Water and Sanitation Services

Public Policy and Management

Edited by Jose Esteban Castro, Leo Heller

© 2012 – Routledge

392 pages

Purchasing Options:
New in Paperback: 9780415507035
pub: 2012-08-23
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9781844076567
pub: 2009-02-25
US Dollars$135.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Substantially reducing the number of human beings who lack access to clean water and safe sanitation is one of the key Millennium Development Goals. This book argues and demonstrates that this can only be achieved by a better integration of the technical and social science approaches in the search for improved organization and delivery of these essential services. It presents a historical analysis of the development of water and sanitation services in both developed and developing countries, which provides valuable lessons for overcoming the obstacles facing the universalization of these services.

Among the key lessons emerging from the historical analysis are the organizational and institutional diversity characterizing the development of water and sanitation internationally, and the central role played by the public sector, particularly local authorities, in such development. It also explores the historical role played by cooperatives and other non-profit institutions in reaching rural and peri-urban areas, as well as the emergence of new forms of organization and provision, particularly in poor countries, where aid and development agencies have been promoting the self-organization of water systems by local communities. The book provides a critical exploration of these different institutional options, including the interaction between the public and private sectors, and the irreplaceable role of public funding as a condition for success.

The book is divided into two parts: the first reviews theoretical and conceptual issues such as the political economy of water services, financing, the interfaces between water and sanitation services and public health, and the systemic conditions that influence the provision of these services, including the diversity of organizational and institutional options characterizing the governance and management of water and sanitation services. The second section presents a number of country or regional case studies, each one chosen to highlight a particular problem, approach or strategy. These case studies are drawn from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, covering a wide range of socio-economic and political contexts. The book will be of great interest to advanced students, researchers, professionals and NGOs in many disciplines, including public policy and planning, environmental sciences, environmental sociology, history of technology, civil and environmental engineering, public health and development studies.


"I am most impressed by the range and profile of the topics and contributors. There is a growing awareness that solving water and sanitation problems involves more than pipes and valves - human behaviour and institutions are important components of the package." - Sandy Cairncross, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

"This book will be very timely…The emphasis of the book is absolutely correct, linking the technologies to the sociocultural, political, economic and planning aspects of water and sanitation services." - Duncan Mara, University of Leeds, UK

"The book will be of great interest to advanced students, researchers, professionals, and NGOs in many disciplines, including public policy and planning, environmental science, environmental sociology, history of technology, civil and environmental engineering public health, and development studies." - Richard H. McCuen, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Maryland, USA

"By delving into the book more deeply, the reader is provided with a rich and deep source of information, analysis and advice for all who are committed to improving access to and the quality of water and sanitation services." - David Sutherland, ATKINS, Waterlines

Table of Contents

Editors' Introduction

Section 1: Theoretical and Conceptual Dimensions 1. Systemic Conditions and Public Policy in the Water and Sanitation Sector 2. Troubled Waters. The Political Economy of Essential Public Services 3. Public Policy Analysis in the Water and Sanitation Sector: Budgetary and Management Aspects 4. North-South Transfer of the Paradigm of Piped Water. The Role of the Public Sector in Water and Sanitation Services 5. Management and Organization of Water and Sanitation Services: European Experiences 6. Public Policy Options for Financing Sewerage Systems 7. Interfaces and Inter-sector Approaches: Water and Sanitation and Public Health 8. The Market-centred Paradigm 9. Complementary Paradigms of Water and Sanitation Services: Lessons from the Finnish Experience 10. Community Organization and Alternative Paradigms for Improving Water and Sanitation in Deprived Settlements

Section 2: Country and Regional Experiences Developed Countries European Cases 11. Decentralization and Delegation of Water and Sanitation Services in France 12. The State of Urban Water Supply and Sanitation in Spain: Issues, Debates and Conflicts 13. Decentralized Services: the Nordic Experience 14. The Development of Water Services in Europe: from Diversity to Convergence? North American Cases 15. 'From East to Western sea'. Canada: A Country of National Abundance and Local Shortages 16. The U.S. Experience on Water Supply and Sanitation: The Interaction between Public Policy and Management The 'Global South' African and Asian Cases 17. Discrimination by Default. The Post-colonial Heritage of Urban Water Provision in East Africa 18. The South Asian Experience. Financial Arrangements for Facilitating Local Participation in WSS Interventions in Poor Urban Areas: Lessons from Bangladesh and Nepal 19. Water and Sanitation Services in China: Current Problems and Potential Solutions Latin American Cases 20. Water and Sanitation Policies in Brazil: Historical Inequalities and Institutional Change 21. Challenges Facing the Universal Access of Water and Sanitation in Mexico


About the Editors

Dr Jose Esteban Castro is Professor of Sociology at Newcastle University. A sociologist by training, Professor Castro has an interdisciplinary background in the Social Sciences. He has extensive research experience in the field of water and water-related services and his work has focused on the interrelations between water policies and citizenship rights, highlighting the interplay between environmental and socio-political change. Among other topics, he has studied the relation between civil rights (e.g. water rights) and social rights (e.g. water as a public good; water and public health), the intertwining between the public and private spheres in the provision of public services (water and sanitation), the interaction between the different epistemic subjects producing knowledge about water and the institutions and processes involving the social management of this resource, and issues of governance and ecological distribution conflicts.

Among other publications he has authored Water, Power, and Citizenship. Social Struggle in the Basin of Mexico (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006). He has done work on a number of countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Portugal, and has coordinated the PRINWASS project on private sector participation in water and sanitation (www.prinwass.org). He currently coordinates the research network GOBACIT (www.gobacit.org), of which this book is one of the first outcomes.

Dr Leo Heller is Professor of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil. He has a BA in Civil Engineering, a MSc. in Sanitary Engineering and a PhD. in Epidemiology. He recently carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford focusing on the theoretical aspects of public policy and management in the water supply and sanitation sector. He has an extensive experience of research in the fields of environmental health and public policy in water and sanitation services, and has recently introduced a research programme on public policy and management in the School of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering at the UFMG. He has supervised a large number of postgraduate dissertations, and coordinated several national and international research projects on these topics.

He has an impressive track record of journal articles, books and book chapters, including a book on the history of water supply and sanitation services in Brazil and another on health and environmental sanitation. He is a member of the GOBACIT research network (www.gobacit.org) and coordinates the academic network POLISAN (Ethics, Politics, and Management in Water and Sanitation), which includes European and Brazilian scholars and develops interdisciplinary research, teaching, and training activities.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / General