Groundwater and ethics - IAH Netherlands meeting

After the well-visited General Member's Meeting of IAH's Netherlands Chapter on 26 May 2016, a session on Groundwater and (Business) Ethics was chaired by the president of the Netherlands Chapter, professor Theo Olsthoorn. Based on a series of at least a dozen videos that are publicly available, participants discussed the involvement of Dutch and other companies in destruction of livelihoods in developing countries, often with the aid of tax money. In some cases land grabbing (which is often also water grabbing) is involved, in other cases it involves ‘only’ groundwater withdrawals for, for example, Dutch beer brands. Unintended but recognizable consequences.


acrobat icon Role of Ethics in Groundwater Management (Ground Water)

acrobat icon Water and Ethics – Use of Groundwater (UNESCO’s IHP)

acrobat icon Ethics of Freshwater Use (UNESCO, COMEST)


A selection of the videos and movies that were presented:


Zembla: Hollandse handel ('Dutch trade', recommended documentary movie! (Dutch only, unfortunately)), where a Dutch beer brewer (turnover in 2015 almost 2 billion) is financially supported with 1 million Euro from Dutch development aid money to start up a business in Ethiopia. The idea is that trade will foster progress and development. Therefore Dutch companies receive development funds, so that less funds are available for the poor, less for clean water, less for health care – in one of the poorest countries, where currently is a famine. So, who is actually benefiting from Dutch development aid?