KYOTO — For eight days, and at a considerable cost to local taxpayers, the World Water Forum brought together international corporations in the water supply business, World Bank officials and a large number of Japanese construction and design firms, as well as senior government officials and thousands of members of nongovernmental organizations.

But in the end, a lack of political will due to ongoing controversies over the privatization of water supplies and the war in Iraq left many participants doubting whether the conference produced anything of value.

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