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The water sector has long been identified as ripe for private-sector investment. Prolonged neglect by the public sector has resulted in an urgent need for significant commitment of finance and management resources. International and non-governmental organisations have identified water as the next industry to experience substantial global expansion, with concomitant business opportunities. However, the development of private involvement in this sector has been slow; only recently has this state of affairs shown signs of improvement. The water sector provides an essential service and manages a vulnerable and valuable resource. Private sector involvement must therefore follow the principle of sustainable development, to combine the forces of economic growth with responsible resource management, equitable distribution of benefits and protection of people and the environment.
This book provides a commercial, contractual and legal view of water projects on an international scale. It is a practical guide for use by public-sector authorities considering private-sector involvement, private-sector investors considering entering or expanding in the water sector and lenders or investors interested in financing such projects. The context of this book is international, therefore it does not focus on any particular legal system, but rather legal concepts which will apply to most jurisdictions.