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date: 06 December 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Over the past three decades, water supply has become big business, and fierce debates have emerged in many countries over water privatization and water markets. This chapter reviews five dimensions of this debate: (1) the privatization of ownership and management; (2) the commercialization of water management organizations; (3) the environmental valuation and pricing of water; (4) the marketization of exchange mechanisms (“water trading” and “water markets”); and (5) the neoliberalization of governance. The analysis offers an analytical framework within which more structured, comprehensive assessments of market environmentalism—which is multifaceted and highly varied, difficult to implement in practice, and by no means hegemonic—in the water sector might be conducted. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the future of this debate.

Keywords: water, privatization, commercialization, market, environmentalism

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