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EXCESS CARRIAGE CAPACITY AND WHEELING

By

Dr. William M. Turner

As municipalities, agricultural districts and industry plan for the efficieint delivery of water to their customers more and more conveyance infrastructure is being put in place.  The delivery infrastructure consisting of pipelines and aqueducts commonly is designed for greater capacity than actually required leaving unused capacity.

Unused conveyance capacity represents a profit opportunity for the owner of the facilities.  Major water distribution systems are commonly owned by public entities including state, regional, and national governments or by public utilities. 

In California today, debate is taking place at the state level to allow the conveyance of water purchased by municipalities from private sources in publicly owned conveyance facilities for the payment of a carriage fee.

In Europe there is a wave of privatisation of water supplies taking place and an effort to encourage competition in the provision of water to large users by private companies.  The European Commission is concerned that large privately owned water companies do not use their dominant position to stifle competition.  In the United Kingdom, provisions exist for large water users to move water through pipelines owned by others for the payment of a carriage fee.

Of course, water companies in a dominant position see this as as threat to their bottom line.  However, it is in the national interest to provide water to the end user at the lowest price to foster economic growth.

Therefore, we suggest:

     1.  The deregulation, segregation and sale of the water conveyance facilities from the actual acquisition of water and its provision to customers.

     2.  The creation of independent water conveyance companies.

     3.  The leasing of unused capacity by the public or private owner of the conveyance facilities.

Toward this end, WaterBank will establish a section on its website for the listing and trading of carriage capacity in pipelines and aqueducts.  For further information contact, Dr. William M. Turner

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