The world has changed and reform of the water sector is necessary to meet the growing challenges. It is argued that sustainable water services are unobtainable without consideration of the following elements: separation of delivery of services from the policy function; viable scale of operations; integrated planning; finance and cost recovery to avoid general subsidies; a change from general subsidies to those targeted on the poor; transparency and public participation and some form of independent scrutiny with above all effective leadership and management.

The public-private argument is unproductive and energies should be focussed on the fundamental reforms. Suppliers to utilities can be most effective working in partnership to achieve win-win situations.

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