Water utilities that work for poor people

In many developing countries, criticism is routinely directed at water utilities for their failure to provide adequate services to poor people in urban contexts. With few incentives to act otherwise, utilities tend to engage in ‘cherry-picking’1, extending services to easy-to-reach, wealthy populations, driven not only by cost recovery concerns but also by preconceptions regarding poor urban people, which prevent utilities from recognising poor urban areas as potential markets.