Water Governance

Water Governance

An Evaluation of Alternative Architectures

Edited by Asanga Gunawansa and Lovleen Bhullar

This insightful book explores urban water governance challenges in different parts of the world and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of publicly run, privatized, and public–private partnership managed water facilities.

Chapter 2: Private sector participation in water supply: a global perspective

Edouard Pérard

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics, environmental governance and regulation, water


Access to clean water represents both a human and a financial challenge. To modernize obsolescent systems and to meet expanding demand in both high-income and low-and middle-income countries, it has been estimated that US$22.6 trillion should be invested in water infrastructure by 2030 (Doshi et al., 2007). Considering the tremendous investment needs for water infrastructure, the private sector has been playing an increasing role over the last 20 years. This chapter aims to put discussions on the issue of private sector participation in water supply in perspective, and to respond to the growing need for a neutral approach by providing a stocktaking of the development of private sector participation in water supply in the world. This chapter provides a global perspective of the state of private sector participation in the water supply sector. Section 2.2 provides a statistical overview of the level of private sector engagement in high-, middle-and low-income countries, while section 2.3 addresses the question of the evolution of private sector participation in water over the recent years and the way forward.

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