| || At the gates of the former kingdom of Marwar, the “land of death,” Jodhpur’s bluish tinge stands out deﬁantly against the great expanse of the Thar desert. The Brahmans are believed to have painted the houses blue to keep them cool within. Thus the former city of Jodhagarh took on the color of water, a most precious resource in this arid region. Lacking in water supply infrastructure, and daunted by the cost of providing it, many countries such as India are choosing to part-privatize this sector. As yet, private companies run only 5 percent of the world’s water-supply grids, but the sector has already generated a market worth $200 billion. Privatization does not always ensure the protection of water resources, nor does it promise access to drinking water for the poor. In South Africa, it led to the country’s worst cholera epidemic in 2001 and 2002. More users have had their supply cut off for nonpayment of bills, leading poorer people to seek water in polluted rivers and wells.
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