By Andrew Nickson, Richard Franceys (auth.)
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Extra info for Tapping the Market: The Challenge of Institutional Reform in the Urban Water Sector
Also, many low-income families do not have private connections at all. Instead they purchase water from neighbours who thus become caught up in increasing block tariff rates and pass them on to the buyer (Whittington 1992). 3 of this chapter. 1 Ghana The overall performance of the GWSC was very poor, but with a trend towards improvement in recent years. Indicators of efficiency were low. Water losses remained very high, albeit falling from 63 per cent in 1988 to 53 per cent by 1993. An estimated 50 per cent of all meters were not working and 24 per cent of all connections were not billed.
Most countries have invested significantly in the professional training of water personnel. This has led to an abundance of excellent water scientists and engineers. But the vast majority of these do not understand how to manage a customer-oriented service provider. An internal review of World Bank-funded projects for the reform of state-owned water supply and sanitation companies from 1979 to 1989 concluded that successful implementation had happened in only a minority of countries where the quality of public administration was unusually good (World Bank 1995).
Accounts receivable measures the ratio of payments outstanding to monthly billings. A high ratio (for example, more than three months) is indicative of problems in the billing and collection system. When the ratio is increasing, the cash flow of a water utility may be jeopardised. Collection efficiency measures the ratio of total annual collections to The Structure and Performance of Urban Water Utilities 23 total annual billings. Poor collection efficiency is more likely to be the fault of the water utility than that of the consumer (Asian Development Bank 1993).