MSP Logo

Remunicipalisation: Putting Water Back into Public Hands


Cities worldwide are experiencing the failures of water privatisation. Unequal access, broken promises, environmental hazards and scandalous profit margins are prompting municipalities to take back control of this essential service. Water ‘remunicipalisation’ is a new, exciting trend that this book explores at length. Case studies analyse the transition from private to public water provision in Paris, Dar es Salaam, Buenos Aires and Hamilton, as well as look at a national level experiment in Malaysia. The journey toward better public water illustrates the benefits and challenges of municipal ownership, while at the same time underlining the stranglehold of international financial institutions and the legacies of corporate control. The book situates these developments within larger debates about ‘alternatives to privatisation’ and draws lessons from these experiences for future action in favour of public services. It is a must-read for policy makers and activists looking for concrete ways to democratize water services.

Chapter One – Remunicipalisation Works!
by David A. McDonald

Chapter Two – Une eau publique pour Paris: Symbolism and Success in the Heartland of Private Water

by Martin Pigeon

Chapter Three – From Fiasco to DAWASCO: Remunicipalising Water Systems in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

by Martin Pigeon

Chapter Four – Aguas Públicas: Buenos Aires in Muddled Waters

by Daniel Azpiazu and José Esteban Castro

Chapter Five – Who takes the risks? Water remunicipalisation in Hamilton, Canada
by Martin Pigeon

Chapter Six – Soggy Politics: Making Water ‘Public’ in Malaysia

by Martin Pigeon

Chapter Seven – Looking to the Future: What Next For Remunicipalisation?
by Olivier Hoedeman, Satoko Kishimoto and Martin Pigeon

McKinley, Dale (2013) Publishing Back Privatisation in Thought and Practice. South African Review of Sociology 44(2): 131-136.

edited by Martin Pigeon, David A. McDonald, Olivier Hoedeman and Satoko Kishimoto
Publication Information: 
Transnational Institute
Publication Date: 
Publication Type: