water pipe

Just another drop in the bucket on World Water Day?

Each year, the United Nations uses World Water Day as an opportunity to raise awareness and demand action around the global water crisis. Each year, there is a theme. This year’s theme is wastewater, framed as a ‘grossly undervalued as a potentially affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials’ (pdf)….

City street

How understanding politics and science can help create resilient cities

A new article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) explores how urban resilience can be strengthened by considering social and political norms, values and behaviours alongside engineering and environmental science approaches. The article, Urban resilience efforts must consider social and political forces, is written by colleagues at Arizona State University and UNAM…

water in mozambique

From remunicipalisation to reprivatisation of water? The case of Mozambique

After widespread privatisation in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, many water services around the world began to be transferred back into public control. This ‘remunicipalisation’ has been welcomed by the Transnational Institute and like-minded organisations, who suggest that ‘remunicipalisation is here to stay’ (Lobina et al., 2014). While I am sympathetic to this work on…

A woman pumps water into a bucket in Mozambique

How water became a casualty of Mozambique’s debt crisis

One interesting aspect of doing fieldwork is that you get to understand some theoretical premises better. One such premise related to my PhD research is that the water/development nexus can only be properly understood when situated in the broader (national and global) political economy. This became clear when in April of this year, I set…

Woman stands beside a water pump in Zimbabwe.

Politics of Integrated Water Resources Management in southern Africa

For the past two decades, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has been the dominant paradigm in water resources. It is the flagship project of global bodies such as the Global Water Partnership (GWP). It has also been actively promoted by a range of multilateral and bilateral donors which consider it to be the path to address water governance…

Ramaswamy Iyer: remembering a water justice fighter

An obituary of the Indian water policy expert Ramaswamy Iyer has been published in the magazine Seminar. The author is Dipak Gyawali, a member of the STEPS advisory committee, who worked with Iyer over many years. Iyer served as Secretary of Water Resources in the central government and was instrumental in drafting India’s first National…

A human rights approach to Water and Food Security connections

A new report on water for food security and nutrition led by Lyla Mehta shows how land, food and water issues are inextricably linked and must be reflected in policymaking In the Red Room of Rome’s Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, a landmark report is being launched this morning, which, in the…

Water purification and the regulatory vacuum in India

By Aviram Sharma, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, JNU Water purification technologies have witnessed a rapid rise at firm, household and community level in developing countries, especially during the last two decades. Yet they remain as one of the most neglected areas of research. So much so, in fact, that these ‘emerging’ technologies often…

Jeremy Allouche on BBC’s ‘Today’ Programme: Taiwan and global water reserves

STEPS member and IDS fellow Jeremy Allouche discussed global water reserves on this morning’s Today Programme on BBC Radio 4. The discussion comes in the context of Taiwan’s planned restrictions on water supplies to two of its cities. From the Today website: “The public’s water supply in two northern Taiwan cities will be stopped two…

Why are informal water services overlooked in post-conflict state building?

by Jeremy Allouche & Maria Cooper Resource politics is coming back to the forefront of academic and policy debates around peacebuilding. Environmental peace and state building agendas are dominated by questions concerning informality and hybridity in resources. What kind of role do service providers play in peacebuilding and state building and what can we learn…