|Title||Consumer cooperatives : an alternative institutional model for delivery of urban water supply and sanitation services?|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Ruiz-Mier, F, van Ginneken, M, World Bank -Washington, DC, US|
|Secondary Title||Water supply and sanitation working notes|
|Pagination||iii, 25 p. : 7 fig., 2 tab.|
|Publisher||World Bank Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Board|
|Place Published||Washington, DC, USA|
|Keywords||bolivia, institutional aspects, sanitation, sdilac, sdiman, urban areas, water supply, water user cooperatives|
With focus on system-wide urban water supply cooperatives, the essential characteristics of consumer cooperatives engaged in the provision of basic services, and their applicability as an alternative institutional model for water supply and sanitation service provision in urban areas are described. However, its applicability depends on external conditions, particularly (a) the size of the population the cooperative serves; (b) the strength of state presence; and (c) the degree to which the population has a culture of civic service. Urban or peri-urban cooperatives that depend on either boreholes or bulk purchases of water from a utility for distribution are not reviewed, nor does the paper refer to rural water supply cooperatives that are generally small.
A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Performance of utility cooperatives varies widely. The practices and organization adopted are a determining factor in the results achieved. Well-functioning utility cooperatives provide dependable services to all members, do not discriminate, and are governed by a fair and uncorrupted management.
After a general overview of cooperatives and a discussion of the main characteristics of utility co-operatives, the paper reviews the case of SAGUAPAC, a successful urban WSS cooperative in Bolivia, from which it draws some conclusions in the form of a preliminary assessment of co-operatives as a model for delivery of urban water supply and sanitation (WSS) services.
Critical design factors for successful co-operatives are also outlined.