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Tertium Datur in the Water Sector? Towards a New Business Paradigm for Water Utilities


  • Nardi Paolo


Italian water sector faces an important paradigm shift: both the limits of keynesianism and the critical issues emerged with neoliberalism are strengthening a road back to water as a commons and urban infrastructure as impure public goods. Thus, a model of business is required to safeguard the intrinsic characteristics of water and sewerage services, stressing their important role in the development of people and communities. Non profit utility model, applied in several countries since decades, is supposed to be a very positive example for two main reasons: in different manners, consumers are involved into the governance; non-distribution constraints and profits are implied for investments or reducing tariffs.

Suggested Citation

  • Nardi Paolo, 2011. "Tertium Datur in the Water Sector? Towards a New Business Paradigm for Water Utilities," Economia dei Servizi, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 253-268.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:j1t56u:doi:10.2382/35526:y:2011:i:2:p:253-268

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    More about this item


    non profit utility; water and wastewater sector; urban infrastructure; L33; L95; P13.;

    JEL classification:

    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities


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