Inderscience Publishers

Wet dreams – dry realities: lost opportunities for an Australian presence in the global water services industry

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

Urban water provision, traditionally a local activity, has since the 1990s been drawn into the orbit of global capital accumulation. The largest private water companies that are internationally active are several vertically integrated French and the UK firms. This article discusses reasons for this dominance and contrasts the situation with Australia where the domestic water services industry has only achieved a minor international presence. Some domestic firms were earmarked in the 1990s as representatives of a potentially prosperous exporting environmental technology industry. However, these global aspirations have largely failed, due to destructive inter-firm rivalry and uncoordinated industry assistance programmes.

Keywords: Australia, environmental technology exports, global water services, industry policy, urban water provision, globalisation

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