Ambiente & Sociedade
versão On-line ISSN 1809-4422
VARGAS, Marcelo Coutinho e LIMA, Roberval Francisco de. Private provision of water supply and sanitation services in Brazil: whose benefit?. Ambient. soc. [online]. 2004, vol.7, n.2, pp. 67-94. ISSN 1809-4422. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1414-753X2004000200005.
This paper seeks to analyze the potential role the private sector may play on water and sewerage services (WSS) in Brazilian cities, contributing to improve its quality and social reach or rather to increase the exclusion of the urban poor. It focus on three case studies about the "privatization" of this sector in southeastern municipalities in Brazil: the concession of WSS from Limeira, in São Paulo State, from Niterói and five other municipalities belonging to the Lakes Region, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, to domestic and foreign private operators. The case studies try to analyze the consequences of these concessions to the quality, the social reach, the economic and the environmental sustainability, as well as to the democratic accountability and regulation of such services. In all cases, the "privatisation" appears to be a rash alternative to overcome institutional and financial bottlenecks for investing on services improvement and expansion, specially in regards to sewage treatment, whose success depends fundamentally on the public authorities capacity to regulate the private operators performance.
Palavras-chave : water supply and Sanitation Services [private provision]; water supply and Sanitation Services [case studies]; water supply and Sanitation Services [regulation].