Changing the flow Water movements in Latin America

Beverly Bell, Jeff Conant, Marcela Olivera, Crossley Pinkstaff, Philipp Terhorst. March 2009

, by TNI

In case after case around the world, water has been turned into a profit-making commodity – preventing people access to the most essential element on Earth. Private ownership of water and water delivery systems has severely compounded the abuse, neglect, mismanagement and exploitation of water as a resource essential to life.

But, as Mark Twain said, “Whiskey’s for drinkin’ and water’s for fightin’ over”: a global uprising is underway to ensure that water is respected as a human right, a public trust, and a part of the global commons. Popular pressure is winning victories – both effectively resisting threats and creating alternatives.

Latin America is one of the primary sites of resistance to the commercialization of water, and for innovative approaches to water management. As Salvadoran water warrior Ana Ella Gómez says of the Latin American water movements, “We are many voices, one echo. We are constructing a new definition of hope.”

In this booklet you will hear from some of the most visionary water warriors in Latin America. We hope you will be inspired by the visions, experiences, and lessons they have to share, and that, if you are not already, you too will become a water warrior to guarantee that water be protected as the fundament of life itself, for human beings and the whole planet.