In 2010, water was officially recognised as a universal human right by the United Nations. However, the European Union has yet to do the same.
The management of water has long been in the hands of private companies, but resistance to this profit-driven model has increased in Europe since 2000. Activists against water privatisation in Portugal, Greece and Ireland say that the EU applies pressure to privatise water services using the economic crisis as a pretext for the creation of a water market in Europe.
"EU citizens know how they want their water services to be managed. The problem lies with the EU, which places pressure using the economic crisis as a pretext for the creation of a water market in Europe." Maria Kanellopoulou, spokesperson, Save Greek Water.
In this 47 minute exposé, published on the Al Jazeera website in April 2018, the big businesses behind water supply are reveled as is the European Commission's pressure on member states to privatise their water supply networks.
A Portugal section, focusing on Barcelos, begins at minute 11:39 and a section on Lisbon at 40:38