Water P-Notes

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These practitioner notes (P-Notes) are published by the Water Sector Board of the Sustainable Development Network of the World Bank Group. P-Notes are a synopsis of larger World Bank documents in the water sector.

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    Using a Private Operator to Establish a Corporatized Public Water Utility : The Management Contract for Johannesburg Water
    (Washington, DC, 2010-04) World Bank
    In post-apartheid Johannesburg, South Africa, the city water authority had fallen into disarray (a common situation with urban services). In 2001, a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) emerged as a way to bring new expertise and efficiency to the delivery of public utility services, where a five-year management contract successfully restored services, built local capacity, and helped put Johannesburg Water on a solid footing. The management contract for water supply and sanitation services in Johannesburg, South Africa presents an entirely different perspective. The municipal government implemented the PPP as an interim measure, part of a program specifically designed to improve the efficiency of municipal public services. While an experienced international operator was brought in, the aim of the PPP was not to transfer management to a private concessionaire for the long run. Instead, the goal was to establish a viable, corporatized public water utility by leveraging the expertise of an experienced private operator for a number of years.
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    Climate Variability and Water Resources in Kenya : The Economic Cost of Inadequate Management
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-01) Mogaka, Hezron ; Gichere, Samuel ; Davis, Richard ; Hirji, Rafik
    Eighty percent of Kenya is arid and semi-arid land; yet despite chronic water scarcity, the country has developed only 15 percent of its available safe water resources. Demand for water is expected to rise, owing to population increases and growing requirements for irrigated agriculture, urban and rural populations, industries, livestock, and hydropower. Meanwhile, climate variability and the steady degradation of water resources cost Kenya at least 3.3 billion Kenyan shillings (Ksh) annually. Between 1997 and 2000, the El Nino-La Nina floods and droughts cost an estimated 290 billion Ksh, or 14 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the period. While it is not economical to avoid all costs, many of them can be minimized by increased investments in management and infrastructure, and more efficient, accountable, and participatory management and operation of the water sector.
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    Engaging Local Private Operators in Water Supply and Sanitation Services
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-06) Triche, Thelma ; Requeno, Sixto ; Kariuki, Mukami
    Programs to reform urban utilities and to engage the private sector have tended to focus on large cities and on transactions with large foreign private operators. This is changing, as smaller towns and cities are growing rapidly in many developing countries. Concurrently, decentralization is shifting responsibility for services from national to smaller entities that often cannot finance and manage them effectively. Paralleling this trend, new service models in which local private firms contract with local governments or community associations to provide water supply and sanitation (WSS) services have been proposed in smaller urban contexts. The author examined how these challenges are being addressed in eight World Bank projects in Cambodia, Colombia, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Uganda. In all five countries, the government has sought public-private partnerships to promote sustainability, increase access to services (particularly for the poor), and, except in Cambodia, strengthen the role of local government. All five countries have policies that encourage greater access to services by the poor, to the extent consistent with the paramount goal of financial viability. Investment subsidies, particularly those targeting the poor, have played an important role in all cases.