Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations

Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations

“Introduction … Multi-actor and Implications for decision making … Safeguarding public values; the devil is in the detail … Regulation … Connecting the dots: water regulation”
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Summaries

  • Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.2 Multi-actor and Implications for decision making > Web lecture: The process of decision-making, a multi-actor game
  • Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.2 Multi-actor and Implications for decision making > Web lecture: Muddling through
  • Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.3 Safeguarding public values; the devil is in the detail > Web lecture: Safeguarding public values
  • Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.3 Safeguarding public values; the devil is in the detail > Web lecture: Securing Public values in infrastructures
  • Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.4 Regulation > Interview: The importance of regulation
  • Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.4 Regulation > Case study : Offshore wind energy and regulation
  • Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.5 Connecting the dots: water regulation > Web lecture: water and regulation
  • Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.5 Connecting the dots: water regulation > Web lecture: water and regulation

Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.2 Multi-actor and Implications for decision making > Web lecture: The process of decision-making, a multi-actor game

  • My research is on complex decision-making processes in the public sector and at the intersection of the public and private sector, including various utility sectors.
  • Or a electricity network and the delivery of electricity.
  • The costs of the roll out and maintenance of a network are sometimes so extremely high, that no private party is willing to invest in it – and the network is therefor in public hands.
  • Is some countries there is an additional argument for that: networks are strategic assets and should therefor not be owned by private parties.
  • The owner of the network should not be the one who delivers the service – so the unbundling of network and service delivery is key in the liberalization philosophy.
  • Former incumbents, that owned the network and delivered the service, have been split up.
  • One part of the incumbent’s organization has developed into a network owner; the other part delivers a service.
  • We all know, blueprints do not work and greenfield situations do not exist! There are many differences between sectors, many different brownfield situations, incumbents sometimes tried to hamper new parties, business models proved to be less attractive that originally thought – but the basics of this philosophy are visible in almost all utility sectors.
  • In the old days, there was sometimes only one organization, a public monopolist, that owned the network and delivered the service.
  • Now there are many companies delivering services and there are sometimes even competing networks – particularly in the world of Internet and telecom.
  • In the old days there were clear distinctions between for example electricity and transport – but now these two sectors are converging.
  • How can be store electricity? Well, perhaps the batteries of electric vehicles are the solution – and the sector of electricity and transport are suddenly closely connected.
  • So fragmented sector are converging, and the result is a spaghetti-like situation.
  • Many actors, many interdependencies – what the social scientists call ‘a multi-actor network’.
  • Take the transport sector, with its many players: several modalities, many regions and per modality, per region a number of players, both public and private, with completely different interest and no central authority.
  • No single actor is in control, there is a network of interdependencies between this actors.
  • Cooperation is a multi-actor network is extremely difficult – because of the many different interests.
  • A family of five – father, mother, a 19 year old daughter, a 16 year old daughter and a boy of 8 years old.
  • Mum and dad are equals, and the eldest daughter is 18 years old.
  • The mechanism is: the agenda has so many issues, that there is potential gain and potential pain for each of the players.
  • In a multi-issue game, parties will almost automatically become more flexible, because the multi-issue game forces them to play the game of giving and taking.
  • How does that work? Suppose this family has had several meetings and has reached deals on each of this issue.
  • Per issue, we’ll find another coalition of proponents and opponents.
  • I know I need your support on issue 2, on which we agree and work together.
  • One the other hand, more organizations often means more issues, and more issue make it easier to find common ground.
  • So when all the organizations in the transport sector have to reach consensus on one travel card, never say: this is the envisaged cart, please accept it, but try to collect a series of issues.

Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.2 Multi-actor and Implications for decision making > Web lecture: Muddling through

