By: Thelma Triche and Yogita U. Mumssen
This chapter presents an overview of economic regulation of the water supply and sanitation (WSS) sector, briefly describes regulation of WSS in seven countries around the world, explains why regulation of WSS is relevant to the Middle East and North Africa, and outlines the objectives and methodology of this study.
An Overview of Economic Regulation of Water Supply and Sanitation Services
Objectives of Economic Regulation
Economic regulation generally refers to the laws, regulations, enforcement mechanisms,
incentives, and processes that are employed by governments to ensure that essential services such as water supply and sanitation services (WSS) are available to the population at reasonable prices. Regulation is necessary because WSS are natural monopolies and there is no competition in the market. As a result, there is little pressure on service providers to maintain service quality, operate efficiently to keep prices down, and serve marginal and less profitable areas. This is true whether service providers are public or private, but the formal regulation of WSS became a topic of international interest in the late 1980s when the rising cost of infrastructure needed to serve expanding populations and protect the environment led policy makers to seek private investment…..
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