The authhor has explored the impact of increased responsibility for water management and decision-making in the communes within Madagascar's southern district of Ambovombe- Androy. Ambovombe-Androy is a semi-arid district that comprises 17 communes with marked levels of poverty. Limited water supply, extreme demand, and predatory operators drive water prices up to unaffordable levels. Decentralisation has served to exacerbate, rather than ameliorate, the problem.