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Making water affordable to all: A typology and evaluation of options for urban water pricing

  • Lehmann, Paul

An important criterion for the design of urban water prices is the affordability of water supply for poor customers. This paper presents a typology of water pricing options which policy-makers have at their disposal in order to address affordability. A review of theoretical insights and empirical experiences reveals, however, how the real-world performance of these options depends on the characteristics of their technological and socio-economic environment. Moreover, possible trade-offs between affordability and other criteria, including efficiency, financial sustainability and administrative simplicity, are pointed out. Thereby, the paper is meant to assist policy-makers in identifying water pricing options which are appropriate for their context.

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Paper provided by Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS) in its series UFZ Discussion Papers with number 10/2011.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ufzdps:102011
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  1. Hajispyrou, Soteroula & Koundouri, Phoebe & Pashardes, Panos, 2002. "Household demand and welfare: implications of water pricing in Cyprus," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 659-685, October.
  2. Fankhauser, Samuel & Tepic, Sladjana, 2007. "Can poor consumers pay for energy and water? An affordability analysis for transition countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1038-1049, February.
  3. Antonio Estache & V. Foster & Q. Wodon, 2002. "Accounting for Poverty in Infrastructure Reform: Learning from Latin America's Experience," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44108, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Regina Birner & Heidi Wittmer, 2004. "On the 'efficient boundaries of the state': the contribution of transaction-costs economics to the analysis of decentralization and devolution in natural resource management," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(5), pages 667-685, October.
  5. Piet Rietveld & Jan Rouwendal & Bert Zwart, 2000. "Block Rate Pricing of Water in Indonesia: An Analysis of Welfare Effects," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 73-92.
  6. Georg Meran & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2009. "Increasing Block Tariffs in the Water Sector: A Semi-Welfarist Approach," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 902, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. David Coady & Margaret Grosh & John Hoddinott, 2004. "Targeting of Transfers in Developing Countries : Review of Lessons and Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14902, June.
  8. Maria García-valiñas, 2005. "Efficiency and Equity in Natural Resources Pricing: A Proposal for Urban Water Distribution Service," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(2), pages 183-204, October.
  9. Dale Whittington, 2006. "Pricing Water and Sanitation Services," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2006-18, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  10. Castro-Rodriguez, Fidel & Da-Rocha, Jose Maria & Delicado, Pedro, 2002. "Desperately Seeking Theta's: Estimating the Distribution of Consumers under Increasing Block Rates," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 29-58, July.
  11. Arjan Ruijs, 2009. "Welfare and Distribution Effects of Water Pricing Policies," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(2), pages 161-182, June.
  12. Whittington, Dale, 1992. "Possible Adverse Effects of Increasing Block Water Tariffs in Developing Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 75-87, October.
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  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521314008 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Andrew C. Worthington & Mark Hoffman, 2008. "An Empirical Survey Of Residential Water Demand Modelling," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 842-871, December.
  16. Kristin Komives & Vivien Foster & Jonathan Halpern & Quentin Wodon, 2005. "Water, Electricity, and the Poor : Who Benefits from Utility Subsidies?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6361, June.
  17. McCann, Laura & Colby, Bonnie & Easter, K. William & Kasterine, Alexander & Kuperan, K.V., 2005. "Transaction cost measurement for evaluating environmental policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 527-542, March.
  18. AndrÈs GÛmez-Lobo & Dante Contreras, 2003. "Water Subsidy Policies: A Comparison of the Chilean and Colombian Schemes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(3), pages 391-407, December.
  19. Komives, Kristin & Halpern, Jonathan & Foster, Vivien & Wodon, Quentin & Abdullah, Roohi, 2006. "The distributional incidence of residential water and electricity subsidies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3878, The World Bank.
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  21. Christopher Timmins, 2002. "Measuring the Dynamic Efficiency Costs of Regulators' Preferences: Municipal Water Utilities in the Arid West," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 603-629, March.
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