Water, Politics and Money

A Reality Check on Privatization

  • Manuel Schiffler

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Manuel Schiffler
    Pages 1-13
  3. Latin America: Two Aborted Privatizations and One That Endured

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
  4. The Middle East: Reform Deadlock, with an Exception

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 45-45
    2. Manuel Schiffler
      Pages 47-53
    3. Manuel Schiffler
      Pages 55-59
  5. Europe and North America: Private and Public Utilities Compared

  6. Asia and Africa: Three Successful Utility Turnarounds, Public and Private

  7. Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 177-177
    2. Manuel Schiffler
      Pages 179-184
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 185-214

About this book


This book reveals all that can potentially happen when a private company takes over a local water supply system, both the good and the bad. Backed by real life stories of water privatization in action, author Manuel Schiffler presents a nuanced picture free of spin or fear mongering.

Inside, readers will find a detailed analysis of the multiple forms of water privatization, from the outright sale of companies to various forms of public-private partnerships. After covering their respective strengths and weaknesses, it then compares them to purely publicly managed water utilities.

The book examines the privatization and the public management of water and sewer utilities in twelve countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Philippines, Cambodia, Egypt, Jordan, Uganda, Bolivia, Argentina and Cuba. Readers will come to understand how and why some utilities failed while others succeeded, including some that substantially increased access, became more efficient and improved service quality even in the poorest countries of the world.

It is natural that a private company taking over a local water supply system causes both fear and worry for consumers. With the aid of solid empirical evidence, this book argues that who manages the system is only half the story. Rather, it is the corporate culture of the utilities and the political culture of where they operate that more often than not determines performance and how well a community is served.


Finance International Development Politics Privatization Water

Authors and affiliations

  • Manuel Schiffler
    • 1
  1. 1.KfWFrankfurt am MainGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Business and Economics
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-16690-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-16691-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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