Today, Veolia and Suez announced they have reached an agreement for a merger between the two largest private water corporations in the world. While the deal is not expected to be final until May 14, this stands to be one of the largest consolidations of power the private water industry has seen in well over a decade.
Both Suez and Veolia, the largest players in the private water industry, have a long track record of human rights, labor, and environmental abuses. And that track record seems to be catching up to them — Veolia has even been connected to some of the most high profile public health crises in U.S. history.
Please see below for a statement from Corporate Accountability Water Director Lauren DeRusha (she/her) on the developing situation.
“After decades of failed water privatization deals that put profit over people, communities around the globe — from Pittsburgh, U.S. and Osorno, Chile; to Gabon and the halls of the United Nations — have soundly rejected the corporate control of water.
This agreement would not only result in more consolidated corporate control of water by Veolia in Europe, but also leave behind a “new Suez.” “New Suez’s” apparent focus on water privatization promises many of ‘old’ Suez’s abusive practices in the places it will operate, including many Global South regions. If history is our guide, the results of this merger will undoubtedly be unjust. The best way to make sure all people have access to water, is for people — not corporations — to control it.
People will fight every step of the way to not only prevent the consolidated corporate control of water, but also for a future where access to water is guaranteed — not bought and sold.”