Research Topics


The U4 Blog

Learning & events

About Us

U4 Brief

Grand designs: Corruption risks in major water infrastructure projects

Multi‑million dollar water infrastructure projects carry some of the largest corruption risks in the sector linked to the procurement of civil works and associated design, supply and consultancy services. The potential for grand corruption in big dam projects and upgrading urban water and sanitation systems can be so significant as to skew policy making towards the most lucrative investments. “White elephants” such as overly sophisticated new wastewater treatment plants may come at the expense of maintenance of existing assets and more appropriate lower cost technologies and approaches.

Also available in French
1 January 2009
Read onlineDownload PDF

Cite this publication

Butterworth, J.; (2009) Grand designs: Corruption risks in major water infrastructure projects. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief )

Read onlineDownload PDF
John Butterworth


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


natural resource management