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Title: Assessing the willingness to pay for water supplies in Mexico City : consumers' and decision-makers' perspectives
Author: Soto Montes de Oco, Gloria.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3472 2325
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2003
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Mexico City faces severe and long term challenges regarding the sustainability of its water supplies. These supplies are insufficient to meet current demand, while that demand is itself growing significantly. Furthermore, as this thesis shows, the current water deficit is characterised by uneven distribution across society with the poor being disproportionately affected by supply discontinuities and related problems. The research sets out to investigate a number of dimensions regarding domestic water supply in Mexico City. Central themes include consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) values for various changes in water supply provision, distributional aspects of these values and decision-makers reactions to our findings from these investigations. The research adopted a mixed methodological approach. First, focus groups were used to develop a broad understanding of consumers' perceptions and preferences. Second, findings from the focus groups were employed to design a contingent valuation (CV) survey questionnaire to investigate households' WT? for various changes in water service provision as well as eliciting information regarding the supply conditions affecting differing households. This questionnaire was implemented through a large sample survey of households in Mexico City chosen so as to permit inspection of distributional aspects of water supply and WTP. Results were obtained through a series of statistical analyses and a cost-benefit analysis (CSA) undertaken, the latter paying specific attention to distributional issues. Finally, elite interviewing techniques were used to investigate decision-makers' views regarding the incidence and severity of water supply problems and to assess their reactions to the WTP and CSA results. Our findings show that current service levels are highly heterogeneous across the city. This variation is significantly associated with household income. In accordance with prior expectations we found that poorer households are WTP most for service improvements while wealthier households, which already enjoy better services, are WTP higher amounts to avoid service deterioration. We recommended explicit recognition of the extent to which WTP varies with respect to the income and service level conditions which hold across the city. Aggregate WTP amounts are sufficient to pay for service modernisation while still permitting the reduction of existing water supply subsidies by about 70%. Consumers' WTP were linked to and conditional upon the efficiency, transparency and fairness of the institutional structures through which water is provided and charged. Finally, the information provided regarding the survey and focus group findings was seen to influence decision-makers perspectives regarding the fairness ofthe current tariff structure and the extent to which the water tariff policies of the city might be revised. The thesis concludes that there is an opportunity to implement a longterm programme of water supply reform grounded upon on households' WTP and that such a policy could be implemented with the consensus of both the population and decision-makers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available