One reviewer of the new WSUP publication 'Referee!' on the role of regulating in enabling the transformation of urban sanitation and faecal sludge management has kindly pointed out some of my words from an earlier publication on regulating: Preface xi. 'Regulating Water and Sanitation for the Poor, 2008': "Although this study is concerned with ensuring the delivery of ‘effective water and sanitation for all’, the focus on economic regulation leads to a focus on monopolistic network suppliers that in practice in low-income areas usually means water-only services – the sewers rarely reach the slums. Good on-site sanitation solutions supplied through a competitive local market of masons and latrine builders and NGOs achieve the desired convenience and public health benefits while minimizing water consumption and costs.Limited further discussion of sanitation in the text therefore does not indicate any devaluing of its importance – it simply does not need significant input from regulators (though it does from others!) at the present level of economic development in the slums."
Ooops! The WSUP and ESWAS Case Studies have shown me now that regulating can indeed play a role, even in non-networked and therefore non-monopolistic (apart from the treatment works) on-site sanitation. Always learning ....