|The water and wastewater
industry is undergoing unprecedented change. Competitive
market forces, recent changes in IRS tax rulings,
electoral pressure, lack of competitive benchmarks and
continued regulatory pressures are just some of the
factors causing unparalleled change to the way we manage
our nations public works infrastructure.
For years, cities and municipalities have operated their water and sewer utilities as monopolies, without fear of competition. Today, over a dozen international water companies and publicly traded firms are gathering to compete for the long-term operation and maintenance of municipal water, sanitary sewer and stormwater utilities.
Who are these powerful companies that are run by seasoned industry professionals having access to international capital markets and the latest in computerized technologies and management information systems to operate your business?
A major change that may fortify the persuasiveness of public-private partnerships was the Internal Revenue Services recent decision to allow 10, 15 and 20-year contracts between government agencies and private design-build-operate consortiums. Earlier public-private partnerships were kept to a 5 year duration without requiring cities to refinance their outstanding tax-exempt bonds.
|Today, city managers can
negotiate longer duration contracts.
Finally, over a dozen international contract maintenance firms are courting city councils to outsource their water and sewer operations and maintenance, much like the privatization of the garbage collection industry in the early 1970s and 80s.
Compagnie Generale des Eaux