis worldwide and has produced a great story. With “despair about water inequality,” she reports that powerful political, corporate and economic forces have hijacked an essential, precious natural resource with no apparent accountability. getAbstract recommends this important, shocking report on resource management, global warming, politics, the environment and fiscal abuse to NGOs, investors, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in the politics of resource management and conservation.

About the Author

University of Missouri professor Karen Piper wrote Cartographic Fictions and the “eco-thriller” Left in the Dust. She received Sierra magazine’s Nature Writing Award.



The Global Water Crisis

The great water heist is underway. A group of multinational corporations, abetted by national governments, quasi-government organizations and various investment firms, seek control of the world’s water supplies. In 2001, five companies controlled about 75% of the world’s privatized water. By 2025, estimates predict that 21% of the world’s population and 39% of US citizens will be buying water from private sources. Selling privatized water for profit goes on while one billion people worldwide lack clean drinking water and waterborne illnesses kill more people than any other cause.

The main for-profit water companies are two French firms – Suez and Veolia – followed by China’s Beijing Enterprises. Suez and Veolia began as corporations in North African nations under French colonial control. Suez, the world’s longest continuously operating multinational corporation, entered the water and electricity businesses in 1880. Napoleon created Veolia Water in 1835 by decree. Both firms are multinational and opaque.

The World Bank has promoted policies favoring the construction of dams, which displaced 40 million to 80 million people worldwide and ...

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