Privatisation in WASH sector

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Re: Privatisation in WASH sector

Dear all,
Happy to share another piece  related to England's water system. Like the previous piece, this piece also highlights the focus on creating wealth for investors while paying inadequate attention to improving water and wastewater management. Importantly, the piece suggests:
  • Takeover of utilities by the public authority (Reminds me of a similar initiative posted here ) 
  • Establishing social regulatory system as the top-down command and control mechanisms seem to be highly inadequate 
  • Ensuring the reuse of treated wastewater to reduce the pressure on freshwater sources and ensure the sustainability of the water system. 
I think these pieces and movements towards remunicipalisation in Europe point towards the need to either keep services such as WASH with public utilities or promulgate and enforce stringent regulations. That is, Governments cannot shy away from their role in the provision of WASH services.

The question that arises in my mind is  - Will the private sector be willing to invest if governments in the Global South promulgate and enforce regulations? 

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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  • paresh
  • paresh's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Moderator
  • Budding WASH researcher, especially interested in governance, public policy, finance, politics and social justice. Architect, Urban & Regional planner by training, Ex. C-WAS, India. I am a patient person :)
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: 7
  • Likes received: 123

Privatisation in WASH sector


Source: @paullewismoney via  twitter

There has been a widespread push towards privatisation of water supply especially in urban areas. In India, attempts to privatise haven't worked and I haven't heard of any plans in the recent past (fortunate or unfortunate - only time can tell).  But came across this a year old piece:  England's privatised water firms paid £57bn in dividends since 1991  while amassing almost an equal amount of debt - effectively taking loans to pay dividends. And this happened in the UK, a country that has a strong regulator.

In India, private sector participation is being encouraged in the FSM space and there is interest in providing emptying services and operating treatment plants. Lessons from regulating them will hopefully emerge gradually. Not sure however if it makes sense to push for privatisation in countries of the Global South where there are no regulators and certainly the culture of regulation is poor and often  regulatory institutions toothless. 

I'd like to learn about experiences (good and bad) about privatisation and regulation of services. Request to share your experiences and relevant references.

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @Sparsh85
Wikipedia: Sparsh85

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