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World Water Week: peri-urban case study


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Presentation given by Lyla Mehta at World Water Week in Stockholm on August 21 2009, based on a case study of the STEPS Centre's project in peri-urban Delhi. For more information see:,%20asia.html

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World Water Week: peri-urban case study

  1. 1. Peri-urban Sustainability in South Asia <ul><li>Empirical case study Ghaziabad - Delhi NCR (JNU/Sarai/Sussex/natural and social scientists) </li></ul><ul><li>Entry point WATER but emphasis on cross-domain work </li></ul><ul><li>Peri urban falling in between the cracks – organised irresponsibility regarding watsan provision </li></ul>
  2. 2. Sustainability and the Peri-urban? Highly contested zone. Complementarities leading to opportunities but also exclusions Increasing environmental degradation and increasing marginalisation. Lack of services, lack of regulation, access deficit, Ambiguity, informality, illegality Increasing recognition of problems, but lack of approaches to manage so that rural-urban synergies can be realised and environment degradation and poverty addressed.
  3. 3. <ul><li>Identify actors and their positionality in relation to peri-urban water management. </li></ul><ul><li>Consultations of framings, narratives aspirations </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilisation of the poor for rights and services </li></ul><ul><li>Examination of how Sustainability/non-Sustainability has been institutionalized in Delhi, and the opportunities for opening up socially-just processes of decision-making </li></ul>Research focus
  4. 4. Dominant narratives and pathways <ul><li>Universal ‘safe’ access via piped water supply </li></ul><ul><li>Cost recovery and commodification. Providers need to access credit from the market. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Making Water Safe’ (technology and quality) water filter industry, bottled water, S+ T, Diverse notions/standards of pollution, risk, wastewater treatment, sewerage </li></ul>
  5. 5. Field insights: Diverse framings of the water system and management goals. <ul><li>Linking access and quality </li></ul><ul><li>Linking supply and waste management </li></ul><ul><li>Linking formal and informal systems </li></ul><ul><li>Actual peri-urban water use practices not recognised </li></ul><ul><li>Many peri-urban dwellers invisible to the central planning system </li></ul><ul><li>Little expectation from the formal system amongst peri-urban communities </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Incomplete knowledge and unrecognised cross-sectoral linkages (water-health-agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Certain risks highlighted over others </li></ul><ul><li>Who is assuming responsibility to control risk </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies presented as reducing risk </li></ul><ul><li>Various tactics to sell technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Language of science and guarantee of safety </li></ul>Notions of risk, and technological choices available to the poor
  7. 7. How should peri-urban Sustainability be defined and sought? Recognise conflicts between… <ul><li>Access and Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Access and sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Justice and illegality </li></ul><ul><li>Good governance and social justice </li></ul><ul><li>      </li></ul>
  8. 8. Thank You! Julia Day Harriet LeBris Synne Movik Lyla Mehta S ocial T echnological and E nvironmental P athways to S ustainability