The contradictions of urban water provision: a study of Guayaquil, Ecuador

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This paper explores the contradictions in the provision of urban public water in Guayaquil, Ecuador, which result in the condition that a sizeable part of the urban population - and always the poorer end of the social spectrum - does not have access to piped potable water. In the first section, the author briefly outlines the history of the urbanisation of water in Latin America and the difficult access to water in Latin American cities. The second and main section explores the reasons behind the widening gap between the available supply of urban water and popular need. It is argued that chronic problems of financial deficits, a structural dependence on outside financing and the "productionist' bias of public water utliities combine to exclude people from access to the available potable water. The final section discusses elements for a sustainble, emancipatory and empowering urban water circulation system. -from Author
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-405
Number of pages18
JournalThird World Planning Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995


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