Municipalities face important water supply challenges. One response has been to render utilities independent from municipal government through alternative service delivery (ASD). For its proponents, ASD provides needed autonomy from municipal government; for its detractors, it is privatization under another name. Using Ontario as a case study, Kathryn Furlong paints a complex picture of both ASD and municipal government. Examining organizational models for water supply and how they are affected by shifting governance and institutional environments, she reveals water management and municipal governance to be deeply interdependent and contends that both must be strengthened to meet contemporary water supply needs.
About the author
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Kathryn Furlong is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the Université de Montréal and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Urban, Water and Utility Governance. Her research focuses on water supply from an economic geography and political ecology perspective, looking in particular at issues related to urban governance, utility politics, service access and infrastructure. Her published work includes research on these issues in Canada, Colombia and the Netherlands. Her most recent articles are published in the Annals of Association of American Geographers, Geoforum and Technology in Society. More about her work can be found at www.urbanwater.ca.