Since the 1990s China has emerged as one of the world's most active markets for public-private partnerships (PPPs) in water and sanitation, while the private sector has played a rather limited role in the water sector in India. From 2001 to 2012, there were 237 PPP projects in water and sanitation in China, accounting for 40% of the total number of such projects globally, and the Chinese population served by private water companies increased from merely 8% in 1989 to 38% in 2008. Development of PPPs in the water sector in India during the same period was insignificant. Our comparative analysis of PPPs in water and sanitation in the two countries highlights the importance of water tariff reform, strong support and oversight from the national government, and the availability of credible regulatory mechanisms to safeguard development and sustainability of PPPs in the water sector.

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