The Brazilian government recently announced initiatives aimed at strengthening the water and sanitation services. Felipe Montoro Jens, a management specialist based in Brazil, shared his thoughts on the on-going debate. Government agencies provide the bulk of water and sanitation services. There has been increased efforts to make the services available to more people and improve service delivery. The water agencies are struggling to realize value for their infrastructure investments mainly due to water wastage.
The concessions will improve basic sanitation services. This is through better institutional management, infrastructural management, and revenue growth. The government has proposed a framework to enable public agencies to collaborate with private sector stakeholders to reduce wastage and improve service delivery. Experts note that it is possible to get more out of the existing infrastructure. The public-private partnerships will leverage the strengths of the individual sectors.
The government agencies have the infrastructure and roadmaps in place. They also have an in-depth understanding of the local requirements in the various regions. They can customize action plans to suit a particular location and its needs. The private sector has access to resources such as funding and technology. Felipe Montoro Jens notes that water wastage has contributed to the loss of revenue. The private sector can assist water agencies to achieve efficiency using technology.
Infrastructure and technology improvements will also attract more investments to the sector. Water agencies require funding to expand sanitation and sewage networks. Utility agencies must also align their product offerings with the needs of the citizens. Their success should be evaluated by looking at improvements in service delivery and the efficiency of their infrastructure.
Felipe Montoro Jens believes the proposed concessions require refinements in budget projections and monitoring plans. Clear contracts are crucial in enabling transparency and accountability. Felipe has extensive management experience. He has held executive positions in highly successful companies such as Enel, Tenenge Holdings, and Enron among many others.