Master of Water Resources Management: Design of alternative pricing systems for collecting drinking water

This objective was aimed the thesis of graduate in Economics and Master in Economics and Business Eduardo Comellas, realized in the framework of the MGIRH, academic proposal created at the initiative of Arg Cap Net.

The working hypothesis emphasizes that, to help achieve the objectives of pricing policy, namely, fuel efficiency, equity payments, financial equilibrium of the provider and sustainability of the service, the design of a system of charging for the service drinking water network must not only take into account the costs of the provider entity, but also, and in a complementary way, should incorporate an adequate estimation of population demand functions for the service.

The methodology is based on the simulation of alternative scenarios governed by tariff structures, together with the analysis of their impacts on consumer decisions of users through functions potable water demand and adjusted previously estimated. The scenarios are supplied with water, social, economic and environmental data from Mendoza (Argentina), for the period 1999-2009.

Among the findings it is noted that, as stated in economic theory, a volumetric tariff system structured on increasing block turns out to be the most suitable for achieving the objectives of the pricing policy. “However, the contribution of the work is to emphasize that under certain circumstances, even this system may have limited effectiveness, since the same rate range could be affected heterogeneous population groups. Therefore emphasizes the need for, first, a rigorous and adequate study of population demand for drinking water, which then must be contrasted with the results of studies of the costs of the provider. The complementary use of both analyzes mainly avoid the risk of designing a pricing system in which the same range impinges on functions demands of different population strata, diminishing the theoretical benefits of this tariff system, “said Comellas.

In this regard, the work demonstrates that an adequate volumetric rate structure structured increasing block, but designed with a variety of steps with relatively small and widely accented ranges, minimize the possibility that the same rate affects heterogeneous populations and, thus, increase the chances of achieving the objectives of pricing policy. ')}