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From the World Water Forum: Idea for a New Water Prize?

Michael Peter Steen Jacobsen's picture

At the World Water Forum in Marseille, I participated in a session on innovative ways to finance water for the poor. Most of the ideas proposed were good, including testing Output-Based Aid, improvements to the water tariff structure, and a sanitation fee on the water bill.Then the organizers asked for ideas and the discussion was opened for plenary...

A person spoke up: We have the Stockholm Water Prize, the King Hassan the Second Water Prize, and many others. Should we not have a prize of, say, 1 million USD to the CEO whose utility expands its service to the urban poor the most in a year?

Scattered murmurs of surprise were heard in the audience, but maybe it is not such a bad idea. After all, the financial crisis told us that CEOs will expend great efforts to capture a large bonus. Maybe we should have the McNamara Prize for serving the urban poor?