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Turkish environmental NGOs against commercialize water resources
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20:12, March 13, 2009

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Turkish non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in environmental field on Friday opposed to the commercialization of water resources ahead of a world water forum in the country.

The TURCEP, an environmental NGOs platform of Turkey, released on Friday a water declaration, which stands firmly against attempts to commercialize water for all vital and ecological reasons.

The declaration, which comes right before the 5th World Water Forum meeting to be held in Turkey's biggest city of Istanbul, said that "water and water resources cannot be privatized. Access to fresh and potable water is a right for all peoples in the world."

During the last World Water Forum held in Mexico in 2006, the World Water Council (WWC), an international organization dealing with water issues, reiterated that water is a commercial asset and issue of water scarcity and access to water will be resolved via privatization.

"It is to convert water into a commercial asset, and all of these suggestions and actions have one single motive in mind: profit," said the declaration, adding that water should be publicly owned and made available to people free of charge.

Meanwhile, the declaration said that water and water resources should be protected, preserved against contamination and used wisely and efficiently.

It stressed that attempts to install nuclear and thermal plant projects in Turkey will lead to rapid contamination of water resources and should be abandoned immediately.

Noting that 94 percent of Turkey's irrigation activities are performed with inefficient methods of excessive use of water, the declaration suggested that policies and practices ensuring effective use of water resources in agriculture should be considered.

The 5th World Water Forum will be held at Sutluce Culture and Conference Center from March 16 to 22.

An Alternative Water Forum will be held at Santralistanbul, an arts and cultural complex located in Istanbul, from March 20 to 22.The forum was organized by opponents of the 5th World Water Forum including NGOs, parliament members and environmentalist volunteers.

Source: Xinhua

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