In most countries, the expansion of modern water and sanitation systems happened as a result of public ownership and investment in response to increasing demand and public health concerns in urban areas. In the 1990s, however, many countries privatised their water and sanitation services, particularly in the South, as a result of strong pressure from neoliberal governments and international financial institutions, to ‘open’ up national services to international corporations. Many cities, regions and even countries have since embarked on remunicipalisation or renationalisation of water delivery, in which the aim is not to return to the pre-privatisation realities but to develop public-water systems that satisfy citizens’ needs.