  • My two web lectures for this week are about the essence of the governance challenge in the world of infrastructure.
  • In the earlier lectures, you have been told what the developments in the world of infrastructure are: processes like convergence, internationalization and decentralization.
  • Put simply, these processes result in more players, more relations between physical systems and more relations between these players.
  • As a result of that, a web of interdependencies emerges: many systems and many players, with different rationalities and interests, depending upon each other.
  • In such a network of interdependencies, no single actor is in charge – decision-making is always a result of a process of interaction, of a negotiation.
  • On top of that, there are many unknowns and often split incentives, which makes the world of infrastructures even more complex.
  • Middelton’s lecture – she has a very powerful overview of the main elements of complexity.
  • The question now is, what this complexity mean for governance.
  • The first is that central planning is such a world is of course impossible.
  • No one oversees all the complexity, there are too many uncertainties.
  • Who should make that plan, if the world is a network of interdependencies and if there is no one single actor in charge? So what will happen? Lets first have a look at the basic pattern.
  • There are different sectors, different countries, different players and al these sectors, countries and players will develop their own activities.
  • They will make plans, anticipate other plans, react to other plans and execute these plans.
  • Many people will complain that we need more coordination, more joint up initiatives, but that is almost impossible in such a fragmented world.
  • In such a structure, decision making on the future of infrastructures will probably be a very sluggish process.
  • There are many actors, no one is in charge, there are many interests, so decision making is inherently slow.
  • Decision making is what Nobel prize winner Charles Lindblom called a matter of muddling through.
  • We can only make very small steps and sometimes we will make one step forward and two steps backward.
  • So the basic observation is: is a world of convergence, internationalization and decentralization we will be faced with patchwork like structures and muddling-through like decision making.
  • Many people will say that we need transparent structures, not patchwork-like structures and for integrated decision-making, not muddling through.
  • He not only says that muddling through decision making is inevitable, but that we should also prefer that type of decision making.
  • The first is that muddling through decision-making is conducive to learning processes.
  • In a complex world, we often do not know what the impact of a decision will be.
  • So it is better to make a small step than a big leap forward.
  • When we make a small step, we will learn what the impact is, and subsequently we can make a next step.
  • If a step has unwanted or negative consequences, the damage will be limited, because it was only a small step.
  • The damage will be much bigger and learning will be much more difficult.
  • So making small steps makes it easier to adapt to unforeseen developments.
  • A big leap forward in a dynamic world always carries a risk.
  • The world might change and the big leap might result in what is called ‘locking in’.
  • The big leap is in the direction of option A, but the world changes and option B becomes more feasible.
  • The bigger the leap, the bigger the chance that we will be locked in eventually.
  • So don’t think that you can change the whole transport system overnight, based upon a grand design.
  • If you liberalize a system, don’t think that you will harvest the planned advantages of liberalization.
  • Given the complexity of these systems, radical change is not only impossible, but might even be deceptive.
  • So the first observation is that muddling through is not only inevitable, but might also work – it is conducive to learning and adaptiveness.
  • The second core notion is on the complexity of these types of situations.
  • Earlier, professor Middleton explained the concept of complexity.
  • In a world full of complexity it is all about relations and interactions, was her message.
  • That is our second key notion: In a complex world, you can never fully understand the content of a problem; it is too complex for that, there are too many uncertainties; there are too many mechanisms that result in non-deterministic outcomes or system instability.

Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.3 Safeguarding public values; the devil is in the detail > Web lecture: Safeguarding public values

  • This web lecture is about governance and public values.
  • When we privatize or liberalize public services in the world of transport, energy or telecom, it’s common sense to emphasize that public values should be safeguarded.
  • A public value might be affordability – we should not make a public service too expensive, denying people access to this service.
  • All these public values have to be safeguarded in a privatized environment.
  • We can safeguard these values by regulation or by special conditions in a contract, we can formulate special conditions in a concession, or we can design a performance management system, the instruments depends on the specifics of the context.
  • Before we start talking about the policy instruments to safeguard public values, there are four issues that have to be resolved.
  • These issues are: the identification of the most relevant public values, The trade-off between these values, the multi-actor context, and the question how to specify public values.
  • In a specific situation we will of course identify the main public values.
  • So in the case of public transport, public values might be affordability, quality, punctuality, and sustainability.
  • Now the issue is that these public values will almost always be conflicting or competing.
  • So we always have to make a trade off between competing values.
  • At first, the government emphasis the public value of affordability – reasonable prices are key to the government, busses should be an attractive modality to everyone, including the low income groups.
  • After a few years, the public value of sustainability might become important.
  • There are not only competing public values, requiring a trade off, this trade off might also be dynamic and change in the course of time.
  • Safeguarding public values always takes place in what we call a multi-actor context – there are many actors involved, with often diverging interests and opinions.
  • All these actors have a stake in bus transport – and they all have an opinion on what the relevant public values are and what the trade off should be.
  • Formally, a government offering a concession will make the decisions on the public values and the trade off between these values.
  • So the point here is, There are not only competing public values, requiring a trade off, this trade off might not only be dynamic and change in the course of time.
  • There are also different actors involved, with different opinions on what the relevant public values are, what the trade off should be and whose opinions might change over time.
  • We will all agree with public values like affordability, quality, safety, accessibility, sustainability.
  • Coming back to the example of the bus: What exactly is affordability? What is a reasonable price for a ticket? What actually is quality? How do we define punctuality? Safeguarding public values might mean that you have to dive into the details.
  • So safeguarding public values is not an easy thing, given these four issues; an example: Suppose a bus operator will get a concession to exploit a network of lines.
  • A trade off of public values will be made and each public value will be made specific, will be operationalized.
  • How will a government safeguard this public values? For example by imposing a penalty.
  • This completes the picture of Safeguarding Public Values – competing public values require a trade-off – this trade off is dynamic – different actors might have different opinions on public values, – public values have to be made specific – this process of making the specific requires cooperation between at least the principal – the government – and the agent – the bus operator – to prevent perverse effects.
  • Remember, whatever the policy instrument to safeguard public values is, it will almost always be a negotiated instrument.

Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.3 Safeguarding public values; the devil is in the detail > Web lecture: Securing Public values in infrastructures

  • In an earlier lecture Professor De Bruijn talked about securing public values in infrastructure sectors.
  • With a trend towards deregulation, liberalization, and privatization, it was obvious that public values had to be secured.
  • Here we want to have a closer look into: the process through which public values are defined; how they are secured in specific institutions; and the role of different actors in that process.
  • We will look at the various steps in which public values are defined, how institutions are designed, this gives us an overview of the role of the different actors and the pitfalls and bottlenecks to be expected.
  • In the video you see a lobby group counter the public values the UK government is claiming for the High Speed Railway line 2: triggering investment and improving mobility with a clean mode of transport.
  • It shows the variety of public values that people are looking at when evaluating infrastructures.
  • Let’s look at this discussion from the perspective of public values a bit more.
  • What are public values anyway? Public values are those values that governments have adopted to secure.
  • To answer whether or not a value is a possible public value can be addressed in various ways.
  • Policy scientist like Bozeman and Beck Jorgenson focus list and categorizing typical public values.
  • It makes sense that any value secured through a formal governmental decision making process, is a public value.
  • When in democratic countries parliament decides that all trains should have toilets or busses should be burgundy red because of improved quality, this is a de facto pubic value.
  • Obviously, it al starts with the moment that governments become concerned with these values.
  • In that democratic society, the voters can put values on the agenda, they want secured.
  • Parties or representatives are expected to pick up on these values.
  • Elections are the key moments in which voters are expressing their view on what important values are for their society.
  • Periodic elections would make for a limited shift in the valuation of different public values.
  • When a train accident occurs, the legislature is concerned about railway safety, often inducing further regulation of that value.
  • Legislators work in formal decision-making with executive branch to deal with specific public values.
  • In the interactions between the legislature and the executive, public values often are dealt with separately, as feel good concepts.
  • The general justice system, specific regulators of sectors, markets or specific public values like safety, they all oversee providers of infrastructure related services.
  • They direct and measure the performance of the providers on a specific set of parameters related to public values and develop positive and negative incentives to secure the public values in the management and operation of the providers.
  • The “department” and “provider” sectors of the circle are layered in themselves.
  • Some of these agencies are related to a specific public value, like privacy, safety or market watchdogs.
  • In many infrastructures we see a distinction between providers of infrastructure capacity and providers of a transport service.
  • What happens to public values through this circle? First of all, the feel-good-concepts are translated to more operational measures of performance.
  • Now the provider of bus services can cancel bus services that are running late, to reach the performance threshold and avoid the penalty.
  • Second, the separate values go separate paths, from adoption as separate feel-good-concepts in parliament, through laws, agencies, contracts, licenses, and the management of the provider.
  • Eventually, in the operation of the provider, all public values have to be delivered upon: the services have to be safe, clean, accessible, reliable, affordable, and much more.
  • All the interventions aimed to secure separate pubic values come together in the way that the trains are run, the servers are set up, the water is delivered, the sewerage it disposed off.
  • Providers are coping with various conflicting interventions, if only in the way that the provider is spending its limited funds to comply with all these different values.
  • Often the conflicts are more direct, for example the demand on availability and speed in public transport.
  • The different paths to secure various public values all come together in the operation of the provider.
  • Third, public values are secured in laws, secured though agencies, defined in contracts, concessions or licenses.
  • Various public values have found a specific institutional form in which it is secured, in a relatively stable system.
  • The reality of performance of infrastructures leads to constant attention for different public values and subsequent tinkering on these institutions.
  • A lot happens to public values from the feel-good-concept to the operation of the provider.
  • In this module we looked at public values in a bit more detail.
  • Securing public values is done in various types of institutions; public values in the public debate are often feel-good-concepts, with a great deal of current debate on separate values and the attention they need to get; public values go to a transformation process from that feel-good-concept to explicit measure of performance.
  • If you are of will be working in one of the mentioned roles, I hope the overview provided you with some help and understanding the fragmentation of the sector and how that hinders securing public values in infrastructures.

Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.4 Regulation > Interview: The importance of regulation

  • Well, regulation tries to modify the behavior of people, of companies.
  • The lack of regulation is also regulation because people will be incentivized to do one thing or another.
  • What we try with regulation is to steer to drive the behavior, if needed, of companies in a certain sector, as I said.
  • Well I think that, I try to explain to my students in the classes of the regulations of the power sector that I teach, that regulation has to be long, loud and legal.
  • By loud, what I mean is that the regulation has to be strong enough.
  • So the regulation has to be for infrastructures that have a long economic life, people are going to invest if they think that the regulation is going to last for decades.
  • So they’re trying to do the best that they can in gas and electricity but they ignore for instance transportation.
  • Trying to have experts in telecommunications, transport, water and electricity and gas at the same time is impossible.
  • Sometimes they come from international relations, and the regulators are looking at secondary regulation and try to implement it.
  • They could be neutral and do nothing, or they could realize that secondary regulation is critical to achieve the purposes of the main regulation and then they should try to, try to have also a soul.
  • The regulation at high level will determine that, let’s say the European Commission will agree on some directive to approve on a certain CO2 target.
  • Well if the CO2 target is stringent enough the prices of CO2 will be high and those prices will make that the clean technologies will become more competitive with the other, with respect to the other ones, or that practices like for instance driving vehicles that are very polluting, I mean that they consume a lot of fuel and well they are inefficient, they will be penalized.
  • Well, I am working now in projects for universal access to electricity in India, in Peru, Kenia, looking at other countries also, and what I would say is that we have to think about regulation in a different way when we are trying to approach these problems.
  • One thing that we have to realize is that in developed countries, in my own country Spain, or I’ve seen that in the United States, I would say that in all countries in Europe, universal access to electricity in maybe in the forties or the fifties was achieved by subsidies from the people who had access to electricity, that paid a surcharge so that it was possible to extend the grids, provide electricity to everybody and then people were able to pay to maintain, and to pay for the charges, but not for the infrastructure that was needed to reach them.
  • Sometimes the solution comes from microgrids, or individual solar systems, and those require specific regulation.
  • In many places, I know in India, some other places in Africa, those micro grids are, or standalone solar systems, are appearing without regulation.
  • I think that regulation there should take care of standardizing those practices to make sure that when electricity through connection to the grid could be provided or later if those people are able to consume more electricity, that they will be able to upgrade those networks, or those systems so that they could have not only the very basic tier one service, but tier two, three, four and have access to a better life.

Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.4 Regulation > Case study : Offshore wind energy and regulation

