Skip Navigation

Water in Northern Cities

By Mark Amen

Water in Northern Cities*

DRAFT

Mark Amen, Director

University of South Florida Globalization Research Center

May 9, 2005

amen@cas.usf.edu

 

Part I: Introduction

 

Globalization is frequently associated with both rapid urban population growth and the expansion of transnational economic processes. Often these two characteristics are linked.  People in all parts of the world are moving to urban areas like Sao Paulo (Schiffer 2002), Mexico City (Parnreiter 2002), the provinces of Guangdong and Fujian in China (Yardley and Barboza 2005), and “aspirational" cities in the United States (Kotkin 2005) to find work in a wide range of sectors connected to the global economy.  Furthermore, many urban infrastructure conditions (Graham and Marvin 2001) are attributed to the displacement of national economies by an emerging transnational economy.  Some see this as progress while others believe the market system has fragmented cities.

 

Much of the global cities literature provides good reason to believe in the singular significance of this political economy account. But there is another side, one that underscores a sloppier set of uniquely human contributions to urban life. Over the last twenty years, the massive literature on global or globalizing cities has tended in one or the other of these two distinct directions.  The market focus (e.g., Friedmann 1986; Sassen 1991; Taylor and Lang 2005) underscores that global cities are those that engage with structural/systemic economic processes on a global scale.   On the other side, Ley (2004) follows a large number of scholars (e.g., Smith 2001) in pointing out the limits of economistic tendencies because they fail to capture the many differences among cities. Here, the decisions and activities of particular people, even “transnational businessmen and cosmopolitan professionals” are circumscribed by everyday local life. These agency-based activities, so the claim goes, cannot be ignored in explaining the global status of cities. 

 

In what follows, I would like to first summarize a recent attempt to merge these two approaches to cities and globalization. In the last part of the paper I will offer a preliminary attempt to outline a number of water related problems with which a select group of OECD cities are contending today. My purpose here is to set the stage for subsequent research on how water problems in Northern cities might be better understood by using a “social structuration” approach to globalizing cities.

 

 

 

 

 

Part II: Social Structuration

 

Archer, Bosman, and I (2005 forthcoming) have proposed a way to integrate market-driven and agency-driven global cities approaches.  In summary form, this attempt accepts the biases of structures in the former and the contingencies of agency in the latter.  Following Giddens (1984) and Bourdieu (1990), we adopt the view that both agency and structure are mutually, if not equally, constitutive elements of globalization and globalizing cities.  The human agency required to generate these two phenomena takes place within structuring paths of its own creation which biases agency in certain directions, most usually those aimed at reproducing those social relations that already exist.  But, because social structures are only the result of human agency---and not, somehow, existing “out there,” beyond it or determining it---they are always in the process of construction, never completely established, always prone to change.  This conception of social structuration not only makes clear the need to recover and restore the power of human agency in the market-driven global cities literature, but also the need to emphasize the structurationist biases which necessarily guide human agency in some directions as opposed to others.

 

But it is also true that individual agents and institutions or organizational agents (Clegg 1989) have differing amounts of power to control or modify these structuring properties and paths. This is what Massey (1993) refers to as the “power geometry” of globalization, namely, some actors and institutions initiate flows and networks more than others and “are more in charge of it than others…;some are more on the receiving end of it than others; some are effectively imprisoned by it.” (61). 

 

This view of differential power accepts the reality of asymmetrical power relations between different agents in space and time without a priori privileging one agent over another. Structural constraints work through the differential agency of multiple actors. Contemporary globalization should be conceptualized as a multi-layered fusion of structurating processes continually cobbled together by multiple competing human agents with differing amounts of power to understand such processes, let alone actually to control or even to modify them.

 

For Bourdieu (1990), social structure is precisely the distributional order of differential power over what he calls economic, political, social, and cultural (symbolic) capital among human agents.  Agents continuously seek to acquire more “capital” in each realm and, in the process, reproduce or, in fact, realign structures of power distribution.  The key is that the structuration of power relations is never simply reproduced but, rather, is always open to change on the basis of human agency at any time and in any place.  Thus, power geometries in particular cities, as well as globally, using Massey’s (1993) terminology again, are always open to change on the basis of the specifics of global-local human agency.

