The privatization of public water companies in Chile was complemented by reforms, during which a robust regulatory framework was created, public utilities were strengthened, tariffs were increased, and a system of subsidies for needy households was introduced to help them cope with higher tariffs. To guarantee adequate and affordable services for low income households, Chile introduced individual means-tested water consumption subsidies. The aim of the subsidy system was to channel the resources to those who actually needed them. A significant proportion of its inhabitants had sufficient incomes to pay for the basic services without needing any support or additional help. This made it possible for Chile to adopt a subsidy system focused on the most vulnerable social groups. This situation was addressed in the subsidy law aiming to protect low-income families. The system chosen was a direct subsidy, targeted to users. It granted access to basic consumption of drinking water and sewage service for each household.
This brief outlines why water is important to achieve the MDGs and how it should be managed to this end. Specifically, it explains why IWRM has been adopted by the international community and how it can contribute to meeting the MDGs. However an IWRM approach will support not just achievement of the MDGs but also the long-term economic development, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability that will be needed to sustain that achievement.
The Spanish version.
This paper (1.98 MB) focuses on the implications for poverty reduction of taking an IWRM approach. The paper argues that no strategy for poverty reduction can be effective unless water policies in all their dimensions are brought within it purview, and IWRM is adopted which allows competitions over access and uses to be fairly and transparently moderated. The paper (593.6 KB) is divided into two main parts. The first part puts forward a strong case for applying IWRM globally and defines the IWRM concept and process. The second part provides additional advice and guidance on how IWRM could be implemented in different conditions.
The Spanish version.