Resisting Reform?

Water Profits and Democracy

by Kshithij Urs,

A wide range of people and organisations, united by either a belief in market-based economics or a financial stake in the water business or both, are convinced that water should primarily be treated as a commodity to be bought and sold so that all water services can cover their costs. To this end, they advocate private ownership of water supply with the underlying objective of profit generation.

Unfortunately, the benefits of such reasoning are skewed, and while it has been put into practice around the world, many people have come out as losers in this bargain. Resisting Reform? Water Profits and Democracy critically examines the attempts that have been made to ‘reform’ Bangalore’s water supply and situates them in their global and national context and in that of the city’s broader development. It looks at how the ‘reforms’ have entered government policy and how they have been opposed, principally by the many poor in the city. This book also describes how involving private players is not the best way to ensure an equitable water supply and that treating water as a commodity is a dangerous principle to adopt for running any water service, be it public or private.

This book will be a rich resource for professionals and activists working in the areas of natural resources management, globalisation, development studies and public policy. It will also be of much interest to research scholars and media and policy watchers.
  • SAGE Publications; February 2009
  • ISBN: 9788132101093
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: Resisting Reform?
  • Author: Kshithij Urs; Richard Whittell
  • Imprint: Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd

In The Press

Resisting Reform? offers a brave alternative, of real democracy and how this has been sidelined to make way for companies to take over the government…. The struggle for water, it seems, is a struggle for democracy too and thanks to [the authors] this understanding of water is so clearly depicted in their book.