​A conversation with Sabina Shaikh, University of Chicago​The burgeoning bottled water industry presents a paradox: Why do people choose expensive, environmentally destructive bottled water, rather than cheaper, sustainable, and more rigorously regulated tap water?


Sustainable solutions for Jackson, MississippiNot a sustainable solution. (Photo credit: Mississippitoday.org)National attention is back on drinking water utilities, and once again for all the wrong reasons. As readers of this blog surely know by now,


Cambridge University Press, 2022The choices people make about drinking water reveal deeper lessons about trust in government and civic life.The burgeoning bottled water industry presents a paradox: Why do people choose expensive, environmentally destructive


Ramiro Berardo, Director...And Water For All is an educational documentary about water affordability in Ohio. The film aims to amplify the voices of those who work toward providing clean, affordable water for all. Even


How much consolidation is enough?You know it when you hit the sweet spot.There’s a growing consensus that there are way too many water utilities in the United States.America’s 50,000 community water systems are operated


Sovereignty, primacy & environmental protectionPolicy Studies Journal, May 2020​Mellie Haider, Manuel P. TeodoroThe landmark American environmental laws of the 1970s originally made no mention of American Indian tribal lands, and subsequent research on environmental


When utility regulation fails, democracy failsPhoto: Texas TribuneThe utility failures in the Lone Star State last week cascaded into a disaster when extreme weather hit an isolated electrical grid.* But more than a natural


Managing the $638 million low-income water & sewer assistance in the federal COVID relief packageNow what?As frequent readers of this page likely know, the COVID relief bill that Congress passed in December included $638


Inefficient, inequitable, and maddeningly slow, America’s fragmented administrative institutions are saving the Republic before our eyes. American elections are run by a messy mish-mash of local, state, and federal agencies. That’s a feature, not


​Sovereignty isn’t what’s on paper, it’s what flows through taps and riversEnvironmental sovereignty (Photo: nativenewsonline.net)America is slowly awakening to the dire state of tribal water and sewer systems. Access to drinking water and sanitation


Playing  to win  not to lose in water utility managementNature's Prevent DefenseWarning: strained sports metaphor coming.It’s late January, and the National Football League season soon reaches its climax with the Super Bowl. Both of


​A five-point proposal to transform the U.S. water sectorAs daunting as the challenges in the U.S. water sector are, solutions are possible and within our grasp. Thanks to legions of smart, creative scientists and


Better TogetherWater Sector Reform #1: ConsolidationWith a major federal investment in water infrastructure possibly on the horizon, the United States has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leverage that money into reforms to transform America’s water


Devils (and angels) in the details, Part 3In early January the California Water Board released its draft proposal for a statewide low-income water bill assistance program. My last couple posts summarized the proposal and


Private Implementation of Public PolicyPSJ: Policy Studies JournalManuel P. Teodoro, Youlang Zhang, David Switzer​Where policy goals can be achieved through regulation of private firms, private provision of public services allows governments to separate public


A California Surprise, Part 3California’s private utilities continued to out-conserve public utilities even after the state lifted its mandate.In 2015 the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) ordered drinking water utilities to reduce


A California Surprise, Part 2More drought porn (this is used to be Folsom Lake)How private implementation separates public policies from their political costs.Warning: this post contains hardcore wonkery.In 2015 the California State Water Resources


A California surprise, Part IDrought pornSomething unexpected happened when California ordered its utilities to save water: the state’s investor-owned private utilities out-conserved local governments.California’s long-term drought began as early as 2007, but intensified to


Chapter 7 - The Bureaucracy: Policy Implementation and ReformCambridge University PressM. Anne Pitcher & Manuel P. Teodoro​New bureaucratic agencies – most commonly central banks, privatisation agencies and regulatory commissions – multiplied across Africa following


The City of Jacksonville, FL is contemplating sale of JEA, its municipal electric, water, and sewer utility. For years Jacksonville has toyed with the idea of selling JEA to a private investor, but the possibility


This is the second in my series of posts on the recently released White House infrastructure plan.We’re at a strange point in America’s fiscal history.Cash on corporate ledgers is high, bond rates remain at


Trust, Neglect, and JusticePSJ: Policy Studies JournalManuel P. Teodoro, Mellie Haider, David Switzer​This study investigates the implementation of U.S. environmental protection laws under American Indian tribal governance. The landmark laws of the 1970s that


A Resource Endowment Theory of Human Capital and Agency PerformancePAR: Public Administration ReviewManuel P. Teodoro & David SwitzerThis article advances a resource endowment theory of human capital and performance in government organizations. Building on


Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011 Careers, Motives, and the Innovative Administrator Teodoro explains the systems that foster or frustrate entrepreneurship among public executives. Through case studies and quantitative analysis of original data, he shows


Journal AWWAManuel P. Teodoro​This article analyzes the influence of local governmental structures on the likelihood that utilities adopt one of two water conservation policies: conservation rates and landscape audits. Statistical analysis tests the effects