“Water Mafias” Put Stranglehold on Public Water Supply

Worldwide corruption driven by mafia-like organizations throughout water industries is forcing the poor to pay more for basic drinking water and sanitation services, according to a new report.

If bribery, organized crime, embezzlement, and other illegal activities continue, consumers and taxpayers will pay the equivalent of U.S. $20 billion dollars over the next decade, says the report, released this week at the World Water Week conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

The water sector is one of most corrupt after health and education, added HÃ¥kan Tropp, chair of the Water Integrity Network (WIN), an advocacy group and report co-author.

That’s because the poor often don’t have a voice in strategic water policy decisions, said Christian Poortman, head of the anticorruption group Transparency International (TI), which collaborated with WIN on the study.

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