کارایی نسبی اقتصادی از تاسیسات آب شهری در منطقه نیو ساوت ولز و ویکتوریا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21373||2010||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9419 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Resource and Energy Economics, Volume 32, Issue 3, August 2010, Pages 439–455
In recent times the relative economic efficiency of urban water utilities has been neglected as policymakers sought to secure urban water supplies. This paper is an effort to measure the efficiency consequences of a number of recent urban water policy initiatives. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is employed in order to measure the relative technical efficiency of urban water utilities in regional New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria. We show that the almost universal policy of water restrictions is likely to reduce relative efficiency and the typically larger utilities located in Victoria are characterised by a higher degree of managerial efficiency. A number of implications for urban water policy are advanced.
Urban Australia had largely avoided the direct consequences of both intense irrigated agriculture and drought up until the turn of the 21st century. However, a combination of changed weather patterns and population growth (Young et al., 2006 and NWC, 2006) delivered water shortages of varying degrees to almost every capital city in Australia by early 2007. The ‘drought’ visiting the cities has seen unparalleled interest in solutions to the so-called ‘water crisis’ (Crase and Dollery, 2006). Water restrictions, bold engineering schemes such as recycling and desalination plants, and arguments regarding the moral attributes of a green suburban lawn have been debated (see, for instance, Brennan et al., 2007 and Grafton and Kompas, 2006 and Watson, 2007). Urban water policy has not always been such a frenzied arena. The earliest attempts at reform were relatively dull affairs aimed at blunting the effects of monopoly industry structures (see CoAG, 1994). Although the current state of urban water storages can justify to some extent this change in emphasis, turning a blind-eye to the relative operational efficiency of what are still in essence local monopolies may result in unintended consequences. Efforts to ‘secure’ urban water supplies through engineering efforts may well prove successful, yet will undoubtedly prove expensive to build, operate and maintain. The intense focus on husbanding urban water supplies may allow relatively inefficient institutional arrangements to continue unchallenged. While the primary responsibility of policy makers is to ensure sufficient water resources exist to supply urban populations, the secondary aim of welfare enhancing policy should not be forgotten. This paper seeks to fill this particular gap in the analysis of urban water in Australia. We examine 52 water utilities from regional New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria in order to measure relative technical efficiency and productivity over a four-year period 2000–2004. We also measure the determinants of relative efficiency with respect to a number of exogenous variables, including governance arrangements, network characteristics and the consequence of recent urban water policy instruments. The paper is divided into five main parts. Section 2 describes contemporary Australian urban water policy to establish the need for an investigation of relative efficiency in urban water provision. Section 3 outlines the econometric techniques employed. Section 4 provides a synoptic review of the literature on relative efficiency measurement in the water and wastewater sectors. Section 5 outlines data and methodology considerations, with the results of the various models are presented in Section 6. The paper ends with some brief policy implications in Section 7.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper makes a tripartite contribution. First, it represents the first analysis of the efficiency of regional urban water utilities in NSW and Victoria. Second, it is the first analysis of the contribution differing institutional structure makes to relative efficiency in the Australian water context. Finally, given the recently established national performance reporting arrangements for water utilities, it establishes a benchmark against which future analysis of urban water utilities can be measured. Five main policy implications emerge from the findings of the paper. Firstly, water conservation policies reduce efficiency because efficiency advantages derive from higher levels of production density in water networks. Thus policies designed to reduce per capita consumption of water within a given network, such as water restrictions, are likely to have a negative impact on the relative technical efficiency of water utilities. Secondly, groundwater is a source of efficiency in regional NSW. It follows that protection of groundwater from pollutants may result in reduced costs by avoiding the treatment-related expenses faced by utilities reliant on surface water. Thirdly, a high proportion of industrial consumers reduces efficiency. Accordingly, local authorities should re-evaluate the net benefits of attracting industry by including their impact on water utilities. Fourthly, drought and/or water restrictions affect water utilities equally regardless their efficiency. Finally, large NSW utilities may benefit from ‘hard’ regulation and separation from local government since equivalent-sized Victorian water utilities were more efficient.