Affordable Access

The privatisation debate on water services in the netherlands. An examination of the public duty of the Dutch water sector and the implications of market forces and water chain cooperation

Authors
Publisher
Ecologic
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Law
  • Political Science

Abstract

Anchoring the water supply chain in the water system The privatisation debate on water services in the Netherlands An examination of the public duty of the Dutch water sector and the implications of market forces and water chain cooperation Stefan M.M. Kuks 1. Introduction to the Dutch water sector: water system and water chain perspective Privatisation of Dutch water services has been and still is a huge debate in the Netherlands. In 1997 this debate really started with a report of the Dutch Ministry for Economic Affairs on privatising water services. This report concluded that privatisation could reduce the price of water services by at least 10 percent (Dijkgraaf, 1997). The industrial sector and the privatised energy utilities (especially those who want to become a multi-utility) are very much in favor of this idea. Important opposition came from the water sector itself (drinking water supply companies and the waterboards who are responsible for wastewater treatment) as well as from the Dutch environmental ministry. Their argument is that small water consumers (households) should be protected by the lowest prices possible and that public ownership is a better guarantee for that. Another argument is that public companies and utilities are taking the environmental side-effects of water supply and waste water treatment more seriously. Together with the water services also environmental services are being produced, included in the water supply and water treatment prices. Only for big water spenders and waste water producers (mainly the large and medium sized industries) a liberalisation of the water market is accepted. In 1999 the Dutch cabinet has decided to protect the public water sector in the short run by forbidding privatisation of water services as far as households and small industries are concerned. Another actual turning point in the privatisation debate is that an authoritative council of the Dutch government (the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy) has

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.