P.B. Anand argues that if water supply and sanitation were mainly problems of technology or financial resources, they would have been resolved long ago. While appreciating that technology and finances are important, he ascertains that there are many other factors affecting our ability to intervene and improve the effectiveness of policies. The author explores these factors, raising questions such as 'How is water scarcity defined?', 'Are there patterns that indicate how nations use available freshwater resources?', 'Does water shortage make nations use water more efficiently?', and 'What explains the variation in progress with regard to Millennium Development Goals related to water and sanitation?'. Other important themes examined include: availability and use of water resources; inequality in access to water; the role of institutions and policies; access to water and sanitation; river water agreements and disputes; and consumer perspectives and water utility management. Underpinned by international datasets and national- and local-level case studies based on primary research, the study identifies issues for policy and further research. As such, it will provide a fascinating and stimulating read for researchers, students and academics with an interest in water economics and public policy.
"Anand's book discusses in detail the economics of water and how societies deal with this scarce resource. The complexities of water as highlighted in his book have previously been little explored in any standard economic development textbook. Anand presents a fascinating framework on water and well-being by linking water and the capability approach. It is a must read for all those dealing with water issues in particular and development issues in general."
- Naren Prasad, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Switzerland
"This is a very thorough analysis of water's critical role as both a basic human need and an economic good. It is unlikely to be surpassed for some time, in both the depth of its coverage and in the quality of its policy recommendations which are crucial for poor nations and for poor people."
- Tony Addison, University of Manchester, UK
2. Investigating Water 'Scarcity'
3. Access to Water Supply: Achieving the Millennium Development Goal
4. Sharing Water Peacefully: Understanding Transboundary Water-Resource Conflicts
5. An Analysis of a River Dispute: Interaction of Politics and Economics
6. Improving Access to Water: Institutions, Entitlements and Inequality
7. Consumer Preferences and Public Policy
8. Justice, Rights and Sustainability: Access to Water and the Capability Approach
9. Conclusions and a Research Agenda
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