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International tensions around water are rising in many of the world's most volatile regions. The policy recipe pursued by the West, and imposed on governments elsewhere, is to pass control over water to private interests, which simply accelerates the cycle of inequality and deprivation. California, as well as China, South Africa, Mexico and countries on every continent already face a crisis. Blue Gold exposes the enormity of the problem, the dangers of the proposed solution and the alternative, which is to recognize access to water as a fundamental human right, not dependent on ability to pay.
Part 1 The crisis: red alert
- Endangered planet
- Dying of thirst
Part 2 The politics: everything for sale
- Global water lords
- Emergent water cartel
- Global nexus
Part 3 The way forward: fightback
- The standpoint
- The way forward
Maude Barlow is director of the International Forum on Globalization. Tony Clarke is director of the Polaris Institute of Canada
"[A] well-researched book [that] provides a sobering, in-depth look at the growing scarcity of fresh water and the increasing privatization and corporate control of this non-renewable resource."
– Library Journal
"After reading this non-fiction account of the globe's shrinking water supply, it is hard not to think how privileged we are to enjoy simple morning showers, a glass of water, or one-hour drives to the beach."
– Winnipeg Free Press
"To describe a book on water as 'refreshing' may be a cliché, but the directness and commitment that springs from these pages is both engaging and motivating."
– New Agriculturist Online
"In Blue Gold, activists Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke offer an angry and persuasive account of how this (false sense of security) has damaged the environment and how the privatization of once-public resources threatens to exacerbate the problem."
– Business Week
"This book points out the need for further research into water management, institutional and policy issues, principles and practices."
– Natural Resources Forum
"Blue Gold provides an alternative viewpoint to that presented by many international institutions. The book is a must for campaginers against privatization of water services and makes interesting reading for anyone working in water and sanitation services."
– Water Lines