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Challenges and opportunities facing water-service co-operatives: cases from Argentina and Finland

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Esteban CastroORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This issue is part of the activities of the WATERLAT-GOBACIT NetworkArea 3 (TA3), the Urban Water Cycle and Essential Public Services (http://waterlat. org/thematic-areas/ta3/). TA3 brings together academics, students, professionals working in the public sector, workersOrganizations, activists and members of civil society groups, and representatives of communities and users of public services, among others. The remit of this TA is broad, as the name suggests, but it has a strong focus on the political ecology of urban water, with emphasis on the politics of essential water services. Key issues addressed within this framework have been the neoliberalization of water services, social struggles against privatization and mercantilization of these services, the politics of public policy and management in the sector, water inequality and injustice in urban areas, and the contradictions and conflicts surrounding the status of water and water services as a public good, as a common good, as a commodity, as a citizenship right, and more recently, as a human right. The publication is a product of a long-term collaboration with the Capacity Development of Water and Environmental Services (CADWES) Research Group, which holds the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Water Services at Tampere University of Technology (TUT) in Finland under the coordination of the issueS. Katko. The idea of d velopinga se ie o publica io s o nthe h isto yand relevance o fwat r-s rvicecoo erativesaro nd t hewor dha s been an importa tcompone tof our co monresea chplan and in tiati es, a ndwe de idedt st rtwith this i sueon t hechalle ge and oppo tunities fa in cooperativ sin th cu rentcon ext.C nsi tentlywith ou Ne wor a n post-g ad atestudents f om t hes cialsci nce ,history, a nd e ngineering,as w ellas profess onals a dle ders o civ lsoc et organizat onsworkin in a rea releva tto the to icsad res edin the publi ati n. T heissue f ea uresf urar icle ,two o th mad ressingthe s itu tionof water-s rvicec operativesin F in and and the o hertwo fo usedon experi nces f rom A rgentina. A rticle 1 is a thored by Pekka E. Pi tilwho is t eMa agingDirector o fKannus W terC ope ativei Kannus Mun cipality Fin andand simult ne usly a Ph student doing r sea chon wat rc opera ivesat T T.The paper pre entsa sy th ticov rviewof t es tua ionof w tercooper ti esi Finland, incl an analysis of the challenges and opportunities they face in a context of rising consumer expectations and stricter service standards. Article 2 by Petri S. Juuti and Riikka P. Rajala, also from TUT, complements the first paper by focusing attention on the case of the first water cooperative created in Finland, Pispala Water Cooperative, which was founded in 1907 near the city of Tampere in the south of the country. Both articles highlight the fact that in the late Nineteenth Century, before becoming independent from Russia in 1917, Finland decided that essential water and sanitation services should be delivered by municipal public bodies or cooperatives run by users and community organizations, rather than by profit-making private companies, which remains a significant principle for the organization of these services in the country until today.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Castro JE, Katko TS, Pietilä PE, Vihanta J, Juuti PS, Rajala R, Orta M, Portapila M, Muñoz A, Pérez I, Deon JU

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network Working papers

Year: 2018

Volume: 5

Issue: 4

Pages: 1-111

Online publication date: 16/07/2019

Acceptance date: 31/05/2019

Date deposited: 30/07/2019

ISSN (print): 2056-4856

ISSN (electronic): 2056-4864

Publisher: WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network


DOI: 10.5072/zenodo.316851


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