90% of urban water supply and sanitation services are currently

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90% of urban water supply and sanitation services are currently

Post by jancancook on Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:20 am

90% of urban water supply and sanitation services are currently in the public sector. They are owned by the state or local authorities, or also by collectives or cooperatives. They run without an aim for profit but are based on the ethos of providing a common good considered to be of public interest. In most middle and low-income countries, these publicly-owned and managed water providers can be inefficient as a result of political interference, leading to over-staffing and low labour productivity. Ironically, the main losers from this institutional arrangement are the urban poor in these countries. Because they are not connected to the network, they end up paying far more per litre of water than do more well-off households connected to the network who benefit from the implicit subsidies that they receive from loss-making utilities. We are still so far from achieving universal access to clean water and sanitation shows that public water authorities, in their current state, are not working well enough. Yet some are being very successful and are modelling the best forms of public management. As Ryutaro Hashimoto, former Japanese Prime Minister, notes: “Public water services currently provide more than 90 per cent of water supply in the world. Modest improvement in public water operators will have immense impact on global provision of services." [4]

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