Urban water dilemmas under the multi-dimensional prism of sustainabilityPart of : WSEAS transactions on business and economics ; Vol.5, No.8, 2008, pages 413-422
The notion of sustainability in the urban water sector refers to a multi-dimensional spectrum of balancing social, environmental and economic interests. The supply-oriented traditional infrastructure notions in the domestic water supply developed around the perception of water as a “public good” and the market-based logic that succeeded them failed equally to respond holistically to the growing challenges. Aim of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing discussion on the redefinition of the basic questions that formulate the context of strategies and policies in the water sector. Furthermore, it suggests the necessity to focus on the identification of parameters neglected by current research. A key question is formulated in the paper: how water saving as a phenomenon and as a strategy is constructed in metropolitan areas and what do these interpretations reveal about competing notions of sustainable water management. This is approached through the hypothesis that the water saving dilemmas and “dualities”, shape but are also constructed by, the contesting interests and perceptions of actors which are based on responses on questions insufficient to address alone the multi-level notion of sustainability. This argument is supported by evidence of the instructive Berlin’s case. Athens’ case, is also employed in this paper, providing further empirical evidence from a second European metropolitan area.
water saving, domestic water, urban infrastructure, water management, water supply, water governance, water utilities
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