Risk ranking and analysis in PPP water supply infrastructure projects

Ernest Effah Ameyaw, Ping Chuen Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose-This paper aims to identify and evaluate the most significant risk factors that strongly affect the implementation of public-private partnership (PPP) water supply projects. PPP for water supply infrastructure services has seen continued growth over the past two decades, following public sector’s budgetary constraints and inability to provide infrastructure-based water services efficiently and cost effectively. However, these projects are often subjected to major risks leading to failures. Design/methodology/approach-Following extensive literature review and case study analyses, an international questionnaire survey was conducted with practicing and experienced PPP experts to establish the significant risks in PPP water projects. Both the probability of occurrence and severity of 40 risks were evaluated by the expert panel to determine their significance and impact on water projects procured under the PPP arrangement. Findings - The paper presents a derived risk factor list, ranks the factors and describes the “top-ranked” risk factors as: poor contract design, water pricing and tariff review uncertainty, political interference, public resistance to PPP, construction time and cost overrun, non-payment of bills, lack of PPP experience, financing risk, faulty demand forecasting, high operational costs and conflict between partners. Originality/value-This factor list broadens PPP stakeholders’ view of important project risks, rather than relying on culture-dependent studies-an area that has received less attention in PPP risk management research. The identified risk factors would provide governments and investors a useful tool in implementing constructive water PPPs by facilitating the development of risk mitigation strategies, particularly for developing countries with poor risk management practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-453
Number of pages26
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Public-private partnerships
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk identification
  • Water supply

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction


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