NAWC - National Association of Water Companies


Resources For:

Public Officials divider The Media divider Regulators divider Concerned Citizens

Our IndustryGovernment AffairsState Utility RegulationWater ChallengesKnowledge CenterMembershipNews & EventsAbout NAWCOur Solutions
Water is Your Business

Glossary

Acquisition
A transaction where a public entity or partner sells a facility to a private partner resulting in private ownership and operation.

Build, Own and Transfer (BOT)
Private partner builds, owns and operates the facility. At the end of the specified period, such as 30 years, the facility may be transferred to the public partner for a nominal fee.

Concession
In the case of a public service concession, a private company enters into an agreement with the government to have the exclusive right to operate, maintain and carry out investment in a public utility (such as a water supply system) for a given number of years.

Contract Operations
A type of public-private partnership in which the private partner operates and maintains the public partner's facilities over a long or short term.

Contract Management
A type of public-private partnership wherein the private partner manages and supervises the public partner's personnel.

Desalination
Refers to any of several processes that remove excess salt and other minerals from seawater or brackish water. (Also, desalinization, desalinisation)

Design/Build/Operate (DBO)
Construction contract where a single contractor or entity is vested with the responsibility for designing and constructing a facility and operating and maintaining it for a specified period prior to handing it over to the client.

Joint Venture
An arrangement where a private partner owns a facility in conjunction with a public partner.

Municipality
An administrative entity composed of a clearly defined territory and its population. "Municipality" commonly denotes a city, town, or village, or a small grouping of them. A municipality is typically governed by a mayor and a city council or municipal council.

Operations Assistance
Private partner provides transition management or program management to improve effectiveness of public partner's operations.

Private Activity Bond (PAB)
A form of financing whereby a private entity partners with state or municipal government to finance a project with tax-exempt bonds. The projects being financed can be either privately owned or government owned, but are in the general public's interest (as defined by law).

Privatization
The incidence or process of transferring ownership of business from the public sector (government) to the private sector (business). In a broader sense, privatization refers to the transfer of any government function to the private sector. (The term can also refer to the buyout, by the majority owner, of all shares of a public corporation or holding company's stock, privatizing a publicly traded stock.)

Public-Private Partnership
A contractual agreement between a public agency (federal, state or local) and a private sector entity. Through this agreement, the skills and assets of each sector (public and private) are shared in delivering a service or facility for the use of the general public. In addition to the sharing of resources, each party shares in the risks and rewards potential in the delivery of the service and/or facility.

Public Utility Commission (PUC)
A state-level governing body that regulates the rates and services of a privately owned utility, such as a water, electricity, gas or telecommunications utility. PUCs are charged with balancing the needs of consumers and utilities while protecting the public, and ensuring that rates charged by regulated utilities are fair, just and reasonable. PUCs serve the consumer interest by seeking to improve the quality and effectiveness of service of regulated utilities and carriers. Such bodies can also be called Public Service Commissions, Utility Regulatory Commissions, etc.

Join NAWC
Knowledge Center

The NewsFlow Blog