Investments in water utility projects totals some $46.7 billion 73%; treatment plants total $15.4 billion, 24%; and water transfer systems total $2.0 billion, 3%. Combined water and sewage projects account for 51% of investments; water only projects accounted for 31%; and sewage only projects for 15%. This is in stark contrast to the situation from 2002/2003 to 2009, when investments in treatment plants exceeded investments in utility projects. Prior to this investments in utility projects exceeded utility investments.
A total of 25 combined electric and water private sector projects worth $7.5 billion reached financial closure during the review period. 74% of financing was for projects in Middle East and North Africa; 16% for projects in Europe and Central Asia and the remaining 10% was for projects located in other regions.
Sub-Saharan Africa was the location where the majority of combined projects have been cancelled or are under distress. A total of 8 projects were under this category totalling $660 million.
Privatisation as defined by the World Bank includes private sector involvement in financing, operating and, in some cases, ownership of assets. Liberalisation of the water supply and sanitation (WSS) sector involves a host of issues which are quite different from those that dominate the energy and telecommunications sectors. These have, in turn, generated a series of different drivers for deregulation, price competition and private sector partnerships (PSP). To meet these criteria a range of different models has been developed for PSPs. Private Sector Participation (PSP) in water supply and sanitation (WSS) involves a continuum of options ranging from those with a relatively low level of PSP to unrestricted ownership of all assets and conduct of operations. The UK presents the most extreme example of a privatised water industry, where investor-owned water and sewage companies own the assets and supply the services in a highly regulated environment. At the other end of the continuum, with minimal privatisation the state or municipality owns the assets, may or may not conduct operations and purchases some services or components. Most privatised WSS utilities lie somewhere between these two extremes; the state or municipality owns the assets and leases out management and operations on a fixed-term contract, often for 20 or 30
Build-own-operate (BOT) contracts were the most common type of water contract in 2009, with projects being increasingly funded by local investors.