In March 2012, two global but contrasting forums in search of sustainable solutions to the water crisis took place in Marseilles, France.
The realisation of the human right to water and sanitation was prominent in the declarations of the both the 6th World Water Forum (WWF)  and the Alternative World Water Forum (FAME 2012) . In addition, the WWF6 declaration officially recognised disaster mitigation and emergency response as a priority. Where the WWF6 declaration fell short though, according to the Butterfly Effect, a group of 90 civil society organisations, was that it did not explicitly mention the commitment of states to implement the right to water and sanitation. 
Watch the video of the Public-Private debate at WWF6.
While the WWF was home to the water and development industry, FAME 2012 gave a voice to the uncompromising group of anti-privatisation water activists. Loïc Fauchon, head of WWF organiser, the World Water Council, dismissed the alternative forum as “insignificant at best and harmful at worst”. A commentator added that “the pro- and anti-privatisation debate grew stale a long time ago” . As if the anti-privatisation activists anticipated claims that they present infinite criticisms but few alternatives, two new studies [5,6] promoting public management of services have been released.
The WWF and FAME 2012 are taking their declarations to Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June. The next World Water Forum will take place in Daegu Gwangyeoksi, South Korea, in 2015.
For more commentaries on the two forums see:
- Babatope Babalobi, How Marseilles hosted two World Water Forums in one week, eWASH, 10 Apr 2012
- Daniel Moss, The right water debates in the wrong place, Huffington Post, 02 April 2012
 6th World Water Forum – Ministerial Declaration, 13 Mar 2012
 Alternative World Water Forum – Declaration, 13 Apr 2012
 Butterfly Effect reaction to the 6th World Water Forum ministerial declaration, Freshwater Action Network (FAN), 15 Mar 2012
 Claire Provost, No single course for providing water, Guardian Poverty Matters blog, 22 Mar 2012
 Pigeon, M. et al. (eds), 2012. Remunicipalisation : putting water back into public hands. Amsterdam: Transnational Institute. Available at: <
> [Accessed 14 May 2012]
 McDonald, D.A. and Ruiters, G., 2012. Alternatives to privatization : public options for essential services in the global south. Cape Town: HSRC Press. Available at: <
> [Accessed 14 May 2012]
Related news: World Water Forum: water unites but forums divided, E-Source, 03 Apr 2009
Related web sites: