Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Private Sector Participation in Water Supply and Sanitation in Latin America


Author Info

  • Emanuel Idelovitch
  • Klas Ringskog
Registered author(s):


    The water and sanitation sector in Latin America and the Caribbean is facing a crisis of confidence. The return of cholera to the region in 1991 was a symptom of deep seated problems and exposed the fragility and inadequacy of publicly operated water supplies and sanitation systems. Despite substantial efforts to improve the quality and coverage of service, one quarter of the urban population is not connected to a public water system, half lacks public sewerage, and the sewage is virtually untreated. The results are a constant threat to the health of the entire population, a perpetuation of unmet basic needs of the poor, and a steady deterioration of the environment. In recent years, private sector participation in water and sanitation has been a topic of discussion among various countries in Latin America, as evidenced by the large attendance at a number of regional seminars organized by the Technical Department of the World Bank's Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office. These seminars have shown that virtually all public water companies are interested in cooperating with the private sector. Some have advanced further and have already involved the private sector in their operations in one way or another. The seminars have catalyzed the pursuit of greater private sector participation and the evolution of privatization models adapted to the institutional realities of Latin America and the Caribbean. This publication incorporates some of the insights gained at these seminars and is aimed at assisting the decisionmaking process that many countries face. The publication consists of two chapters. In the first¾Options for Private Sector Participation¾the main problems of the public sector are analyzed, the rationale for private sector participation (PSP) is explained, and the array of options for PSP is reviewed. In the second chapter Case Study: The Buenos Aires Concession the large concession for the Greater Buenos Aires water supply and sewerage services awarded by the government of Argentina to a private consortium of foreign operators and local investors is presented and analyzed, because it provides an excellent example of the planning and implementation stages that are needed to ensure a successful transition from public to private management.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by World Bank Latin America and the Caribean Region Department in its series Reports with number _017.

    as in new window
    Date of creation: 1995
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wop:bawlad:_017

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Web page:
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research



    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Guisan, M.C. & Aguayo, E., 2007. "Health Expenditure, Poverty and Economic Development in Latin America 2000-2005," International Journal of Applied Econometrics and Quantitative Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 4(2), pages 5-24.
    2. Klein, Michael, 1996. "Economic regulation of water companies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1649, The World Bank.
    3. Mike Garn & Jonathan Isham & Satu Kahkonen, 2002. "Should we Bet on Private or Public Water Utilities in Cambodia? Evidence on Incentives and Performace from Seven Provincial Towns," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0219, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    4. Philippe Marin, 2009. "Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Water Utilities : A Review of Experiences in Developing Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2703, January.
    5. Kerf, Michel, 2000. "Do state holding companies facilitate private participation in the water sector? evidence from Cote d'Ivoire, the Gambia, Guinea, and Senegal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2513, The World Bank.
    6. Johnstone, Nick & Wood, Libby & Hearne, Robert R., 1999. "The Regulation of Private Sector Participation in Urban Water Supply and Sanitation: Realising Social and Environmental Objectives in Developing Countries," Discussion Papers 24142, International Institute for Environment and Development, Environmental Economics Programme.
    7. World Bank, 2006. "Approaches to Private Participation in Water Services : A Toolkit," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6982, January.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:bawlad:_017. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.