Revisiting Water and Wastewater Utility Privatization

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Prepared for the Government of Ontario Panel on the Role of Government. This paper reviews recent setbacks for privatization and explores the reasons behind Canadian municipalities’ reluctance to contract out operations of their water and wastewater utilities.

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Liquid Assets: Privatizing and Regulating Canada’s Water Utilities

By Elizabeth Brubaker

This book argues that public provision of water and wastewater services has not served Canadians well. Based on successes in other jurisdictions, it calls for the privatization of utilities and examines the conditions — such as competition, effective regulation, legal liability, and union support — necessary to make privatization work.

Published in 2002 by the University of Toronto’s Centre for Public Management.

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Incentives Matter

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EPRF’s presentation to the Walkerton Inquiry’s Public Hearing on Guiding Principles focuses on the need to eliminate conflicts of interest and to internalize costs.

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Reducing Risk By Creating Accountability

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Energy Probe Research Foundation’s submission to the Walkerton Inquiry’s Expert Meeting on Guiding Principles for Drinking Water Safety explores the critical role played by legal liability in risk management.

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The Promise of Privatization

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This study, prepared for the Walkerton Inquiry, examines the privatization of water and wastewater utilities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. It reveals that privatization has brought investment, expertise, innovation, efficiency, and accountability to water and wastewater utilities, improving their performance and their compliance with health and environmental standards.

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Guiding and Controlling Ontario’s Future Water and Wastewater Service

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This study, prepared for the Walkerton Inquiry, promotes user pay and full cost pricing, independent economic regulation, and strengthened environmental law enforcement.

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Water and Wastewater Privatization in England and Wales

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Although new to much of the globe, the water and wastewater privatizations of the last 10 years built on a centuries-old tradition of private ownership and management in several western countries.   

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A Wastewater Treatment Privatization Case Study: Indianapolis, Indiana

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An examination of the elements contributing to one privatization’s economic, environmental, and labour-relations successes.

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Unnatural Disaster: How Politics Destroyed Canada’s Atlantic Groundfisheries

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A chapter from Political Environmentalism: Going behind the Green Curtain, a collection of essays edited by Terry Anderson exploring the ways in which politics and environmentalism mix to produce perverse results. In this chapter, Elizabeth Brubaker documents the ways in which politicians, pursuing their short-term interest in putting voters to work, subsidized the expansion of the cod fishery and set catch levels exceeding those recommended by their own scientists.
 

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The Common Law and the Environment: The Canadian Experience

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A chapter from Who Owns the Environment?, a collection of essays edited by Peter Hill and Roger Meiners exploring the theory that environmental concerns are essentially property rights issues. In this chapter, Elizabeth Brubaker reviews the ancient roots of contemporary property rights and traces their evolution in Canada. She describes the ways in which concerned citizens have used their property rights to clean up and to prevent pollution. She then chronicles successive governments’ efforts to replace the common law with statutes and regulations governing the environment. Lastly, she recommends restoring strong property rights in order to return control over environmental degradation to those most directly affected by it.

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Privatizing Water Supply and Sewage Treatment: How Far Should We Go?

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This paper, published in Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, was prepared for Property Rights, Economics & Environment: Water Resources, an international conference organised by the Centre d’Analyse Economique and the International Center for Research on Environmental Issues in 1998. In the paper, Elizabeth Brubaker compares four approaches to the privatization and regulation of water and sewage utilities and explores the environmental implications of each approach.

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The Common Law Approach to Pollution Prevention

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A transcript of a roundtable discussion, hosted by the Center for Private Conservation, between Hope Babcock, Elizabeth Brubaker, David Schoenbrod, and Bruce Yandle. Explores the promise and pitfalls of applying common law remedies to contemporary environmental concerns.

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The Sale of Canadian Water to the United States: A Review of Proposals, Agreements and Policies

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A review of proposals, agreements and policies regarding large scale interbasin exports.

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The Allocation of Commercial Fishing Rights within the Great Lakes

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This paper, by Evadne Liuson, reviews the agencies and instruments regulating recreational, Aboriginal, and commercial fishing on the Canadian Great Lakes, with a focus on the Individual Transferable Quotas governing Ontario’s commercial fisheries. Continue reading