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Where theres a threat to public control of municipal water supplies, youre likely to find a Water Watch committee up and active.

In Winnipeg, the local committee has published a 20-page primer and a series of fact sheets on water issues. Spanning a wide range of environmental, social and political questions, they focus in on supply and pricing, dams and diversion, exports and border disputes. They even look at the impact of hog farming on water quality.

Meanwhile, in Halifax new life is being pumped into the Water Watch committee in an effort to stop the privatization of four new waste treatment plants planned as part of the Halifax Harbour Cleanup. City council is divided on the merits of public ownership and operation but the municipal bureaucracy is pushing a 40-year P3 arrangement with one of three huge multinational water consortia.

Water Watch committees are all the more important after the federal budget provided only modest funding for water infrastructure and worse still, actively promotes innovative partnerships with the private sector.