In the late 1990s in the large city of Cochabamba, Bolivia citizens were battling the government to refrain from the privatization of what was once public water. The consequences of government intervention are visible in the lives of the people. The people of Bolivia have to sacrifice what little resources they have in order to afford a necessity of like, like water. Instead of being able to buy nourishing food or warm clothing, they have to pay for water which they used to be able to pay much less for. By increasing the price of water, the government has decreased the quality of life for it’s people.
The government of Bolivia actually privatized a natural resource. By taking away a public operation because “the city’s public water system, SEMAPA (Servicio de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado de Cochabamba) was incapable of keeping up with the demand for expansion”(Shultz p. 1 ) the government allowed prices to be driven to astronomical rates for the people who were desperate for water. It led to such an uprising because the government proved that making a profit was more valuable than the people’s well being. For example, making water contract with Bechtel which “guaranteed the company an average profit of 16% per year every year over the 40-year life of the contract”(Shultz p.2). The people as a whole were disgusted by the greed of the government as well as hurt by the lack of concern the government had for the people. Water is not a want, it is a need. Allowing the control of water to be