Appadurai (1996) and Marcuse and van Kempen (2000) further clarify the processes of globalization which “interact in specific” ways in the contemporary globalizing world.  Appadurai’s profound analysis of overlapping and interacting global cultural “scapes”  identifies the complex guts of globalization in all its realms and with much needed detail. But his approach makes it appear that all of these “scapes” are evolving, more or less, independently and, indeed, at the same pace rather than in some theoretically identifiable linked way. Marcuse and van Kempen (2000), for their part, offer a similarly complex conceptualization of globalization and cities.  They argue first, and quite sensibly, that “’the city’ is not an actor; it is a place occupied and used by many actors.  A city does not prosper or decline, particular groups in it do, and generally in very different fashion.”  And further that “a city is not global; some of those doing business (and, we think, doing culture and politics as well) in it are, but others like them will do business (and culture and politics) very similar to that in “non-global” cities.”   From this beginning, Marcuse and van Kempen conjure the notion of the “layered city”: layers of residence, work, transportation, school, recreation, and commerce, each of which “reflects a divided city” and none of which “shows the complete city” (2000: 265-66).

While such processes may be unevenly manifested over space and time, this unevenness can be understood as not simply random contingency, but rather as specified “scapes” and “layers” in different forms of interaction. These scapes and layers are not only economic, but also political and cultural. They constitute the evolving global social relations which are now both expanding and intensifying, although they remain unevenly manifested and materialized across the planet.  These social layers and spatial “scapes,” are inherently interrelated even though exactly how remains an empirical question.  It may be, for instance, that the global market economy is setting the pace for what Held et al (1999) refer to as the expansion and intensification of global social relations. This pace, however, is conditioned by the political and cultural contexts which support or resist market growth at both the global and local levels. The impact of these political and cultural contexts is further conditioned by the networks of power (of both organizations and individuals) at their disposal. Transnational political and economic actors in Brussels, for instance, are such powerful supporters of market growth that vocal local political and cultural resistance has not been successful in overcoming the city’s transformation to meet the transnationals’ needs (Swyngedouw and Moyersoen 2005).

SECTION III: A first-cut at Northern Cities and Water

 

Does this theoretical first-cut on the social structuration of global relations of cities help us understand how Northern cities are responding to water problems? One way to determine the usefulness of this approach to globalizing cities is through analysis of the water provision and sewage management systems of OECD cities. I set out to do this by selecting twenty-two OECD cities (see Table 1) located in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Ultimately, I would like to find out what this infrastructure might suggest about Northern cities in relation to contemporary globalization. Is water a point of contention? What power distribution drives the current water system in Northern cities? Who wins and loses from the current organization of the system? Does the power distribution increase or decrease fragmentations, inequalities, and polarizations within these cities?  How is the power distribution around water related to the political, economic, and cultural relations of these cities?  How, if at all, are the power relations produced around water related to these cities’ global-local relations?

 

Graham and Marvin (2001) have proposed that “networked infrastructures” (e.g., transport, telecommunications, energy, water, streets) underpin the two defining processes of our age: urbanization of the planet and the uneven connections of globalization.  These infrastructures reveal urban life “as an extraordinarily complex and dynamic socio-technical process” which are the “driving connective forces of much-debated processes of ‘globalisation’.” (2001:8). Water is no longer perceived as a neutral, abundant natural resource.  In contrast to oil, it is essential for human life.  Access to it is now a social problem.  This is apparent in urban areas throughout the world and including those OECD cities identified in Table 1. In nearly all of these cities, the water sources on which people living there rely are either being depleted or degraded. The complexity of water in these cities extends beyond its sources to distributional issues that stem from management and infrastructure problems summarized in Table 2.  

 

Cities’ responses to these water source, management, and infrastructure problems help “define the material and social dynamics, and divisions, within and between urban spaces.” (Graham and Marvin 2001:11). Following Massey (1993), the authors propose that these responses reveal and reinforce the unevenness of power distributions. If this is the case, then water itself has become one source for both sustaining and extending power differences in all aspects of human interactions.  The significant of water as a source of power has risen over the last twenty-vie years in proportion to urban population growth.  As Table 3 documents, populations are expanding in two-thirds of the OECD cities considered here - most dramatically in Toronto and Phoenix. 

