Transformation of Urban Water Service Provision: Potential of Hybrid Systems
Heino, Ossi; Takala, Annina (2019)
Sage Periodicals Press
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Rapid urbanization poses severe challenges to the water management of growing cities. Conventionally, the suitable way to solve problems has been to expand the capacity of existing centralized infrastructures. It is important to consider how resources of a city’s inner water cycle could be utilized more efficiently, on the one hand, and how the system of provision shapes the functional roles of the service, the ways of using it, and ultimately the consumption itself. This consideration is the reference point of this paper in which we will explore hybrid systems of water management as a promising way to address these problems. We focus particularly on the relationship between water users and the water supply system. The study is based on interviews with water users and literature on the hybridization of water services. We reflect on these issues in relation to the context of transformation of infrastructure services. The results of this study indicate that the successful adaptation of hybrid systems has the potential to facilitate urban transformation. However, certain barriers deeply rooted in water management hinder it from reaching this potential.