Economics and Regulation of Water Utilities

Water and waste-water utilities are key players in achieving goals such as equitable access to water resources, drinking water safety, water conservation, reduction of water pollution, service efficiency and quality. At the same time, their decisions about investments, operations and prices are affected by the action of water regulatory authorities, environmental regulators, national policymakers, and local governments.

We study the behavior and performances of water and waste-water utilities in various areas (e.g. costs, service quality, investments, R&D), to support the design and assessment of regulations and policies, to advise managers on sensible innovation processes, to help establish the agenda of policymakers. Additionally we cooperate with HIL people from other disciplinary fields to address water management and water quality issues. Our research efforts make use of various economic theories and models (e.g. incentive regulation, privatization studies, economic foundations of environmental policies), and rely upon quantitative and qualitative empirical methods (e.g. parametric and non parametric econometric models, case studies, surveys).

Current research topics include: regulation of water service quality, privatization of utilities and alternative restructuring measures, siting and authorization policies, policy networks in infrastructure projects.

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