 

Toronto’s population, for instance, has increased by over 40% since 1981.  Much of this expansion has resulted from immigrants who have increased the city’s multicultural character. In conjunction with this growth, political polarization reached a peak in the late 1990s when the neoliberal provincial government of Ontario decreed an amalgamation of six individual municipal governments and one regional administration (Keil 2000). It assumed that consolidation would increase Toronto’s competitive position. The Conference Board of Canada expressed a similar interest this year in reporting its concern that inadequate infrastructures are also undermining the country’s competitiveness in the global economy (National Post, February 2, 2005 p. FP15). The Board survey found that MNC executives felt that inadequate infrastructures were adversely affecting Canada as a destination for foreign investment.  At the same time, the country’s pension fund has been invested in infrastructures, including water, in Britain and continental Europe rather than in Canada.  Furthermore, although provinces are responsible for regulating the pricing behaviour of municipal water utilities under their jurisdiction, cities inform but are not required to go through a rate approval process. The political merger has therefore increased polarization between suburban and inner-city Toronto, thereby delaying action to address the city’s infrastructure deficit – an aging water system. Water mains break on an average of 1,500 times per year and there is growing recognition by the public that government is not keeping up with the demand for new or improved system

 

While populations have declined within the city limits of nearly one-third of these OECD cities since the 1980s, they have grown in areas adjacent to the city.  This presents a different set of problems than those in Toronto – expansion of the infrastructure, often times at the expense of maintaining the existing system. The population of St. Louis City, for instance, has declined by 45% over the last twenty-five years. Within the city, over 50% of the population is African-American. The decline has been driven in large part by the exit of some major businesses (e.g., MasterCard moved to the county; Purina Mills left the area). In turn, retail initiatives such as the St. Louis Center and Union Station Shopping Center are empty.   Mayor Francis Slay is championing a business (opening of new baseball park in 2006) and residential renewal (the historical farmers’ market area of Soulard). At the same time, population has grown to nearly 2.4 million in the St. Louis MSA, a 9.5% increase in the last 15 years.

 

Access to quality water and sewage has become a public concern in nearly all these OECD cities because problems related to water sources, management and infrastructure have persisted.  These concerns coincide with the simultaneous rise of both the ideology of “globalism” (Steger 2004) among OECD governments and municipal government budget constraints. Under these conditions, one emerging policy trend among some OECD cities and national governments has been to reshape public attitudes about water. This policy direction entails treating water for its exchange value. In many of these societies, this represents a turn away from government provision of water and sewage as a public good based on its use value. Such a policy shift increases the likelihood that existing inequities will worsen through the assessment of access costs. Table 4 begins to summarize access differentials among users in these cities. The Canadian pricing system is one example of how water and sewage charges are unevenly distributed among residential and commercial users.  Since it is not closely tied to use, residential and commercial charges cover one-third and one-sixth of their respective marginal costs associated with supply and sewage (Renzett 2005). This kind of system confirms that while water is no longer perceived as a “free” resource, access to it is unevenly subsidized by government in favour of commerce.

 

Finally, this policy trend has led some OECD cities to privatize or adopt public/private partnerships for the management of water infrastructures (Table 5; Haarmeyer and Coy 2002).  Both the European Union and the OECD have advocated privatization of public services, including water (Dickhaus and Dietz 2004).  This support , which including funding from the EU, may be one reason why privatization is more pronounced in EU member-state cities than in the cities of other OECD countries   Potable water service delivery in France has been under private control for nearly 150 years. Seventy-five percent of the French population is supplied by some form of public–private joint operation wherein government delegates by contract management to a private entity (Renzetti and Dupont 2004:15) Atlanta is one of the few U.S. cities to adopt a similar public/private partnership when, in 1998, the city signed a twenty year contract with United Water Services to operate and maintain its water system (Cowie and Borrett 2005). 

