Access to water - an introduction

Below are select introductory materials on business and access to water.  Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Access to water" section of our site.

Key reports & guidance

The right to water [PDF], WHO, OHCHR, COHRE, CESR, Water Aid, Feb 2003

World Water Day and related events, Mar 2009

Draft - Business, Human Rights and the Right to Water Challenges, Dilemmas and Opportunities, Roundtable Consultative Report [PDF], Institute for Human Rights and Business, Jan 2009

Concerns, company responses & non-responses

The Resource Centre invites companies to respond to allegations of misconduct.  Below are examples of allegations and company responses regarding access to water.  We also indicate when a company has not responded.

Bolivia: Reports that Suez subsidiary Aguas de Illimani restricting access to water in El Alto, Jan 2005.  Articles sent by Suez as a response.

China: Report that CCTV footage shows Carlsberg joint-venture polluting water supplies, Apr 2007.  Carlsberg response.  .

India: Concerns that a proposed Coca-Cola bottling plant in Tamil Nadu will deplete water supplies, Aug 2005.  Coca-Cola response.

India: Times of India article says pharmaceutical firms DSM, Max India, Ranbaxy are contaminating water in a Punjab village, Dec 2005.  Responses by the three companies.

Mexico: Allegations that Minefinders' subsidiary pollutes water sources, Aug 2008.  Minefinders response.

Mexico: [Spanish only] Reports that Grupo Agbar (Aguas de Barcelona) limited access to water in Coahuila, Jun 2008.  Grupo Agbar response.

New Caledonia: Indigenous group protests Inco's Goro mine, concerned about future impacts on water supply, Apr 2006.  Inco response.

Pakistan: Concerns that Nestlé's 'Pure Life' exacerbates drinking water crisis, Apr 2005.  Nestlé response.

Positive steps by companies

Global: The CEO Water Mandate - An initiative by business leaders in partnership with the international community [PDF]

Global: Borealis & Uponor launch initiative to measure water impacts of production of plastics for the first time [French only]

Global: Policy statements recognising the right to water by PepsiCo, Suez ("Access to water is a basic human right", "The right to water: the birth of an international human right"), Veolia

Eastern Europe/Central Asia: UNDP & Coca-Cola launch 5-year clean drinking water partnership in Commonwealth of Independent States & Europe

Egypt: Overview of public-private partnerships: includes initiative by USAID, government & Coca Cola providing clean water and waste treatment to communities.

India, Nepal: UN-HABITAT & Coca-Cola agree on projects to improve access to water

Zimbabwe:  Procter & Gamble and NGO provide water purification packets to help prevent cholera.

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Related stories and components

23 December 2008

Procter & Gamble and Population Services International responding to cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe by providing 10 million liters of safe drinking water

Author: Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble and global health organization Population Services International (PSI) will provide 10 million liters of safe drinking water to help prevent cholera in Zimbabwe. More than one-thousand people have died from the current cholera...

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20 August 2008
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Author: Stockholm International Water Week, Borealis, Uponor

À l’occasion de la Semaine Mondiale de l’Eau de Stockholm, Borealis [joint venture de International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of Abu Dhabi & OMV] Uponor...ont annoncé une initiative commune visant à appliquer pour la première fois le...

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16 June 2008
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Author: Jaime Avilés, La Jornada [México]

…Aguas de Barcelona (Agbar)…en 2001 se apoderó del sistema hídrico de la capital de Coahuila…Pese a que…la Ley…de Salud “prohíbe…que se le suspendan los servicios de agua potable a los edificios habitados”, Agsal [Aguas de Saltillo, de la que Agbar es...

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18 April 2007

UN-HABITAT, Coca-Cola team up for clean water in South Asia

Author: UN News Centre

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) signed an agreement today with the soft drink conglomerate Coca-Cola to collaborate on projects to improve community access to water and sanitation in India and Nepal. Anna Tibaijuka,...

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9 April 2007

Carlsberg beer factory pollutes water in Gansu [China]

Author: Jongo News

A joint venture of world-renowned beer brand Carlsberg has polluted the water source of Tianshui city in Gansu province for more than ten years according to a report from CCTV...Benma Beer Factory [is] a joint venture of Carlsberg...[T]he water from...

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6 February 2007

Encouraging Development [Egypt]

Author: Andrew Bossone, Business Today [Egypt]

Now the focus [of aid for development] has switched from one-time donations in the form of money, buildings or equipment, and is moving toward sustainable long-term projects and reforms with local and often private-sector partners...Intel is running a...

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1 July 2006

UNDP and The Coca-Cola Company Work Together for Clean Water

Author: UN-Business Focal Points

UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe, the CIS and The Coca-Cola Company announced a USD 6 million partnership agreement to cooperate on improving access to safe drinking water and other water projects in the region...The five-year partnership between RBEC...

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9 April 2006

Development Protest: Goro delayed by blockade [New Caledonia] [subscription only]

Author: Canadian Mining Journal

The wave of indigenous protest over the development of the Goro nickel mine (69% owned by INCO LTD. of Toronto) came to a head earlier this week. Kanak chiefs and villagers blockaded all land access to the plant, power plant and mine site beginning on...

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6 December 2005

Pharma factories poison village water [India]

Author: Khushwant Singh, Times of India

Four major pharma factories Ranbaxy Laboratories, Montari Industries (now closed), Max India and DSM India and a paper mill in the area have poisoned ground water with their toxic wastes to such an extent that the department of water supply and...

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10 August 2005

Major Rally Against Coca-Cola in India: Communities Oppose Proposed Coca-Cola Bottling Plant

Author: India Resource Center

...over 1,500 people rallied against a proposed Coca-Cola bottling plant [proposal by South India Bottling Company Private Limited, a Coca-Cola franchisee] in Gangaikondan village in Tirunelveli district in southern India on August 9, 2005...Water...

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