INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN ENERGIA NO CONVENCIONAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
Towards more sustainable water and sanitation management systems in developing countries. A new conceptual and methodological approach
SEGHEZZO, L.; IRIBARNEGARAY, M.A.; LÓPEZ MARTÍNEZ, M.S.; RÍOS, M.L.
México D.F., México
Congreso; IWA Development Congress 2009; 2009
International Water Association (IWA)
The management of complex issues like water and sanitation requires dynamic, integrated, participatory, and adaptive systems in which multiple uses and users have to be taken into consideration simultaneously, and over a long period of time. However, in practice, water and sanitation management systems (WSMS) remain rather simplistic, static, fragmented, and governed by short-term and sectoral interests. The concept of sustainability could help overcome these shortcomings and guide policy-makers to the establishment of the WSMS of the future. Yet the very concept of sustainability, in spite of its seemingly universal acceptance, has contradictions and limitations that reduce its usefulness in concrete situations. A site-specific definition of the concept of sustainability, preceded by a basic agreement upon the values behind such a concept, seems necessary before attempting to apply it to a particular case. Commitment towards effective cooperative action will only be internalized by all stakeholders if this definition is attained in an open, fair, and participatory process. In this paper, we describe a research project that aims to contribute to the definition, establishment, and assessment of more sustainable WSMS for developing countries. The project has been organized around three main action lines: (a) debate on the variety of possible conceptual frameworks for analyzing sustainability; (b) selection, adaptation and/or development of methodologies that would be applied within these frameworks; and (c) application of these methodologies to the study of the sustainability of WSMS in a set of case studies.