Sunday, October 20, 2013


From the book BLUE GOLD
by Maude Barlow & Tony Clarke
As one of the cardinal features of the Washington Consensus,
the private takeover of public institutions and enterprises has become the
prime instrument for the commodification of water.  Public services like
the delivery of water, traditionally by municipal governments in
most countries, are taken over by corporations,
often foreign owned, in the interests of making a profit. 
Through this privatization process,
water is turned into a commodity, priced, put on the market, and sold,
usually on the basis of ability to pay.
Water privatization generally occurs in one of three forms.  First,
there is the complete sell-off by governments of public water delivery and
 treatment systems to corporations, as has happened in the United Kingdom.
Second, there is the model developed in France, whereby water corporations are
granted concessions or leases by governments to take over delivery of
the service and carry the cost of operating and maintaining the system,
while collecting all the revenues for the water service and keeping the 
surplus as a profit.  Third, there is a more restrictive model, in which
a corporation is contracted by the government to manage water services
for an administrative fee, but is not able to take over the collection of revenues,
let alone reap profits from surpluses.  While all three forms contain the
seeds of privatization, the most common one is the second model,
often referred to as "public-private partnerships." 
And here's the beginning of Page 5 of the LLC website:
A Public-Private Partnership.

Every year, New Mexico municipalities spend millions of dollars purchasing water rights in controversial offsets. None of these purchases deliver any actual water to the cities. Infrastructure stills needs to be built and every year, millions are spent on energy costs necessary to pump, treat and deliver the water.
The Bureau of Reclamation has spent significant funds throughout the year to increase stream flow in the Rio Grande. For example its 2012 budget includes over $6 million for the “acquisition of supplemental non-Federal water, and pumping from the low flow conveyance channel into the Rio Grande
during the irrigation season”.
In spite of all these expenditures, the river is running dry and public officials are sounding the alarm: “The pressures on the Rio Grande now and other rivers of the state in the future are great. If we didn’t have the storage in northern New Mexico reservoirs and the San Juan-Chama project, the Rio Grande would be dry right now. That’s a pretty shocking thing . . . Where are we going to get the water?” 
 Senator Tom Udall,
 Annual Water Conference,
 Las Cruces, August 2012.
The value of the water rights at the benchmark prices New Mexico municipalities are paying exceeds the estimated construction cost of the Augustin Plains Ranch project. Operation and Maintenance costs of the project are significantly below current costs to the municipalities since no expensive energy is required to convey the project water to the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area.
.Our proposed Public Private Partnership will supply 54,000 Acre Feet of water every year to the Middle Rio Grande, at no additional costs
 to the citizens of New Mexico.

Here's the link to the entire page from the website:
  The graphic illustration below is  how they
see the "stakeholders," though it's interesting to
note that the LLC isn't included in the graphic.
The LLC being of course the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC,
otherwise known as "the foreigners" - Bruno Modena
and his son Vittorio, from Milan, Italy, the multi-millionaire
father-son team, and unnamed as yet other investors.
The would-be water thieves.

. defines "stakeholder" as
"A person, group or organization that has interest or concern in an organization..
Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the organization's actions, objectives and policies. Some examples of key stakeholders are creditors, directors, employees, government (and its agencies), owners (shareholders), suppliers, unions, and the community from which the business draws its resources."
If they were included in the graphic, it would
certainly be represented as a giant leech,
disguised like a big oval bladder, called "OWNERS" -
 with tentacles attached everywhere, sucking
blood, money, and water from "The People."
  They ought to be represented in the graphic.
They'll be getting the water, and all the damn money
that will come to them as a result of their theft.
In most respects, they've got the biggest stake.
Potentially, a huge fortune rides on the outcome here.
And the people of Catron and Socorro Counties,
and the people of New Mexico in the big picture,
 have the most to lose.
And, without wanting to sound inhospitable,
or lacking basic human charity,
 the following needs to be said:
The little that's known about these people is
either very bad, or worse.  Check the early blog posts
about their financial adventure in Maine.
It was a whole new form of extortion.
Everything else is hidden - no financial statements,
no tax returns, no nothing.
From all appearances, (and this is just appearances),
they're international mobsters of some sort,
 very secretive, very closed
 They don't want anyone to know ANYTHING about them.
If they did, they'd have put up a financial profile
that was somewhat believable. 
Who they are.  Where all the damn money comes from.
 They never have put up any info - it's just
 a Santa Fe or New York lawyer's office
 as an address.
They sure as hell don't come out to western
New Mexico, announce who they are,
and invite everyone over to a Bar-B-Q.
 They're off in Norway, Germany, or maybe Italy,
or visiting Ukraine, Moldova, or Israel.
Or God Knows Where.
[Editor's Note 10/15
Those countries, along with the U.S., compose
the Top 7 world audience for hits on the blog.
United Kingdom is coming on strong as
a new contender at #8.]
These are international operators,
why else would all these people be interested?
This can't all be hits from kids in college 
"World Business Ethics 310" classes.
I see a family portrait in the mirror.
But, obviously, the less people know, the better,
as far as the Modenas and their organization
are concerned.
It's nice to know folks watch us though.
There's a snake in the grass.  Beware.
But quien sabe, who knows, maybe they're in the
hospitality business.  Or maybe they are simply
trying to figure out how to launder a ton of cash,
and make a Sultan's ransom in the process.
These are NOT the kind of people you want
to do business with, especially WITH WATER. 

