[Blueboard] RTD - The Politics of Pipes: Small Water Networks in Manila's Urban Landscape, 06 May, 10:00 AM at ASoG

Maricel V. de Guzman mdeguzman at aps.ateneo.edu
Mon May 2 09:09:05 PHT 2011

Please post. Thank you!

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

The Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) is holding a round table  
discussion on "The Politics of Pipes: Small Water Networks in Manila?s  
Urban Landscape? on 06 May 2011, Friday, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 NN at  
Conference Rooms 1 and 2, Pacifico Ortiz Hall, Social Development  
Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.  
This will be facilitated by Debbie Cheng, a Ph.D. candidate at the  
University of California Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group and a  
Visiting Fellow at ASoG. The activity aims to have an in-depth  
discussion on the strategy to extend water services to peripheral  
communities through the Small Piped Water Networks (SPWNs).

Please send your confirmations to Ms. Maricel de Guzman on or before  
04 May, Wednesday, at 426-6061 / 426-6001 local 4645 or  
mdeguzman at aps.ateneo.edu.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

The Politics of Pipes: Small Water Networks in Manila's Urban Landscape

In Manila's post-privatization environment, an "innovative" strategy  
is being used to help extend water services to peripheral communities  
? that of small piped water networks (SPWNs). SPWNs are  
community-based water networks that serve as extensions or surrogates  
for "formal" water utilities, and they are commonly assumed to be  
independent operators, acting autonomously from their larger  
counterparts. But in neoliberal Manila, the two water concessionaires,  
Manila Water and Maynilad, play significant roles in determining when  
and where SPWNs occur. In the decade and a half since privatization,  
SPWNs have been used strategically by Manila Water, first, followed by  
Maynilad, in order to rapidly expand coverage to lower income areas.  
The result is an uneven geography of access to water, where SPWN  
communities often pay higher tariffs and may face differential service  

Concomitantly, despite the often determinative function of the  
concessionaires, community members must still play a critical role, as  
the concessionaires rely on them for local organizing, financing, and  
disciplining of consumers. My research examines this intersection of  
corporate hegemony and grassroots struggle at two scales -- 1) at a  
macro level, I analyze the ways in which the concessionaires'  
strategies on SPWNs have shaped the urban landscape, situated within  
broader policies put forth by the state and international finance  
institutions; and 2) at a micro level, I examine the social and  
political dynamics within three SPWN communities to assess the ways in  
which individual citizenship may be altered. I find that while there  
is some degree of negotiation between the many actors involved,  
corporate interests largely determine the geography of SPWNs and the  
terms by which they exist, resulting in a reconfiguration of  
inequities in access to water and social hierarchies. SPWNs can thus  
be viewed as one particular manifestation of the ability of private  
interests to affect the marginalization of certain groups.

Debbie Cheng is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California  
Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group and a Visiting Fellow at the  
Ateneo School of Government. She has spent the last nine months in  
Manila conducting her dissertation research on SPWNs.

Maricel V. de Guzman
Program Assistant
Ateneo School of Government
Telefax: (63 2) 426-5997
Directline: (63 2) 426-5998
Trunkline: (63 2) 426-6001 loc. 4621
Email: mdeguzman at aps.ateneo.edu / isel.dg at gmail.com

More information about the Blueboard mailing list