More participation of citizens in water supply

Privatisation of drinking water supply and public-private partnerships provoked heated debates in Europe and elsewhere over the past years.


However, beyond the question of the role of the state and of private companies in water supply, the participation of citizens and water users offers new perspectives and is increasingly discussed. Together with the Centre Marc Bloch and on behalf of the City of Paris, adelphi analysed seven case studies of citizen participation in water management across Europe.

The four questions at the centre of this study analysed how far the participatory approach contributed to (1) strengthening democracy, (2) increase social equality in water supply, (3) improve administrative and economic efficiency of water management and (4) improve sustainable water management.

The study concludes with recommendations for the city of Paris, which, after an experience of public-private partnership, opted for the public a management of its drinking water system and seeks to implement participative approaches. While the study is mostly written in French language, several case studies are also available in English (Vol. II)