The performance of the urban water and wastewater sectors in Australia

Malcolm Abbott, Bruce Cohen, Wei Chun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Substantial structural reform has occurred in the water and wastewater sectors of Australia's major urban centers over the past two decades. This reform has involved the corporatization of government assets and some vertical and horizontal separation. This paper analyses the performance of these sectors since the mid 1990s. In particular, it uses Malmquist Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to determine the different levels of productivity and efficiency improvement over this period. The results point to modest, but positive productivity gains in the larger urban centers, independent of industry structure. Further, it highlights the need to consider exogenous factors that can influence productivity outcomes in an industry generally associated with monopoly characteristics and dependent on water sources that are, to varying extents, unpredictable and uncontrollable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalUtilities Policy
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Scale efficiency
  • Technical efficiency
  • Technological change
  • Total factor productivity
  • Water and wastewater

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