Water Papers

183 items available

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Water Papers are produced by the Water Global Practice, taking up the work of the predecessor Water Unit, Transport, Water and ICT Department, Sustainable Development Vice Presidency.

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Troubled Tariffs: Revisiting Water Pricing for Affordable and Sustainable Water Services

2021-12-02, Andres, Luis A., Misra, Smita, Joseph, George, Thibert, Michael, Fenwick, Crystal

Tariffs are essential but not the only pathway to cost recovery, addressing affordability, and managing water conservation. To maximize their potential, they must be well designed, complemented by appropriate instruments, adequately regulated, and understood by customers. This report builds upon that one, and provides policy makers with the information needed to design better tariffs to further the economic efficiency, affordability, and environmental sustainability of water supply services. Through a layered and comprehensive analysis of the most prevalent tariff structures, it provides policy makers with specific guidance on pricing water supply services in response to the sector’s often-competing goals. This document comprises a synthesis of fifteen unique research papers that, combined, articulate a step-by-step thought process for designing effective tariffs with a view to achieving sustainable development goal (SDG) 6.

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Regulation of Water Supply and Sanitation in Bank Client Countries: A Fresh Look

2018-11, Mumssen, Yogita, Saltiel, Gustavo, Kingdom, Bill, Sadik, Norhan, Marques, Rui

This discussion paper supplements the 2018 World Bank Global Study on Aligning Institutions and Incentives for Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS), which promotes holistic approaches in shaping policies, institutions, and regulation. The paper examines how lower-, lower-middle-, and middle-income countries (LMICs) could implement more effective regulation to deliver sustainable WSS outcomes by considering political, legal, and institutional realities. Rather than importing “best practice” models, experience has emphasized the importance of developing “best fit” regulatory frameworks aligned with policy and institutional frameworks of LMICs. To this end, this discussion paper provides an overview of three regulatory aspects—objectives, forms, and functions—to support practitioners as they consider their own regulatory reform options. It discusses the objectives of water sector regulation in LMICs, types of regulatory arrangements and structures that are being used in LMICs, and instruments and methods that regulators in LMICs use to implement their mandated functions and ends with suggestions on where the WSS community goes from here to better understand the preconditions for effective regulation. This paper does not offer definitive conclusions but rather provides suggestions on the way forward through a phased approach to regulatory reform. Importantly, it sheds light on issues that warrant further investigation to determine the future of WSS regulation in LMICs.

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Aligning Institutions and Incentives for Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Services

2018-05, Mumssen, Yogita, Saltiel, Gustavo, Kingdom, Bill

The objective of this study is to analyze how integrated policy, institutional, and regulatory interventions (institutional interventions in brief) can help align incentives for more sustainable water supply and sanitation (WSS) service delivery. The context for the study is the enhanced global concern about the sustainability of attempts to increase access to, and improve the quality of, WSS services, as exemplified in the sustainable development goals. Aligning institutional interventions refers to harmonization among the objectives for the sector, agreed principles established through political and social processes, and the organizations and mechanisms that implement actions based on such objectives and principles. This report focuses on the formal policy, institutional, and regulatory interventions available to and or prevalent in the water sector, recognizing the critical importance of the informal conventions that will be key factors in the success of any incentive regime. Previous global initiatives offered a range of promising technical solutions that often proved to be unsustainable. New thinking that draws not only infrastructure economics but also on the understanding of political, behavioral, and institutional economics is needed. This new thinking must be grounded within the differing contextual realities of countries globally and in lessons learned from what has or has not worked with regards to achieving specific objectives.