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Jakarta Post

Water services transparency

  • Mohamad Mova Al ‘Afghani

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 20 2009   /  11:10 am

Water is different from other commodities for several reasons: it has both the properties of public and private goods. Its mobility makes it difficult to be treated like other normal commodities. The supply and replenishment rate varies in time and space, its transportation and storage costs are more expensive than other utilities (such as oil, gas and electricity). Prices often reflect physical supply costs rather than scarcity, and water is the most “essential” compared with any other commodity ever sold in the market. The unbundling of the network industries has been quite successful in some countries, creating competition in the generation and distribution segments, such as electricity, and a well-developed upstream and downstream market in oil and gas. However in the water sector, the industry structure is heavily vertically integrated. Researches indicate th...