Italy: water is a common good

Italy: water is a common good

World Water Day is on the 22nd March. Throughout the world today, even in Europe, access to water for all and its sustainable management are seriously threatened by the culture of financialisation.

Interview with Renzo Fior, Villafranca comunity leader.

How is water managed in Italy?
Our community is in the region of Veneto, where, like almost everywhere in Italy, water service management is controlled by the municipalities. This has been the case since the national law was passed in 2012. Given that the municipalities generally have the majority on boards, they are in fact the owners of this common good, “water”. However, we must be continuously on the alert in order to ensure that the overall management of water remains public property.

How are the Emmaus Italy groups involved in this issue?
In 2011, along with other organisations, we were actively involved in a nationwide popular referendum for the repeal of decrees that included allowing for the privatisation of water distribution. We made it very clear that water is and must remain a common good, and this referendum was a huge success. However, we must be permanently on our guard.

What action has been taken in this regard?
We regularly organise protests and information days, both within and outside the community (World Water Day, reporting cases of pollution, etc.). We are currently particularly aware of the possible consequences of the ratification of TTIP by the Italian and other European governments.