An Evaluation of Alternative Architectures
Edited by Asanga Gunawansa and Lovleen Bhullar
Chapter 12: Risks in urban water reforms: a challenge to public–private partnerships
Despite their slow pace, reforms based on public–private partnerships (PPPs) are gradually making their way into the urban water sector. In an extensive study of reforms in water and electricity distribution over the period 1973 to 2005, Gassner et al. (2009) showed the significant impact of private sector participation on 977 utilities in the water and sanitation sector, with 141 reforms, mostly concentrated in Latin America and the Caribbean over that period, involving PPPs and the remaining 836 being operated as state-owned enterprises. More recent data from the Public–Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) confirm the trend, although there is a clear shift in PPP from Latin America to Asia, particularly China. Forces pushing public authorities to reform their water sector are relatively well identified (Ménard and Shirley, 2002, pp. 4–8). Reform of utilities in the urban water sector is attempted due to a combination of three factors: (1) unmet demand and service problems in the water system, so that a significant number of actual as well as potential users would benefit from reform; (2) macroeconomic crisis characterized by growing public deficits, public debt and inflation creating major financial pressures on public authorities; and (3) a regime change or coalition shift bringing to power a governing group that perceives net political benefits from reform.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.