86 cities took back water from privates. Don’t they know better?

86 cities took back water from privates. Don’t they know better?

List of water remunicipalisations worldwide – As of November 2013

(link to PSIRU publication)

The tables below list the cases of remunicipalisation occurred in the last 15 years in developed, transition and developing countries.These remunicipalisations occurred mainly for three reasons: the widespread problems affecting water privatisation irrespective of country and regulatory regime; the equal or greater efficiency of public water services, and the lower prices resulting from elimination of excessive profits; and,the comparative advantage of the public sector in realizing the human right to water and sanitation and achieving other social and environmental objectives.These three reasons have led major cities in the US (e.g. Atlanta, Milwaukee, Indianapolis) and Europe (e.g. Paris, Berlin) to remunicipalise their water services.The case of Paris is symbolically powerful as Paris hosts the headquarters of the two major water multinationals, and because these two multinationals were holding the private contracts that were terminated in 2009.Also, Paris and Berlin (which decided to remunicipalise in September 2013)are the capital cities of the two countries (France and Germany) that are regarded as leading the European Union project.

As of November 2013, the cases of remunicipalisation around the world total 86. All of these except three took place between 2000 and 2013. Of the 86 remunicipalitions, 51 are in high income countries and 35 in transition and developing countries. The cases in high income countries show a marked acceleration: 28 out of 51 took place in the five years between 2009 and 2013, while 14 occurred between 2004 and 2008. The pace of remunicipalisation has therefore doubled after 2009. This is due to the example of Paris which produced an even stronger acceleration in France. Of the 21 remunicipalisations that took place in France, occurred in the four years between 2010 (when Paris remunicipalised) and 2013, while the remaining six occurred in the 12 years between 1997 and 2009. It is also significant that such a high number of cases are concentrated in France, where the experience with water privatisation is more extensive and goes back decades. In middle and low income countries, remunicipalisation takes a slightly different pattern. However, even here there is a large number of remunicipalisations with high profile cases including Buenos Aires, La Paz, Johannesburg,Dar-es-Salaam, and Ghana. Also, the net trend since 2006 is in favor of remunicipalisation. Overall, there is a strong remunicipalisation trend both in the global North and South.


Initiative for the non privatization of water in Greece


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