What Governance? The Role of Public and Private Stakeholders in Water Supply Management in Mediterranean Coastal Tourist Destinations: The Case of the Costa Brava

A large number of services have been privatized in recent decades, leaving less responsibility for public administration management. This trend has resulted in an intense debate on which services should be guaranteed and the equity and efficiency criteria that should be applied in their provision. The move to privatize the potable water supply in one of the main international tourist destinations—the Costa Brava (Spain)—can be included within this context. Our aim is to identify and characterize the main water governance systems on the Costa Brava in order to explore the different forms of water supply governance. To this end, an analysis has been carried out to explain the different interrelations between the expansion of tourism and the management of water supply infrastructures. The insufficient technical and financial resources of local and regional governments encourage the entry of private initiatives. In this process, we must also take into account the consolidation of a larger customer market linked to tourism development. Our main conclusion is that water governance models in coastal tourist destinations such as these are determined not only by territorial needs and the lack of technical capacity, but also by the emergence of business opportunities in the private sector ​
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