It is expensive to connect people to piped water leading to rent-seeking behavior.
In developing countries, very few water utilities cover their costs from customers. Governments rarely have (or allocate) sufficient financing to cover that gap, let alone build out more infrastructure. As a consequence, informal settlements are forced to rely on communal and alternative water providers (including water cartels) that often charge significantly more for water than the municipal utility.
Operating a water network requires good planning and management.
Poor management of water sources by municipal water utilities makes it even harder to deliver water. Many water utilities in developing countries do not know where their water pipes are, let alone where they are losing water or it is being stolen. In Nairobi, non-water revenue losses are 40%; some counties lose more than 80% of water.
Supply is stressed.
There is enough freshwater for everyone, but in reality many cities are not situated close to sufficient water sources, or it has been polluted. Half of the global population lives in countries where water tables are rapidly falling.
The market for smart infrastructure and utilities is rapidly evolving and ever expanding. Significant benefits across water, energy and sanitation for low resource communities in large cities exist. The market opportunity for smart water meters has been presented given its B2C appeal, but the opportunity is much more broad at both a household and municipal level… Read More