What happened during the Water War in Bolivia?

What happened during the Water War in Bolivia?

The Cochabamba Water War was a series of protests that took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s fourth largest city, between December 1999 and April 2000 in response to the privatization of the city’s municipal water supply company SEMAPA. …

What was the main cause of Bolivia Water War?

The Water War was precipitated when SEMAPA, Cochabamba’s municipal water company, was sold to a transnational consortium controlled by U.S.-based Bechtel in exchange for debt relief for the Bolivian government and new World Bank loans to expand the water system.

What is Bolivia water Crisis?

Shrinking glaciers, extreme droughts and management challenges threaten Bolivia’s water supply. In 2016, the country suffered its worst drought in 25 years. The water shortages affected 125 000 families and 283 000 hectares of agriculture, and led to the declaration of a state of emergency.

Why did Bolivia privatize their water?

The World Bank and the International Development Bank highlighted water privatization as a requirement for the Bolivian government in order to retain ongoing state loans.

Why is privatization of water bad?

Here’s why. Water privatization – when private corporations buy or operate public water utilities – is often suggested as a solution to municipal budget problems and aging water systems. Unfortunately, this more often backfires, leaving communities with higher rates, worse service, job losses, and more.

How long did the water war in Bolivia last?

The army battled civilians in the streets on and off for three months, hundreds were arrested, a seventeen year-old boy was shot and killed, the government of Bolivia nearly collapsed. The issue was water. The spark was privatization.

Who led Bolivia’s war?

There were street protests, and a broad coalition emerged, called the Coördinator for the Defense of Water and Life, or simply La Coordinadora, led by Óscar Olivera. Olivera, who is forty-six, at first seems an unlikely leader.

Is tap water safe to drink in Bolivia?

Though the tap water in some cities and towns is chlorinated, it’s best to avoid drinking it entirely while in Bolivia. Bottled water, both mineral and purified, is sold throughout the country, though rarely consumed by Bolivians themselves: check the seals on all bottles are intact, as refilling is not unknown.

Can you drink water in Bolivia?

Around 86% of the entire population now has access to safe drinking water, and more than 95% of city residents can obtain clean water. In 2009, the Bolivian Constitution officially declared access to drinking water and sanitation a human right.

Why is the privatization of water bad?

What are the benefits of water privatization?

Because there are few economies of scale to be gained from the water delivery infrastructure, privatized systems can only offer advantages by generating cost savings in three components of water supply: labor efficiency, centralization of financial and operating services, and improvements in the management and yield of …

Why does Privatisation happen?

Privatization describes the process by which a piece of property or business goes from being owned by the government to being privately owned. It generally helps governments save money and increase efficiency, where private companies can move goods quicker and more efficiently.

Why is there a water war in Bolivia?

(1) Bolivia is a poor country in Latin America. The World Bank pressurised the government to give up its control of municipal water supply. The government sold these rights for the city of cochabamba to a multi-national company (MNC). The company immediately increased the price of water by the four times.

How many people lack access to safe water in Bolivia?

Bolivia has become one of them, with 2 million Bolivians lacking adequate access to safe water supplies and almost 4 million not benefitting from basic sanitation. Yet, Bolivia is one of the world’s richest countries in terms of estimated renewable water resources and has a long tradition of locally-provided water systems.

Who is the Minister of water in Bolivia?

This includes Deputy Minister of Water Rubén Méndez, after the chief Minister, Alexandra Moreira, failed to attend a local meeting on the state of water supplies. Two main causes can be identified for this drought. First, climate change has taken its toll on the country’s natural resources.

What was the result of the water war?

In 2000, the pro-privatisation Law 2029 was revoked and rewritten as Drinking Water and Sanitation Services Law (2066). It was the result of negotiations between social movements and the state during the water war. In 2004, same principles were applied to the irrigation sector (Law 2878) which recognised decentralised irrigation governance.