- The Oxford Handbook of Water Politics and Policy
- List of Contributors
- The Political Dimensions of Water
- Water and Poverty: Pathways of Escape and Descent
- Knowing Equity When We See It: Water Equity in Contemporary Global Contexts
- Gender and Water
- Monitoring the Progressive Realization of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: Frontier Analysis as a Basis to Enhance Human Rights Accountability
- Indigenous Peoples and Water Justice in a Globalizing World
- Re-Imagined Communities: The Transformational Potential of Interspecies Ethnography in Water Policy Development
- The Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Arid Regions: The Politics of Problemsheds
- The Nexus of Energy and Water Quality
- What Is Food-water and Why Do We not Account for It?
- Unintended Water Allocation: Gaining Share from Indirect Action and Inaction
- Why Scale Matters: Borderless Water and Bordered Thinking
- Local Water Politics
- Rethinking Urban Water (In)formality
- Innovation and Trends in Water Law
- Economics of Water
- The Political Economy of Water Markets: 40 Years of Debates, Experiments and Lessons Learned
- The Business of Water
- China’s Water Pricing Policies
- Managing Transboundary Rivers to Avert Conflict and Facilitate Cooperation
- Transboundary Unbound: Redefining Water Conflict and Cooperation for Contemporary Challenges that Extend beyond Watersheds, Regions, and Water
- “Something Has to Yield”: Climate Change Transforming Transboundary Water Governance (as We Know It)
- River Basin Organizations and the Governance of Transboundary Watercourses
- The Absence of Water Conflicts in the Developing World: Evidence from Africa
- Integrated Water Resources Management
- Transfer, Diffusion, Adaptation, and Translation of Water Policy Models
- Climate Information and Water Management: Building Adaptive Capacity or Business as Usual?
- Author Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
Most urban residents around the world access water through a variety of so-called informal means. While “informal” water access is often equated with private water vendors operating outside of the state, this essay argues that informal practices and logics pervade the entire water system, cutting across perceived boundaries separating the formal and informal, state and private, and utility and nonutility. This essay reconceptualizes urban water informality through a postcolonial theoretical lens, arguing that “informal” water does not lie outside of state control and oversight, nor is it strictly separate from “formal” water. Rather, informal water is a product of historically specific forms of state practice that have shaped differentiated and fractured forms of space and infrastructure over time. Central to an understanding of informal water provision is the relationship between state practice, space, and infrastructure. The essay draws from the case of Bangalore, India, to critically rethink urban water informality.
Malini Ranganathan is Assistant Professor in the School of International Service at American University.
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