Public, partially privatised or fully privatised organisations that provide water services, including water supply, sanitation and irrigation infrastructure as well as ecosystem protection. There are several types of water utilities, with varying levels of autonomy which affects the way they operate. In ascending order of autonomy, the main types of water utilities are: Government departments (within a ministry or as a separate ministry), special water units (reporting to a minister or mayor), public or parastatal companies, ‘commercialized’ water utilities (commercial companies with financing capacity fully or partially owned by government) and private companies. When water utilities procure and manage contracts for goods and services with external contractors – i.e. during procurement and contract management – they are referred to as ‘project owners’.
GWP, 2013a, Strengthening the public sector water utilities (B1.07), ToolBox – Integrated Water Resources Management, Global Water Partnership, http://www.gwp.org/en/ToolBox/TOOLS/Institutional-Roles/Creating-an-Organisational-Framework/Strengthening-public-sector-water-utilities/, accessed 24.11.2015