Skip to the content

Organising water: The hidden role of intermediary work

Moss, T, Medd, W, Guy, S and Marvin, S 2009, 'Organising water: The hidden role of intermediary work' , Water Alternatives, 2 (1) , pp. 16-33.

PDF - Published Version
Download (339kB) | Preview


ABSTRACT: The increasingly complex challenges of making water management more sustainable require a critical and detailed understanding of the social organisation of water. This paper examines the hitherto neglected role that 'intermediary' organisations play in reshaping the relations between the provision and use of water and sanitation services. In response to new regulatory, environmental, social, and commercial pressures the relationships between water utilities, consumers, and regulators are changing, creating openings for both new and existing organisations to take on intermediary functions. Drawing on recent EU-funded research we provide the first systematic analysis of intermediary organisations in the European water sector, examining the contexts of their emergence, the ways they work, the functions they perform, and the impacts they can have. With a combination of conceptual and empirical analysis we substantiate and elaborate the case for appreciating the often hidden work of intermediaries. We caution, however, against over-simplistic conclusions on harnessing this potential, highlighting instead the need to reframe perspectives on how water is organised to contemplate actor constellations and interactions beyond the common triad of provider, consumer, and regulator.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > College of Science & Technology
Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments (UPRISE)
Journal or Publication Title: Water Alternatives
Publisher: Water Alternatives Association
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1965-0175
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2011 13:46
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 01:21

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year