  You should note that while there are
numerous claims about "costs" in their web
 copy, there are NO figures - NONE, NADA.
No proof, just "take our word for it."

Their Project Director is a liar and thief from
the Louis Berger Group, a federal contractor
working in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere,
that got hit with the largest war-time fine
for a federal contractor - in U.S. history.
This LLC Project Director, Michel Jichlinski,
was President and CEO of the outfit during the period 
 that the whisleblower's evidence covered. 
He's not American, he's a foreigner, 
carrying passports from....
It was a massive fraud scheme via
 exotic accounting overbilling practices,
and where bribes to ANYONE were common,
which the company called "grease money".
 The entire company, the Louis Berger Group,
was called "a culture of fraud" by the whistleblower.
The FEDS believed him, obviously,
 after they saw the evidence.
The biggest fine ever for a war-time contractor
 - 69.3 million dollars - included both civil
and criminal penalties.

But Jichlinski didn't go to jail,
though a few others did.
 It'd be no surprise to find out that
 he's got big connections on the Beltway.

Congressman Scumbag and he probably shoot a
few holes at Bethesda, when they're
not busy counting their money,
or working on a western water project.
As we all know, in Washington, money talks.
Sometimes a little too loudly.
"You know Congressman,
 it just requires a little bit more grease money,
and then we'll have it in the bag.
And of course we'll recognize your great efforts
on the behalf of our investment group,
who have so generously put up an offer here, 
an offer you couldn't refuse.
Above: Michel Jichlinski, Project Director
of the WATER GRAB.
Below is a link to an article about the issue
from the McClatchy Washington Bureau - a
well-respected investigative newspaper/web outfit.
Below that is a link to a story about how
the Louis Berger Group went on to win
even more contracts.
  They have much more on the issue
 if you're interested.  Search it.


Take his word?
You've GOT to be kidding!
This guy's anti-American. Period.
You ARE if you steal from us.
And this guy STOLE MILLIONS!
He's a foreign OPERATOR. 
Mob connected?  Probably.
It hardly matters.  HE'S A PIG!

A federal contractor who lined his
pockets with U.S. cash by fraud -
milking millions and millions of your taxdollars
in illegal profits, on projects in war zones
in Iraq and Afghanistan - by fraud,
 by cooking the books, as they say.
We should take him to a gathering of
New Mexico combat veterans to pitch
his plan.  Could he live through it?
When pigs fly.

And now we continue where we left off with
Shifting from public to private systems introduces, of course,
a completely different set of commercial imperatives into water-service
delivery.  Although the water industry insists on "full cost recovery" in
taking over a concession, this usually includes profit margins.
After all, the owners and shareholders of the privatizing corporation
are driven by demands for profits and dividends, which in turn,
are generally redistributed for investment globally in other divisions
of the corporation's overall operations.  Maximizing profit is
the prime goal, not ensuring sustainability or equal access to water.
Management of water resources, therefore, is based on market dynamics
of increasing consumption and profit maximization, rather
than on a long-term sustainability of a scarce resource for
future generations.  As a result, the price that a corporation is
prepared to pay for a water concession depends on the revenue
and profit-generating stream that can be
expected from the deal.


"In 1999, Pickens formed Mesa Water and began to

accumulate water rights to sell to thirsty cities such as El Paso,
Lubbock, or San Antonio.  But as time passed, Mesa Water focused
on the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex.  Already the state's largest
water user, DFW's population was growing quickly in the midst
of a worsening drought.
Many of Pickens's neighbors were alarmed by his plan to
privatize the groundwater, treating it as a commodity like oil or gas,
to be sold to the highest bidder.  Some of them rallied against him
and threatened lawsuits; others joined Mesa Water, hoping to profit.
As water supplies are stretched thin across the country,
this scenario is becoming increasingly familiar.
For much of the nation's history, Americans have fought
over surface water - who gets to use how much of lake or river water -
but most of those disputes have been settled; today the
biggest water wars are over groundwater."
Alex Prud'Homme
The Fate of Freshwater in the 21st Century

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