Ancient Instincts: Obstacles to Solutions to 21st Century Water Policy Problems (Devt@man seminar series)
|Dates:||18 November 2014|
|Times:||16:30 - 18:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Environment, Education and Development|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Current University students|
|Speaker:||Professor Dale Whittington|
Devt@man seminar series: Ancient Instincts: Obstacles to Solutions to 21st Century Water Policy Problems, Professor Dale Whittington (University of North Carolina and Manchester Business School).
Joint seminar with BWPI, chaired by Kunal Sen.
Economists' proposals for policy reforms in the water resources and potable water supply and sanitation sectors have been agonizingly slow to be adopted, especially in developing countries. Decisionmakers who manage international river basins fail to cooperate to achieve "easy" economic gains. Regional water markets are rarely used to alleviate water shortages. Utility managers who work in the megacities of the developing world are struggling to address the challenges of population growth, urban agglomeration, globalization of supply chains, and climate change with a 19th century technological vision of a municipal water and wastewater network system. Almost all water utilities in developing countries charge prices far below the real costs of service, and have no cash reserves to improve and expand services or to fund climate change adaptation. Water tariff designs almost never follow economists' recommendations. There has been widespread global pushback from all sectors of society on economists' proposals to privatize major components of the delivery systems for water supply and sanitation services.
In this presentation I look back over 100,000 years of innovation and investment in the water and sanitation sector to better understand the trajectory of water development paths and why we find ourselves in this predicament. I identify three "ancient instincts" or "deep determinants" of the way people perceive and address water policy problems. I argue that a deeper knowledge and appreciation of these "ancient instincts" is needed for economic policy instruments to be more widely adopted and successful—not more "evidence-based" policy.
Development@Manchester is the flagship seminar series bringing together scholars involved in cutting edge research on international development. It is organised by the Institute for Development Policy and Management for the wider scholarly community at the University of Manchester interested in development. Tanja Bastia and Piyawadee Rohitarachoon are convening the seminar for the 2014/2015 academic year.
The seminar series aims to facilitate dialogue and discussion, providing a space for invited leading development thinkers to share their latest research ideas with the University of Manchester’s members of staff and students in the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) and across different faculties. As such, it is interdisciplinary in nature, covering a broad range of topics, from environment and conservation, poverty and inequality, global development policies and institutions to social theories and historical approaches to the study of development.
Professor Dale Whittington
Organisation: University of North Carolina and Manchester Business School
Travel and Contact Information
Humanities Bridgeford Street