  • The common European Energy policy of course is not only related to wind energy, it’s a much broader issue.
  • If you look to energy policy yes to a certain degree its already done by the EU and by a lot of regulatory bodies of the European Union.
  • So and France has another approach, Germany has a very strong national approach to energy so yes I think there is a need towards a European Energy Policy.
  • Wind energy is really indispensable if we look at sustainable energy systems.
  • We need wind, we need significant input of wind if we really want to move towards sustainable energy systems.
  • On land, wind is already competitive with conventional fossil fuel power plants.
  • On land there is limited space to build all these wind turbines and there’s also lot of public resistance against building wind turbines.
  • More than 50-60-70 or even perhaps 100 kilometers off shore so you will not see these wind mills even.
  • There is much more constant flow of wind which is also a big advantage for this means of sustainable power production.
  • So there is quite some movement at this moment to develop off shore wind energy.
  • Off shore is also not empty water, there are lot of right for fishery and recreation, for military or naval transport.
  • Then we want to place wind power there in between somewhere.
  • So you can not just take on shore wind turbines and put them off shore.
  • Imagine you build a wind park 100 kilometers out of the shore.
  • Or should it be covered by the operators who build the wind parks there off shore.
  • If you consider that off shore wind is a long term option for several decades then it might make sense to have the national system operator being there and provide these cables and networks.
  • Because Germany has other energy policies than the Netherlands.
  • It might be very tempting or attractive to export wind power from the Netherlands to Germany because of the subsidies are bigger in Germany.
  • Another additional issue with off shore wind is also that if we build these far and large off shore wind turbines outside the 12 mile zone, its not anymore the law as we know it in the Netherlands.
  • Load balancing is a very important issue if you look to sustainable energy production.
  • Because the availability of wind is not always in line with the need for power.
  • So there’s a huge discussion going on on the storage of electricity and perhaps even other means of energy.
  • So these power to gas discussion: could we use a surplus of wind power energy in the North Sea to change electric energy into hydrogen? So you would need water and then you could produce hydrogen.
  • There’s a discussion going on whether its worth while to do that or not, because you also lose energy.
  • So under which circumstances would industry be willing to shut down some production plants if there is shortage of energy? How and to what degree would household be willing to reduce their energy use if there is a shortage of provision of energy.
  • So what kind of moral values are embedded in wind systems.
  • With this kind of regulation, we would admit that this is a social responsibility to build off shore wind energy there.
  • Which is also related to the issue that society thinks that off shore wind is important.
  • If you build wind turbines far off shore so you will not see them.
  • Then this visibility is also some kind of ethical value which is then dealt by a more complex and costly solution to build these wind turbines far off shore so you will not see them.
  • If we develop these off shore wind turbines or wind parks.
  • If we develop solar power PV systems or other energy systems we need to be very much aware of these kinds of values which are sometimes embedded in technical or institutional choices.
  • I think this social acceptability and social acceptance of future energy systems if very decisive for the success of it.

Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.5 Connecting the dots: water regulation > Web lecture: water and regulation

  • Let us highlight water from this perspective and reflect on the complexity of regulation.
  • It is a necessary good for everyday life and for economic activity, perhaps even the most necessary one, especially since water is essential for life and public health.
  • The right to water for personal and domestic use to satisfy basic human needs has been protected under international human rights law.
  • The human right to water imposes responsibilities upon governments to ensure that people can enjoy “sufficient, safe, accessible and affordable water, without discrimination”.
  • Governments are expected to take reasonable steps to avoid a contaminated water supply and to ensure non-discriminatory access to safe drinking water for all citizens.
  • Today, all nation states have at least ratified one human rights convention, which explicitly or implicitly recognizes the right to water, and they all have signed at least one political declaration recognizing this right.
  • Not surprisingly, there is a huge debate going on on the privatization of water – the debate focuses on the provision of water services, but it may include sanitation.
  • Opponents of privatization argue that this is incompatible with ensuring the international human right to water, that private sector participation leads to tariff increases and that it effectively turns a public good into a private good.
  • Proponents of private sector participation argue that privatization leads to improvements in the efficiency and service quality of water utilities.
  • Organizers of the very successful ‘Right2Water’ campaign collected almost 1.9 million signatures earlier this year to urge the EU Commission to guarantee access to water and sanitation as a human right, and to establish legal guarantees that water services will not be liberalized in the EU. But what do we know about the impact of water privatization? Many examples of best practices and failures can be found.
  • Statistical studies comparing public and private water utilities show little difference in the average performance.
  • He writes and I quote: ‘India has an enormous governance deficit when dealing with changing water scenarios.
  • Governance of water is divided between the central and state authorities, with categorization of rules and responsibilities, yet it is seen that the overall sustainable vision for water development, conservation and management remains missing.
  • Second, there is lack of data disaggregation and aggregation in important decision-making by the body involved in water planning.
  • Overall, there is a weak political will in finding sustainable solutions to water problems and this in turn leads to a governance deficit in water’ The second one is from Pakistan from ‘igorfrankey’.
  • His post is also a must read and is titled: ‘Water Crisis in a former water abundant country: Pakistan’.
  • To name a few mentioned in this post: Water bureaucracy; Increasing trend of urban migration exerting more load on the water resources allocated for urban centers and therefore robbing rural areas.
  • Inequitable water distribution at micro level and absence of water laws; Inter-Provincial disputes over water claims; Gross underinvestment in basic water-related facilities Complete lack of attention towards repairing and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
  • Absence of private sector in any domain of transmission, maintenance and repair which results in no competition and lack of quality control in the water sector.
  • I will give a few general notions, points about privatization of the water sector and the process of regulation.
  • A private water utility is not disciplined by competitive market forces – it operates a natural monopoly network, so the government retains monitoring and control responsibilities to ensure that its citizens are protected from abuse of market power.
  • In the case of water services, not only the affordability of water, but also public health is at stake.
  • If the privatization of the water sector is only driven by financial constraints, with the purpose of obtaining an inflow of resources to the government, it may be lax in imposing stringent controls on the private water utility.
  • With respect to the water sector, the problem is more complicated: very often, the governance of drinking water infrastructure, water provision for agriculture and industrial water provision is segregated between separate government bodies and regulators, even if the source of that water is the same.
  • On top of that, freshwater provision may be segregated from wastewater removal and treatment, even if they are all part of the same water cycle.
  • Without any form of coordination between the regulators involved, precious water sources are likely to be exhausted or to become polluted, as your contributions have pointed out.
  • A public water utility, if it is forced to work efficiently and invest prudently, can also do the job.

