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Open AccessArticle

A Century of Water Supply Companies and Their Influence on the Development of Spanish Society (1842–1942)

1
Mining and Civil Engineering Department, Technical University of Cartagena, 30203 Cartagena, Spain
2
Institute of the Water and the Environmental Sciences, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
3
Engineering Department, Miguel Hernández University of Elche, 03312 Orihuela, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(9), 2634; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092634
Received: 10 August 2020 / Revised: 17 September 2020 / Accepted: 18 September 2020 / Published: 21 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Economics and Water Distribution Management)
During a certain period in the history of Spain, in the years of the Second Industrial Revolution, water companies played a very important role in managing a public service as necessary and complex as the supply of drinking water to the population. This article describes the emergence of these companies in the economic framework of the second half of the 19th century, as well as their expansion and territorial distribution, their evolution towards large companies that unified and monopolised the sector and their progressive decline in the 20th century, characterised by an increase in municipal control and influenced by different national and international war conflicts. The data collected in the different statistical yearbooks allows us to study these companies, and identify the characteristics of the modern drinking water system in Spain, together with the importance of foreign investment and the influence of these companies on the economic development of the time. View Full-Text
Keywords: water management; water supply companies; foreign investment; modern drinking water system water management; water supply companies; foreign investment; modern drinking water system
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Pérez-de-la-Cruz, F.-J.; Trapote-Jaume, A.; Melgarejo-Moreno, J.; Chazarra-Zapata, J. A Century of Water Supply Companies and Their Influence on the Development of Spanish Society (1842–1942). Water 2020, 12, 2634.

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