World Water Council
The World Water Council is an international think tank founded in 1996, with its headquarters in Marseille, France. It has 311 members (July 2013) mainly from the private sector (multinational power, construction, engineering and manufacturing companies), but also from the UN and intergovernmental organizations, governments and ministries, academic institutions, international organizations, local governments, and civil society groups. Founders and constituent members of the World Water Council include the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Water Association (IWA), Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, the United Nations agencies UNDP and UNESCO, and the World Bank. Among the founders of the World Water Council were members of the management of international corporations, for example the multinational Suez
Its stated 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."
Every third year the World Water Council organizes the World Water Forum in close collaboration with the authorities of the hosting country. The Forum is the largest international event in the field of water. The 5th World Water Forum took place in Istanbul during 16–22 March 2009 and the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, France 2012. The 7th World Water Forum will take place from 12 to 17 April 2015 in Daegu-Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea.
The World Water Council is financed primarily through membership fees, and additional support is provided by the host City of Marseille. Specific projects and programs are financed through donations and grants from governments, international organizations, and NGO's.
Critics accuse the World Water Council of promoting the privatisation of water supply, an indication of this is the large influence of financial institutions and global water corporations. The Canadian activist Tony Clarke describes the World Water Council as a smoke screen for the water lobby. Medha Patkar, an activist from India, gave a passionate speech against privatisation of water at the 2nd World Water Forum in The Hague in 2000.
The World Water Forum
- World Water Council Constitution & By-Laws
- Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, "Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water" (2002).