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A new web site is tracking the growing number of communities around the globe that are reversing privatization and taking back control of their water systems.

The Transnational Institute and Corporate Europe Observatory launched the water remunicipalization tracker last month. The site is a database of successful campaigns to end privatization of water and wastewater systems. Paris is the latest city in the rising tide of remunicipalizations.

In June, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë pulled the plug on contracts with two of the largest water multinationals, ending a century of privatization. Water services will return to full public control when the contracts with Suez and Veolia expire Dec. 31, 2009.

Other communities in France are rising up against the profiteering of private water corporations, following the lead of Grenoble citizens, who took back their water in 2000.

The multinationals aren’t just on the run in France – they database shows they are in trouble on virtually every continent. The web site aims to help public water advocates share experiences and lessons learned.

CUPE added the story of Hamilton’s water fight to the database. Hamilton’s water and wastewater services were brought back in house in 2005, and have scored top marks for performance and cost savings ever since, including the elimination of nearly $600,000 in ‘incentive payments’ that a private contractor would have received if it had been able to deliver the same high level of service as the public operator.

Other community water and wastewater systems where privatization was prevented from taking hold – including Kamloops, Whistler, Vancouver and Halifax, are also shining as public operations.

These public water developments lend fresh momentum to ongoing water fights in Canada, where federal and provincial pressure to privatize is forcing P3s on local governments.

CUPE is working to stop a new water treatment system in Saint John, New Brunswick from being privatized through a public private partnership (P3). The union is also part of a coalition campaigning to keep Victoria, British Columbia’s new sewage treatment system public.