privatizing water

Michael Perelman michael at
Wed Mar 22 14:08:15 PST 2000

Regarding the last sentence about competition: Water suppliers are generally a monopoly unless you imagine the monopoly supplier in South Africa competing against the monopoly supplier in India. Or am I missing something.

Doug Henwood wrote:

> [Serageldin's denial in the last paragraph should evoke Claud
> Governments should be enablers and regulators of community action for the
> efficient delivery of water, not water service providers, reports Businessworld
> (the Philippines). In a briefing at World Water Forum in The Hague, World Bank
> Vice-President for Special Programs Ismail Serageldin said governments should
> enable communities to take care of themselves given their enormous capacity to
> do so.
> Serageldin denied accusations from NGOs that the World Commission on Water's
> report presented a "corporate vision for privatizing water", reports El País
> (Spain, p.34). The document does not so much seek the privatization of water
> services as to demonstrate that if water is provided free of charge, people do
> not appreciate its true value and consequently tend to waste it. Water is a
> fundamental human right, he said, but this does not mean it should be provided
> for free. "Only competition will bring prices down," he is quoted as saying.

-- Michael Perelman Economics Department California State University Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321 E-Mail michael at

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