Engaging the private sector in water infrastructure investment
Adopted in 2009, Private Sector Participation in Water Infrastructure is practical guidance for governments wishing to engage the private sector in water infrastructure. Presented in the form of a OECD Checklist for Public Action, the guidance provides a coherent set of policy directions addressing the allocation of roles, risks and responsibilities, and the framework conditions for optimising private sector participation.
We are now working with Egypt, Lebanon, Mexico, Russia and Tunisia to conduct assessments of framework conditions for private sector participation in water infrastructure against the Checklist for Public Action. Three reports have been published to date:
Worldwide, over a billion people lack access to drinking water and 2.6 billion to basic sanitation. Developing and managing water and sanitation infrastructure constitutes an urgent and major challenge. Just halving the proportion of people without access to drinking water and sanitation by 2015 would require investments of some USD 72 billion per year.
To meet these tremendous needs, many countries seek out the private sector to modernise and expand their water and sanitation infrastructure and/or to improve the efficiency of water systems. To make the most of private sector participation, an effective regulatory framework should be in place and key principles of good partnerships should be followed.
This project was completed in March 2009 in time to contribute to the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul. It constitutes one element of a major OECD-wide programme on water policies for affordable services and sustainable resource management.