Privatisation of water: problems of table water, bottled mineral water and public water supply

If you are interested in this subject, please consider to contribute to the  Session 4.03 of the 43 IAH CONGRESS: GROUNDWATER & SOCIETY 60 YEARS OF IAH,  25-29 September 2016, Montpellier, France

Dead line for abstract submission is March 31, 2016

There is a big controversy by NGO's against the bottling and distribution of bottled mineral and table water by private companies. The following headlines illustrate this: "Is water a free and basic human right, or should all the water on the planet belong to major corporations and be treated as a product? Should the poor who cannot afford to pay these said corporations suffer from starvation due to their lack of financial wealth? According to the former CEO and now Chairman of the largest food product manufacturer in the world, corporations should own every drop of water on the planet — and you're not getting any unless you pay up." (

The fact is that about 90 percent of the world's freshwater reserves currently are still protected under public law. But the problem arises that the distribution of pure and safe water to public community, the entire population is often not possible for a country in developing areas.  The problem arises that the costs and infrastructure for the maintenance and repairing of municipal water supply at WHO standards are too high and/or are set at lower priorities at the political agenda of at country.

This gap is now filled by the distribution of purified water or mineral and groundwater in bottles by the private industries. But this water has its price and is often not distributed to the population in less accessible areas and is not affordable to the poorest part of population.

What is the role of hydrogeologists in this dilemma? To show possibilities and solutions how to overcome this problematic issue is the aim of this session by presenting case studies, new techniques and social distribution schemes.