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Private Sector participation and Regulatory Reform in Water Supply: The Southern Mediterranean Experience


  • Edouard Pérard


The southern Mediterranean region faces one of the most important water crises in the world. The combination of aridity, foreign dependency, climate change, misallocation of the resources and escalating human demand make water supply a primary issue for health, economy and poverty reduction. In this context, institutional reform of the water supply sector is of great interest. Thus, the aim of this study is to examine the water regulatory framework in southern Mediterranean countries and the development of private sector participation in the context of water crisis. The first part of the study presents the scope of private sector participation in water supply and its different forms around the world. An extensive review of 22 empirical tests and 48 case studies on the effect of private sector participation in water services has been conducted. This survey shows that private sector participation, per se, in water supply does not systematically lead to gains in efficiency. Reforming the institutional framework is an essential prerequisite for delegating water services. Afterward, the paper focuses on the southern Mediterranean region. It compares institutional arrangements, recent regulatory reforms and experiences with private sector participation in water infrastructure in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia... La région Méditerranéenne fait face à l’une des crises les plus importantes au monde en matière de gestion des ressources en eau. L’aridité, les problèmes géopolitiques, les questions d’allocation de la ressource, la croissance de la demande et les changements climatiques font de l’eau un problème central pour la santé, l’économie et la réduction de la pauvreté. Dans ces circonstances, la réforme institutionnelle du secteur est de toute première importance. Le but de ce papier est donc d’étudier le cadre institutionnel du secteur de l’eau et le développement de la participation du secteur privé dans le contexte de crise que connaît la région Méditerranéenne. La première partie de cette étude présente l’étendue et les différentes formes de participation du secteur privé dans la gestion des infrastructures d’eau dans le monde. La revue de 22 tests empiriques et de 48 études de cas montre que la participation du secteur privé dans les services d’eau ne conduit pas systématiquement à un gain d’efficacité. La réforme du cadre institutionnel apparaît comme étant un pré requis essentiel à toute opération de privatisation/délégation. Le papier se concentre ensuite sur la région Méditerranéenne et compare les arrangements institutionnels, les récentes réformes réglementaires et les diverses expériences en matière de délégation des services d’eau en Algérie, en Egypte, en Jordanie, au Maroc et en Tunisie...

Suggested Citation

  • Edouard Pérard, 2008. "Private Sector participation and Regulatory Reform in Water Supply: The Southern Mediterranean Experience," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 265, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:265-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Independent Evaluation Group, 2010. "Water and Development : An Evaluation of World Bank Support, 1997-2007, Volume 1," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2485.

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