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Public-Private Partnership For 24/7 Water Supply Deemed Successful

India has seen recent success from public-private partnerships (PPPs) to help provide constant water supply in 2 cities.

"A few years ago, in a bid to set standards and create accountability for the provision of public services, India's Ministry of Urban Development made constant, 24x7 water supply the standard for all towns and cities. In an attempt to meet this standard, the Municipal Corporation of Nagpur (NMC) … entered into a PPP for providing 24x7 water supply to its citizens, with a pilot project commissioned in 2009 and plans to scale up and cover the entire city by 2012. At about the same time, the government of Karnataka also entered a PPP to supply round-the-clock water to its citizens in Hubli-Dharwad, Belgaum and Gulbarga.

"The NMC awarded a performance-based contract to Veolia Water, a private sector player. All legal connections were metered, while the slum connections continued to remain non-metered... The PPP ensured that water losses were brought down from 50% to 7% by improving transmission and distribution, and ensuring better metering.

"Success factors: political will to ensure that citizens received 24x7 water was not the least of these factors. The role of the urban local body in the reforms was seen as critical in Karnataka. The PPP, in both cases, was structured to ensure efficiency, as there were performance-based bonuses for increasing supply and collection from consumers and reduction in consumer complaints. In the case of Nagpur, the private sector operator participated in the capital cost, and had a degree of economic ownership, although NMC retained asset ownership... Finally, communication and awareness building was key to gaining public acceptance in Karnataka. In the Nagpur PPP, the lack of communication with the citizens resulted in ... opposition...”

Implications from Institute for the Future:

PPPs or even tri-sector collaboration (government – for profit – non profit) will become increasingly important as all players continue to openly accept and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these different types of organizations. Following the examples of India’s PPPs and other successful examples this trend will blossom.

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Sources:

Intellecap Dec. 2010 pgs 1-3:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/Intellecap_Dec2010.pdf