World Water Council

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The World Water Council (WWC) was established in 1996 by the United Nations and the World Bank and acts as an “international multi-stakeholder platform.” Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke point out that the WWC’s main task is “to provide decision makers with advice and assistance on global water issues"[1]. WWC claims that its mission is to “promote awareness, build political commitment, and trigger action on critical water issues at all levels, including the highest decision making level, to facilitate the efficient conservation, protection, development, planning management and use of water in all its dimensions on an environmentally sustainable basis for the benefit of all life on earth[2]. In addition, the council “aims to reach a common strategic vision on water resources and water services management amongst all stakeholders in the water community”[3]. Currently, the WWC has dedicated its operations to advancing the water-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), all of which are consistent with the Dublin Principles which promote the idea that water is an economic good. Water related MDG’s include a broad range of topics that are encapsulated by four major themes: (i) Water, Human Rights and Politics, (ii) Water, Institutions and Financing Capacity, (iii) Water Services and Infrastructure, and (iv) Water and Environment. Related to these, the WWC council focuses its efforts in three key areas: (i) Politics and power structures, (ii) Development and improvement of policies and institutions, and (iii) Implementation of impact of policies[4]. .In addition, the WWC is the catalyst and organizing body that hosts the triennial World Water Forum – a meeting that is notorious for bringing together the most powerful actors associated with the commodification and privatization of fresh water resources. To date, the final reports from all four World Water Forum conferences strongly favour private sector participation with respect to the provision of fresh water goods and services.

Critics of the WWC call attention to many of the organization’s high-ranking officials who have close ties to global governing institutions and private industry. WWC’s president until January 2005 was William Cosgrove, and ex-World Bank consultant. The acting president, Loic Fauchon, is also president and director general of Groupe Des Eaux de Marseilles – a water company owned by water giants Suez and Veolia[5]. Rene Coulomb, from the water corporation Suez, is one of the three founding members of WWC[6].


  1. Maude Barlow & Tony Clarke (2002) 'Blue Gold: The Battle Against the Corporate Theft of the World's Water', Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co. Limited, p.158.
  2. World Water Council, About Us, accessed 22 February 2006.
  3. World Water Council, About Us, accessed 22 February 2006.
  4. World Water Council, Strategy and Accomplishments, accessed 22 February 2006.
  5. Ann-Christin Sjolander Holland (2005) 'The Water Business: Corporations Versus People', Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, p.114.
  6. Holland (2005), p.114.