Economic regulation of water utilities

The US framework

Authored by: Janice A. Beecher

The Routledge Companion to Network Industries

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138782822
eBook ISBN: 9781315768984
Adobe ISBN: 9781317668084


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Even among fixed utilities and network industries, providers of water services are distinctive. Water and sanitation necessities can be self-supplied; yet provision through the piped infrastructure of public utility systems offers substantial individual and social advantages. Water services are understood as particularly essential to everyday life and marked by positive externalities associated with public health and welfare, as well as environmental protection and economic development. Water and wastewater services are intrinsically related, but water service also enables urban fire protection. Affordable access to a subsistence level of safe drinking water and sanitation is increasingly regarded as a human right (United Nations, 2010).

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