Governance of the drinking water supply service: A case study of three Mexican communities

Becerril Tinoco, Citlalli (2012) Governance of the drinking water supply service: A case study of three Mexican communities. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Governance theory emerged in the early 1990s. Since then, it has been seen as an
approach to unveil the existing relationships in systems of management with two
often-conflicting governing systems, namely formal and informal. Governance
theory attempts to understand the implications of decisions made by formal and
informal institutions in order to find suitable ways of management.
The theoretical problem this thesis responds to embraces water institutions
governing and managing the DWSS. This thesis contributes to conceptualise
drinking water governance as the rules, decision making and the plurality of actors
interacting to provide the DWSS and recognising customary water institutions and
authorities in the management, operation and maintenance of the DWSS at
community level.
This research uses the concept of governance defined by Chhotray and Stoker
(2009: 3) as ‘the rules that guide collective decision-making in settings where
there are a plurality of actors or organisations’. This concept is systematically
applied in an analytical framework taking into account three main components of
governance namely rules, collective decision-making, and plurality of actors to
analyse water governance with a focus on the drinking water supply service
(DWSS) in three peri-urban communities in Mexico’s central highlands: San
Mateo, San Francisco and Santiaguito.
The principal research question this thesis aims to answer is how do customarilyorganised
institutions address water governance to manage the DWSS at
community level? Using qualitative methods and techniques this research explores
the interactions between formal and informal institutions and actors when
managing drinking water at community level. Informal institutions and actors are
water committees, water vendors, and domestic water users. Formal institutions
are decentralised water institution and well proprietors.
This research highlights the importance of legal plural institutions involvement in
the governance and management of drinking water and its interaction at
community level. This thesis contributes to better understanding of rules, decision
making and the plurality of actors interacting within the governance and
management of the DWSS. It highlights the importance of the legal plural
institutions involved in the governance and management of water and the way in
which they are legitimised either by formal or informal institutions. This thesis
also contributes to recognising customary water institutions in the governance of
water resources. I approach water governance and analyse society participation,
water markets and customary and official institutions involved in the DWSS
provision. Theoretical insights are also provided into the on-going dynamic of
drinking water access by domestic water users and actors. Finally, the thesis is
also rich in contributing with substantial empirical information collected through
semi-structured interviews, deep interviews, focus groups, observation and
informal talks with domestic water users and vendors.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 16 May 2013 11:48
Last Modified: 16 May 2013 11:48
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/42413
DOI:

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