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'Standpipes and beyond'-a universal water service dynamic


  • Esther Gerlach

    (Centre for Water Science, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK)

  • Richard Franceys

    (Centre for Water Science, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK)


The failure of many developing countries water utilities to provide adequate services to low-income urban populations stands in marked contrast with calls for universal access to water services, often based on a concept of human rights. Much of the parallel, regulation oriented, 'universal service obligation' rhetoric not only ignores the origins and continuing evolution of the term but equally fails to consider the practical realities of achieving universality of networked urban water supply, particularly in the slums. This paper proposes a 'universal water service dynamic' which allows service obligations to evolve transparently and progressively in line with different consumer groups' preparedness to pay, relative to their perception of the benefits. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Esther Gerlach & Richard Franceys, 2010. "'Standpipes and beyond'-a universal water service dynamic," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 455-469.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:22:y:2010:i:4:p:455-469
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1567

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gasmi, F. & Laffont, J. J. & Sharkey, W. W., 2000. "Competition, universal service and telecommunications policy in developing countries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 221-248, September.
    2. Laffont,Jean-Jacques, 2005. "Regulation and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521840187.
    3. Estache, Antonio & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Xinzhu Zhang, 2004. "Universal service obligations in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3421, The World Bank.
    4. Omar Chisari & Antonio Estache & Catherine Waddams Price, 2003. "Access by the poor in Latin America's utility reform: subsidies and service obligations," Chapters,in: Utility Privatization and Regulation, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Sheila M. Olmstead, 2004. "Thirsty Colonias: Rate Regulation and the Provision of Water Service," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(1), pages 136-150.
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