Water privatization essay

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Water privatization essay

Water privatisation refers to the transfer of ownership of water resources from the public sector to the private sector. Globally, over two-thirds of water and sanitation systems are publicly owned, but in an increasingly capitalistic world, privatisation is becoming ever more common.

In the early 19th century water resources were predominantly the responsibility of private businesses. Provision was socially and spatially varied and many towns were even without mains networks. Regardless of the nature of the ownership, or perhaps as a result of the ownership, water supplies and waste management in the 19th century were often overstretched, unreliable and of inferior quality, a fact highlighted by the cholera epidemics in, and The Government encouraged greater efficiency by allowing water bill increases, sometimes higher than inflation, and introducing cost-benefit analysis.

However, due to financial constraints and the further deterioration of the Victorian infrastructure, the Conservatives decided to fully privatise water and sewage utilities in There are many advantages of water privatisation. Privately-owned industries often have more incentive and expertise to ensure their businesses succeed, whilst governments may be politically motivated and prone to corruption.

Such factors allow private water companies to generate large profits and a high rate of return, allowing further investment. Although the economic restructuring required to achieve such profits often led to a rise in unemployment in 8 of the water companies, employment actually increased at 2 of the companies and the remaining employees at other companies received better training, higher wages and improved working conditions.

Private companies also have a greater financial ability to finance the large investments and technical expertise needed to repair and improve the water systems and meet new European water quality standards. The water companies invested heavily into minimizing environmental impacts and so privatisation has also resulted in marked environmental improvements.

There are, however, also many drawbacks to privatisation.

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Water privatisation faces particular opposition as many consider water a basic human right and are concerned that if water is treated like a commodity then lower-income and vulnerable groups will suffer.

Such concern is not unfounded as water bills have risen well above inflation since privatisation, as the increased profits were usually passed on to shareholders rather than consumers through reduced bills. In fact, the price increases were so excessive that in OFWAT ruled that the water bills should be reduced by Privatisation has also lead to increased socio-spatial polarization of access and cost to water between lower- and higher-income groups.

As the main aim of private companies is to maximize profits they will usually serve the needs of those who are able to pay as opposed to the needs of the majority journalwhich further exacerbates socio-spatial inequality.

The water companies claim that they only disconnect those who can afford to pay but refuse to do so, but in the first five years after privatization the number of households disconnected for non-payment tripled and the majority were low-income households. In the UK legislation was introduced prohibiting companies from disconnecting for non-payment, but in many countries, such as the USA, water companies can disconnect households.

Private companies often face conflict between profitability and service levels, and often over-react to short-term events by cutting back on maintenance or staff costs to minimise short-term losses. Water is an essential resource and should be closed to market forces in order to protect it from the unpredictability of the market.

This may be beneficial for the government but it can have detrimental effects on consumers as the public has little control over private companies and private companies may not have the social and moral responsibility to protect the needs of the general public.

Although privatisation has brought discernible improvements in water and environmental quality, there are still numerous issues in need of attention.

Water privatization essay

Technical efficiency and waste minimization has been increasingly scrutinized by regulators since privatization. Water companies have also suffered droughts, such as the Yorkshire Drought Crisis, and after the floods many households were without clean water for weeks.

The issue of privatisation is very complex and the extent and nature to which you benefit from water being privately or publicly owned, depends on whether you are a consumer, business or government.

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The water companies enjoy large profits and a large degree of control, whilst the governments have been able to pass the investment buck and yet still maintain some regulation of the industry.

Although there have been increases in water charges, I think they are justified because they are due to increased investment in the industry which has led to improved water and environmental quality and sustainability. However, there has been some concern over whether consumers are receiving value for money or whether the increased financial and political outweigh any improvement to their water supply.

There have also been issues of leakages, such as in the case of Thames Water, and several contamination incidences, such as in the case of Yorkshire Water, and there are concerns that the rising water bills and increased disconnection rates are widening socio-spatial inequality.

Overall, it seems that the disadvantages of privatisation outweigh the benefits, and I think a resource as vital as water should be in the hands of the public-sector, which is more likely to prioritise public health 1over profits.

However, improvements in water quality and efficiency require heavy investment, which the public sector is often unable to commit to.Water Privatization Essay. Topics: Drinking water, Poverty, Bolivia Pages: 4 ( words) Published: February 22, Water is just as important as air, it is a basic need for life, ever since the beginning when one is searching for life, water is the first thing to look for, without water there is no life.

It takes less than a week for a human to die from lack of water. Water is the single most important substance on the planet; without it, life could not exist. It's as necessary for humans as oxygen. Water Privatization Essay Words Feb 28th, 5 Pages Water is just as important as air, it is a basic need for life, ever since the beginning when one is searching for life, water is the first thing to look for, without water there is no life.

Water Privatization Essay Water is just as important as air, it is a basic need for life, ever since the beginning when one is searching for life, water is the first thing to look for, without water there is no life.

Water privatization is used here as a shorthand for private sector participation in the provision of water services and sanitation. Private sector participation in water supply and sanitation is controversial.

Proponents of private sector participation argue that it has led to improvements in the efficiency and service quality of utilities.

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