Frequently Asked Questions About Water/Wastewater Privatization

Research Paper, Municipal Government, Frontier Centre

Executive Summary

  • The City of Winnipeg is facing a significant challenge, the cost of renewing its water and wastewater systems.
  • If it followed a widely established trend by privatizing these facilities, the City could save an estimated $225 million.
  • Established techniques for privatization include service shedding, asset sales or leases, merchant projects and outsourcing or contracting operations.
  • Thousands of other municipalities have embraced these tools to contain costs and meet mandates from other levels of government.
  • Privatized water and wastewater systems have excellent track records for maintaining environmental and health standards.
  • Studies confirm that existing municipal employees have little to fear from privatization.
  • Local governments that privatize experience little or no disruption in service.
  • Markets, even ones with foreign participants, can successfully deliver vital services.
  • Privatization of water and wastewater systems has saved municipalities a lot of money, and after the fact they tend to be highly satisfied with such decisions.
  • The pitfalls of privatization are well-known and understood, and can easily be avoided.
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