The global commodification of wastewater.

Published in Water International, v. 37(2):147-155

Scott, C.A. and Raschid-Sally, L.

Publication year 2012
  • Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA
  • International Water Management Institute, Accra, Ghana


IAI Program


IAI Project CRN3056


With growing scarcity and competition for water, urban wastewater is increasingly marketable because of its water and nutrient values. Commodification has implications for the current &ldquoresidual&rdquo uses of wastewater (particularly by poor farmers in developing countries), for the risk of disease transmission, and for wastewater-dependent agro-ecosystems. Using examples from Pakistan, India, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mexico, and the United States, this paper contrasts commodification as it occurs in the developed and developing worlds and demonstrates the need for public information and coherent institutional frameworks, including private- and public-sector participation.