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Water metering as an accounting approach: confronting political administration of the public water supply of a developing city

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Abstract:

This article focuses on the introduction of water metering in the public piped water supply management in Chennai (a South Indian city), by a French water company. The meter is an accounting and informational tool which enables an ongoing assessment of water demand at both aggregate and individual levels, for the population of users covered by the piped supply.

In France, water demand information feeds into operational management at the ground level, and financial management (tariff setting). Assessment of water demand is also a necessary input for public policy concerning water service and macro level infrastructure investments. In India, the managerial approach to the public piped supply has been constrained by a fragmented vision of demand, resulting from a lack of information and an absence of integration of the information system. Further, it is confronted with a political interference that results in a larger focus on source augmentation (the logic of offer) rather than effective water distribution, dissociated from an evaluation of costs.
Thus, the water metering experiment in Chennai highlights a governance gap wherein managerial considerations are in perpetual tension with political compulsions.
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Association:
Name: SASE Annual Conference
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http://www.sase.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p515126_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Amiraly, Akil. and Kanniganti, A.. "Water metering as an accounting approach: confronting political administration of the public water supply of a developing city" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SASE Annual Conference, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, Madrid, Spain, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p515126_index.html>

APA Citation:

Amiraly, A. and Kanniganti, A. "Water metering as an accounting approach: confronting political administration of the public water supply of a developing city" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SASE Annual Conference, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, Madrid, Spain <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p515126_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This article focuses on the introduction of water metering in the public piped water supply management in Chennai (a South Indian city), by a French water company. The meter is an accounting and informational tool which enables an ongoing assessment of water demand at both aggregate and individual levels, for the population of users covered by the piped supply.

In France, water demand information feeds into operational management at the ground level, and financial management (tariff setting). Assessment of water demand is also a necessary input for public policy concerning water service and macro level infrastructure investments. In India, the managerial approach to the public piped supply has been constrained by a fragmented vision of demand, resulting from a lack of information and an absence of integration of the information system. Further, it is confronted with a political interference that results in a larger focus on source augmentation (the logic of offer) rather than effective water distribution, dissociated from an evaluation of costs.
Thus, the water metering experiment in Chennai highlights a governance gap wherein managerial considerations are in perpetual tension with political compulsions.


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