Small Water Enterprises. Water from non-state, non-profit companies

The wondrously named Water and Poop explains how SWEs are taking off but face major challenges. Water quality isn’t always the best and prices can be high. Plus, as the community raises itself, the poor can still get left behind, not able to afford the water.

SWEs can provide some amazing opportunities to get safe (not just “improved”) water to people who need it, but in the long run will this come at a cost to these very same people? As SWE popularity increases with entrepreneurs, international organizations, and private companies , we will just have to wait and see.


  • DJ

    Many communities here in Utah are served by non-profit water companies that buy water rights and provide water systems in areas the cities or counties don’t serve. They are based on membership, much like an HOA. Some are very successful, others barely hang on. Some cost less than city-run systems, others cost more.

    In one I know of, rather than spend money on water meters for each of the hundred-odd homes it serves, they charge everybody a flat rate. Needless to say, they encourage xeriscape.

    Often, as cities expand, they absorb the existing water companies (and their water rights) and serve the communities themselves.

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