The water services, a laboratory for multi-level governance

Abstract : The local public service of water is a multiform services covering two main tasks (distribution of drinking water and sanitation). Its governance is subjected to both horizontal and vertical tension. From a vertical view, the water service is subject to a series of important constraints resulting from integrated water resources management; this makes it a particular field where the tensions induced by the implementation of multi-level governance appears clearly. From this point of view, the action of local authorities is not only constrained by an increasingly restrictive normative context (due to increased environmental requirements), but is also subject to the interventions of other local authorities (especially inter-municipal authorities) and the State. Horizontally, the implementation of the water service challenges the scope of public action because of the difficult balance between its economic, social and environmental implications. The widespread use of private management that characterizes the French model of water management puts face to face national (and often international) companies, economically and technically powerful, and public authorities usually weaker than them both economically and technically. This then raises the issue of the possible control over the private service manager and the role played by both public authorities and users. From this point of view, the French “democratic model of water management” is not completely satisfying (although it has improved); the rights of the user could for example be further strengthened. After all, the local service of water in France is a summary of public policy issues at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Type de document :
Communication dans un congrès
Les services publics locaux. Comparaison franco-croate, Oct 2014, Zagreb, Croatia
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01097657
Contributeur : Guillaume Protière <>
Soumis le : samedi 20 décembre 2014 - 16:02:35
Dernière modification le : mardi 3 février 2015 - 15:04:23

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  • HAL Id : hal-01097657, version 1

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Guillaume Protière. The water services, a laboratory for multi-level governance. Les services publics locaux. Comparaison franco-croate, Oct 2014, Zagreb, Croatia. 〈hal-01097657〉

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