Water and sanitation services have specific features that complicate their provision and management. They are essential services characterized by natural monopoly, and their assets are difficult and expensive to develop and monitor.
Written for an audience that includes officials, consultants, and donors, this toolkit illustrates options for the design of policies that facilitate the delivery of good quality water and sanitation services to the poor and discusses the main advantages and disadvantages of the options. Among other things, it discusses stakeholder consultation; the trade-offs among tariffs, subsidies, and service standards; the allocation of risks and responsibilities; and the selection of the operator.
This toolkit focuses on arrangements that involve private firms in the delivery of services to households and businesses, including management contracts, leases, affermages, concessions, and divestitures. It does not consider arrangements under which private companies provide bulk water or wastewater treatment to a government-owned utility. Nor does it consider arrangements under which private companies provide selected services—such as billing and collection— to a utility that is still publicly managed.
In addition to nine chapters that set out and analyze options for private participation, the toolkit includes an appendix of examples that illustrate the choices made by sixteen governments, a spreadsheet-based policy simulation model that illustrates three of the issues discussed in the text (stakeholder analysis, balancing tariffs and service standards, and the allocation of risk), and a CD-ROM that includes documents that offer different perspectives and more detailed advice.