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Beyond the public–private controversy in urban water management in Spain

Francisco González-Gómez (), Miguel A. García-Rubio () and Jesús González-Martínez

Utilities Policy, 2014, vol. 31, issue C, 1-9

Abstract: This paper critically analyzes the Spanish privatization model of urban water management implemented over the last three decades. The high concentration of private participation in the industry, the absence of competition, and regulatory deficiencies appear to have put the interests of water customers at risk. Improvement of governance is not guaranteed simply by changing water-system management from public to private. In Spain, an array of institutional reforms are needed to rationalize a change in management structure for this service, reorganize technical operations, improve the administrative framework, increase transparency, and promote citizen participation. This paper moves beyond the simple public–private controversy and contributes to the literature by using fieldwork conducted by the authors to assess private participation in the management of urban water services in Spain; by identifying gaps in the privatization processes as well as failures in the industry; and, above all, by proposing reforms to Spain's institutional and regulatory frameworks for the industry.

Keywords: Urban water; Privatization; Remunicipalization; Institutional changes; Spain (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2014.07.004

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