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Economic regulation of water companies


  • Klein, Michael


This paper provides an overview of approaches to the economic regulation of piped water supply and sewerage systems. The discussion emphasizes the particular importance that quality issues take on in water systems relative to any other infrastructure sector. Water quality is obviously important for the consumer of water, but also to others, who may suffer from diseases spread throughout the water system. The paper first asks the question when and why regulation may be needed. This is followed by a review of options to structure water systems, which in turn affects the way regulation operates. The key regulatory rules that may be chosen are then discussed, followed by a brief survey of institutional options for carrying out the regulatory functions. The paper closes with a brief assessment of the implication of regulatory choices for financing of water projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Klein, Michael, 1996. "Economic regulation of water companies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1649, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1649

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Emanuel Idelovitch & Klas Ringskog, 1995. "Private Sector Participation in Water Supply and Sanitation in Latin America," Reports _017, World Bank Latin America and the Caribean Region Department.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reto Foellmi & Urs Meister, 2012. "Enhancing the Efficiency of Water Supply—Product Market Competition Versus Trade," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 299-324, September.
    2. Marcel Boyer & Michel Patry & Pierre J. Tremblay, 2001. "La gestion déléguée de l'eau : Les options," CIRANO Project Reports 2001rp-10, CIRANO.
    3. Goyal, Ashima, 2004. "Getting water from public private partnerships," MPRA Paper 27788, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. 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.
    5. World Bank, 2006. "Approaches to Private Participation in Water Services : A Toolkit," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6982, March.
    6. Reto Foellmi & Urs Meister, 2005. "Product-Market Competition in the Water Industry: Voluntary Non-discriminatory Pricing," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 115-135, June.
    7. Michele Benvenuti & Elena Gennari, 2008. "Water services in Italy: implementation of the reform and efficiency of providers," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 23, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. 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, March.
    9. Komives, Kristin, 1999. "Designing pro-poor water and sewer concessions : early lessons from Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2243, The World Bank.
    10. Tupper, Henrique Cesar & Resende, Marcelo, 2004. "Efficiency and regulatory issues in the Brazilian water and sewage sector: an empirical study," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-40, March.
    11. Fabella, Raul V., 2006. "Shifting the Boundary of the State: The Privatization and Regulation of Water Service in Metropolitan Manila," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30650, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).


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