Good, reliable and objective case studies of successful urban water systems in developing world are conspicuous by their absence. Such studies are needed to understand contextual and replicable aspects of why a few utilities have succeeded while others have failed. Most such water utilities have been beleaguered by poor governance and performance, constant political interferences and unwillingness to set tariffs at fiscally responsible levels. Existing analyses are written by staff of the utilities concerned or by their donors. They have struggled to offer unbiased and critical analyses. Mostly successes are exaggerated and shortcomings are downplayed. They seldom present an objective picture of what good water governance looks like, what was improved, how and enabling conditions that made such improvements possible.
By Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K. Biswas, 2019. Article published in International Journal of Water Resources Development, Volume 35, Issue 4, pages 547-550. DOI: 10.1080/07900627.2019.1613766