Global Water Summit in Berlin: Great Britain vs Germany (3)

Green journalism, Më të rejat, Shkrimet autoriale

Behare Bajraktari, Berlin

Journalist & Publicist/ Specialized in Climate Change and Environmental Journalism

Germany remains the epicentre of power in Europe and beyond, also as the host country of the Summit, despite significant regional differences in this country, rainfall reached 805 l/m² in 2021 which corresponds roughly to the long-term average.

The amount of theoretically usable groundwater and surface water in Germany, averaged over many years, is 188 billion cubic meters per year.

About 70 percent of Germany’s drinking water comes from groundwater or springs. Groundwater is generally of very good quality and originates from wells up to 400 meters deep.

Drinking water consumption per capita in Germany has remained relatively stable in recent years. On average, 128 liters are consumed per person per day.  Approximately 4 percent of potable water is used for eating and drinking, 36 percent is used for personal hygiene, 27 percent is used for toilet flushing, 12 percent is used for laundry, 9 percent is used by small businesses, 6 percent for washing and 6 percent for cleaning the house.

While the situation is quite different in Great Britain, under the conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, state-owned companies were dissolved and sold to the private sector in the 1980s and 1990s. A few days after the World Water Summit was held, the WB has deepened fears that Britain’s biggest water company is on the brink of collapse, repeated strikes on ill-fated railways, households hit by high electricity and gas bills: vital UK sectors in crisis, decades after controversial privatizations.

The move brought new investment, but also huge executive bonuses, shareholder dividends and massive debt.

Debt-ridden Thames Water, the company that manages the London area’s water supply, announced in early June that it had raised €880 million from its shareholders.  But the company, whose financial stability worries even the British government, has a debt of nearly 16 billion euros.

The Conservative government said in June it was ready for any scenario, amid concerns that the UK’s biggest water company could fail.

Serving 15 million customers in and around the British capital, Thames Water, along with other water suppliers, has also repeatedly hit the headlines in recent months for dumping raw sewage into the country’s waterways.

According to the press there, officials are working on an emergency plan that could allow, if necessary, the state to regain control of “Thames Water”.

Those familiar with the water issue say that the renationalization of water would have a high cost.  A YouGov 2022 poll found that most Britons believe trains, water and energy should stay within the public sector.

“The sad reality is that, in a world increasingly dominated by individual greed… the water sector has become the biggest fraud story in the UK,” an analyst told AFP.

A catastrophic privatization took place in Kosovo after the war, where many properties, resources and other goods were unjustly taken from the state, but fortunately the water sector was not privatized.

Tomorrow: Profits bets on energy as they continue to use up water

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