Module 4: governance and regulation in complex situations > 4.5 Connecting the dots: water regulation > Web lecture: water and regulation

  • Let us highlight water from this perspective and reflect on the complexity of regulation.
  • It is a necessary good for everyday life and for economic activity, perhaps even the most necessary one, especially since water is essential for life and public health.
  • The right to water for personal and domestic use to satisfy basic human needs has been protected under international human rights law.
  • The human right to water imposes responsibilities upon governments to ensure that people can enjoy “sufficient, safe, accessible and affordable water, without discrimination”.
  • Governments are expected to take reasonable steps to avoid a contaminated water supply and to ensure non-discriminatory access to safe drinking water for all citizens.
  • Today, all nation states have at least ratified one human rights convention, which explicitly or implicitly recognizes the right to water, and they all have signed at least one political declaration recognizing this right.
  • Not surprisingly, there is a huge debate going on on the privatization of water – the debate focuses on the provision of water services, but it may include sanitation.
  • Opponents of privatization argue that this is incompatible with ensuring the international human right to water, that private sector participation leads to tariff increases and that it effectively turns a public good into a private good.
  • Proponents of private sector participation argue that privatization leads to improvements in the efficiency and service quality of water utilities.
  • Organizers of the very successful ‘Right2Water’ campaign collected almost 1.9 million signatures earlier this year to urge the EU Commission to guarantee access to water and sanitation as a human right, and to establish legal guarantees that water services will not be liberalized in the EU. But what do we know about the impact of water privatization? Many examples of best practices and failures can be found.
  • Statistical studies comparing public and private water utilities show little difference in the average performance.
  • He writes and I quote: ‘India has an enormous governance deficit when dealing with changing water scenarios.
  • Governance of water is divided between the central and state authorities, with categorization of rules and responsibilities, yet it is seen that the overall sustainable vision for water development, conservation and management remains missing.
  • Second, there is lack of data disaggregation and aggregation in important decision-making by the body involved in water planning.
  • Overall, there is a weak political will in finding sustainable solutions to water problems and this in turn leads to a governance deficit in water’ The second one is from Pakistan from ‘igorfrankey’.
  • His post is also a must read and is titled: ‘Water Crisis in a former water abundant country: Pakistan’.
  • To name a few mentioned in this post: Water bureaucracy; Increasing trend of urban migration exerting more load on the water resources allocated for urban centers and therefore robbing rural areas.
  • Inequitable water distribution at micro level and absence of water laws; Inter-Provincial disputes over water claims; Gross underinvestment in basic water-related facilities Complete lack of attention towards repairing and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
  • Absence of private sector in any domain of transmission, maintenance and repair which results in no competition and lack of quality control in the water sector.
  • I will give a few general notions, points about privatization of the water sector and the process of regulation.
  • A private water utility is not disciplined by competitive market forces – it operates a natural monopoly network, so the government retains monitoring and control responsibilities to ensure that its citizens are protected from abuse of market power.
  • In the case of water services, not only the affordability of water, but also public health is at stake.
  • If the privatization of the water sector is only driven by financial constraints, with the purpose of obtaining an inflow of resources to the government, it may be lax in imposing stringent controls on the private water utility.
  • With respect to the water sector, the problem is more complicated: very often, the governance of drinking water infrastructure, water provision for agriculture and industrial water provision is segregated between separate government bodies and regulators, even if the source of that water is the same.
  • On top of that, freshwater provision may be segregated from wastewater removal and treatment, even if they are all part of the same water cycle.
  • Without any form of coordination between the regulators involved, precious water sources are likely to be exhausted or to become polluted, as your contributions have pointed out.
  • A public water utility, if it is forced to work efficiently and invest prudently, can also do the job.

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