At the beginning of 2018, the Moviment per l’Aigua Pública i Democràtica campaign started promoting a citizen initiative to ask Barcelona’s residents if they want public water management, with citizen participation.
It has been a very intense path that required a great collective effort: more than 330 volunteers sought signatures to support the initiative; 42 spaces such as athenaeums, facilities, libraries, cafes and small shops served as fixed points for the collection of signatures; and more than 50 entities joined as we went along.
The self-management structures already in place in each of the districts of Barcelona have been fundamental to obtain signatures. Neighborhood by neighborhood, people of all ages organized events, lectures and roundtables to collect signatures.
On the last day of the campaign almost 27,000 signatures arrived at our office, almost double the required 15,000. Of these, 23,480 signatures have been validated by the municipality.
Political partisanship and pressures of Agbar
Unfortunately, at the Plenary Session of the City Council on April 10, 2018, Agbar’s behind-the-scenes political pressure contributed to the majority vote against the citizen initiative, thereby overturning the consultation in an illegitimate way, and violating the Citizen Participation Regulation.
Today, we are working to get the full acceptance of the water consultation results while exploring other ways to achieve the public and democratic management of water in Barcelona.