Improved Urban Water Services Through Appropriate Regulation, Tariffs And Management
Free (open access)
M. O. B. Rodriguez
This paper integrates comments and proposals derived from extensive readings, observations and reflections about common deficiencies and improvement needs in the urban water utilities in Mexico and other developing countries. It explains the need for sound external regulatory bodies, the risks of their absence during privatisations, the relevance of a recently developed method for tariff design, as well as strategies and information tools available for managing a utility. It also signals that a long term master plan must compromise performance improvement targets, and propose how financial self sufficiency will be achieved and resources will be obtained, and their impact on tariffs, as well as strategies for reducing water extractions through demand management, particularly when waste treatment is deficient or inexistent, or the aquifer is overexploited. Other points dealt with here refer to the duties and working characteristics for a regulator, the benchmarking procedures, information needs, and some supports available from international institutions and associations. Keywords: Demand management, master plan, performance monitoring, regulation, tariffs, utility management, accountability, water culture, technology, private participation. 1 Demands, conflicts, technology and conscience of the service Even though the geographic scope of this article is the urban milieu, it is convenient to start with a higher vision, making reference to the river basins and their hydric problematic, since in them is where water is generated and to where it returns after cities discard it. In the basin is where growing scarcity and conflicts among different users are better visualized.
Demand management, master plan, performance monitoring, regulation, tariffs, utility management, accountability, water culture, technology, private participation.