 

London is the most well-known case of the wholesale move to privatization. The effects of privatizing London’s water system in 1989 have been subjected to ongoing research. The results are mixed, with little evidence of measurable improvements in performance (Renzetti and Dupont 2004) and some concerns about its inequities (Hyatt 2004). In 1994, Budapest moved toward privatization with the sale of nearly one fourth of Waterworks of Budapest to a consortium that included Suez and RWE. More recently, both Berlin and Rome sold 49% of city government ownership to the private sector.

 

In 2000 Berlin sold the stake in Berlin Water to a consortium that included the German energy and industrial conglomerate RWE and Vivendi (Haarmeyer and Coy 2002).  The debate preceding the decision occurred within a neoliberal ideology, focusing only on Berlin’s budgetary constraints following reunification and outside the “historical consciousness” dating from the city’s decision in 1873 to buy the Berlin Waterworks Company to prevent further risks to the public’s health (Schramm 2004). 

 

Athens’s privatization of its water system in 1999 marked a significant policy reversal.  Kaika (2003) has described how the relative long public policy history of treating water as a “natural gift” was abruptly abandoned in the 1990s.  She documents how the parliamentary decision-making process exploited the 1989-1991drought in Athens to plant “a decisive blow to the public and social character of the water company…turning water from a public good into a profitable commodity for sale.” (946). The transition to privatization was effected by loans from both the Greek government and the EU’s Cohesion Fund.

 

Although these OECD cities have only recently adopted some form of privatization, there are some initial indications of how this change has affected power distributions. EU and OECD support for privatization of water systems has begun to show some impacts on the decisions of member-states and cities.  A few transnational water companies (e.g., RWE, Vivendi, Suez, Severn Trent) are emerging to control an infrastructure normally not considered to be profitable. This suggests further commercialization of water. It may be too soon to determine four other areas that are important for a social structuration approach to globalizing cities: how trends toward the exchange value of water are affecting cultural attitudes toward water; how employment security and labor conditions have changed for those affected by the shift from public to private sector; how differential pricing and access have affected various sectors of the population; and the status of public control over water through democratic processes (i.e., transparency, accountability).  

 

REFERENCES

 

Amen, M., Archer, K. and Bosman, M. (2005) ‘Rethinking globalization and cities,’ in Amen et al (eds) Relocating Global Cities: From the Center to the Margins, Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming.

Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Bourdieu, P. (1990) The Logic of Practice, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Clegg, S. (1989) Frameworks of Power, Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Cowie, G. and Borrett S.R. (2005) ‘Institutional perspectives on participation and information in water management’ Environmental Modeling & Software 20: 469-483.

Dickhaus, B. and Dietz, K. (2004) ‘Private Gain – Public Loss? Consequences of the Privatisation of Public Services in Europe’ Berline: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Policy Paper http://www.rosalux.de

Freidman, J. and Wolfe, G. (1982) ‘World city formation: an agenda for research and action’,  International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 6:309-44.

Giddens, A. (1984) The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration, Berkeley: University of California Press.

Graham, G. and Simon, M. (2001) Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities, and the Urban Condition, New York: Routledge.

Haarmeyer, D and Coy, D. (2002) ‘An Overview of Private Sector Participation in the Global and US Water and Wastewater Sector’, in P. Seidenstat, D. Haarmeyer and S. Hakim, Reinventing Water and Wastewater Systems: Global Lessons for Improving Water Management, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Hay, C. and Marsh, D. (2000)  Demystifying Globalization, New York, NY: MacMillan Press.

Held, D., McGrew, A., Goldblatt, D. and Perraton, J.  (1999) Global Transformations, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Hyatt, S. (2004) ‘Water is Life, Meters Out! Women’s Grassroots Activism and the privatization of public amenities’ Occasional Papers on Globalization, 1:7, Tampa: University of South Florida Globalization Research Center.

Kaika, M. (2003) ‘Constructing Scarcity and Sensationalising Water Politics: 170 Days That Shook Athens,’ Antipode, 919-954.

Keil, R (2000) ‘Governance Restrucuturing in Los Angeles and Toronto: Amalgamation or Secession’ International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 24:4:758-781.

