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Jakarta’s remunicipalization plan raises hope for better water service

Jakarta’s remunicipalization plan has raised hopes for better water service. “The remunicipalization plan is part on the city’s efforts to achieve 82 percent tap water coverage by 2023. The realization of this target has been slow because of the previous agreement with the private operators. Tap water coverage today sits at 59.4 percent, a sluggish increase from 44.5 percent in 1998. Activists and the public alike have long demanded remunicipalization. Although Jakarta’s plan is still underway, Badung regency in Bali has found success after ending its 20 year partnership with private firms in 2012, according to remunicipalization global tracker website remunicipalisation.org.”s.

Source: The Jakarta Post

A damning report should spell the end of England’s privatised water industry

The chief executive of the public regulator of private water companies in England and Wales (Ofwat) says the companies “have ‘created the perfect conditions for renationalization” as a result of their own actions. Writing in The Canary, James Aitchison says a damning report should spell the end of England's privatized water industry. “The report, by the University of Greenwich Public Services International Research Unit, compared the privatised English water industry with the public Scottish industry. It provides compelling proof that the privatized water industry in England is inefficient, unnecessarily overpriced, and benefits shareholders at the expense of consumers.” [The Privatised Water Industry in the UK: An ATM for Investors, by Karol Yearwood, September 2018]

Let’s take back what’s ours!

In the wake of a £120 million fine levied against Thames Water by Britain’s regulatory authority for failing to stop leaks, critics are calling for the water system to be brought back into municipal operation. “But if the minister thinks a slap on the wrist will be enough to make Thames Water mend its ways—or even its pipes—he hasn’t been doing his homework. A firm with monopoly control of the supply of water to the capital, which registered operating profits of over £600m last year and which has paid out billions in dividends to private shareholders even while more than doubling its long-term debt (which was over £10 billion in 2016) will hardly feel the pinch at being fined a few million. (…) Thames’s owners—a faceless coterie of Canadian pension funds, the Abu Dhabi and Kuwait investment funds, BT and the China Investment Corporation—can sleep sound in the knowledge that the privatized water supply in England and Wales will keep the payouts flowing. (…) Water belongs to us all and its supply is a natural monopoly. Let’s take back what’s ours.”

Source: Morning Star

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Remunicipalization: The future of water services? (by David A. McDonald)

This paper develops a typology of different ideological forms of remunicipalization, identifying key stakeholders and the nature of their support, as well as indicating prevalent formats and regional trends. My hypothesis is that remunicipalization will continue in the medium term due to widespread dissatisfaction with privatization, but that differences within the re- municipalization movement, combined with resistance from powerful multilateral actors, may make it difficult to sustain.

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