Posted by: Bob Payne | November 25, 2011

The Limitations of Water Regulation: The Failure of the Cochabamba Concession in Bolivia

The rapid demise of the Cochabamba water service concession has been heralded by observers as a major popular victory in the struggle against the forces of globalisation (Lobina, 2000). This analysis suggests that such an interpretation is mistaken. The evidence suggests that the lowest five deciles of the urban population stood to gain most from the successful implementation of the Contract – both in the short term (i.e. the introduction of cross-subsidisation through the IBT and reduction in leakage rate) and over the longer term (i.e. the extension of the pipe network to poor neighborhoods currently dependent on high-cost water vendors).


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