Kotkin , J. (2005) ‘American Cities of Aspiration’ The Weekly Standard, February 14-21,10:21

Ley, D.  (2004) ‘Transnational spaces and everyday lives’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 29:151-164.

Marcuse, P. and van Kempen, R.  (eds) (2000) Globalizing Cities: a New Spatial Order?,Oxford: Blackwell.

Massey, D. (1993)  ‘Power-Geometry and a Progressive Sense of Place’,  in J. Bird, B Curtis, T. Putnam, G. Robertson, and L. Tickner (eds) Mapping the Futures: Local Cultures, Global Change, London: Routledge, 59-69.

Marcotullio, P. J., Rothenberg, S., and Nakahara, M. (2003) ‘Globalization and urban environmental transitions: Comparaison of New York’s and Tokyo’s experiences,” The Annals of Regional Science, 37:369-390

National Post (2005) February 2: FP15.

Parneiter, C. (2002)  ‘Mexico: The Making of a Global City’, in S. Sassen (ed) Global Networks, Linked Cities, New York, NY: Routledge, 145-182.

Renzett, S. (2005) ‘Municipal water supply and sewage treatment: costs, prices, and distortions’, The Canadian Journal of Economics, 32:3:688-704.

Renzetti, S and Dupont, D. (2004) ‘Ownership and Performance of Water Utilities’, Greenleaf Publishing 2004

Sassen, S. (1991) The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton, NJ: University of Princeton Press.

Schiffer, S.U.  ‘Sao Paulo: Articulating a Cross-Border Region’, in S. Sassen (ed) Global Networks, Linked Cities, New York, NY: Routledge, 209-236.

Schramm, E. (2004) ‘Privatisation of German urban water infrastructure in the 19th and 21st century’ in P. Wilding (ed) Urban Infrastructure in Transition: What Can We Learn from History? International Summer Academy on Technology Studies. July 11-17, 2004 (Deutschlandsberg, Austria. Graz: IFF/IFZ, 339-351.

Smith, M. (2001) Transnational Urbanism: Locating Globalization, Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Inc.

 

Swyngedouw, E and Moyersoen, J. (2005 forthcoming) ‘Reluctant Globalizers: The Paradoxes of ‘Glocal’ development in Brussels’, in Amen et al (eds) Relocating Global Cities: From the Center to the Margins, Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming.

Taylor, P. J. and Lang, R.E. (2005) ‘U.S. Cities in the ‘World City Network’”, Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution Survey Series (Metropolitan Policy Program), 1-16.

Yardley, J and Barboza D. (2005) ‘Help Wanted: China Finds Itself With a Labor Shortage’ The New York Times, April 3, A10.

 

*I want to thank Carylanna Bahamondes at the USF Globalization Research Center for her data collection assistance.

Table 1: OECD Cities:  Water Source Issues

 

 

Name of water source(s)

Issues with water source(s)

        US:

   

Atlanta

Chattahoochee River inc. two reservoirs and Lake Lanier

Depletion.  Degradation. Growing into watershed, will cause decline in quantity and quality; reducing flow of Chattahoochee River to store in Lanier Dam to secure supply for Atlanta, upsetting river users downstream

Chicago

Lake Michigan

Degradation. Sewer backup flooding with severe rainfall, inc. beach closings

Los Angeles

Los Angeles Aqueducts from Owens Valley, Colorado River, Mono Basin, Los Angeles River, Eastern Sierra Nevada

Depletion.  Degradation. Securing sufficient water supply; conservation; maintaining water quality

Miami

Biscayne Aquifer (groundwater from wells)

Depletion.  Degradation. Hurricanes; alleged injection of 'dirty water' (sewage) into groundwater

New York

Catskill/Delaware and Croton Watersheds

Degradation. Water quality declining (see EPA printout); drought concerns in past but currently at 96% capacity

Phoenix

Salt, Verde, Colorado Rivers & wells (5%)

Depletion.  Degradation.  1) 1/05: water filtration system unable to cope with heavy rains, led to 'boil order' for 1.4 million customers, and millions in lost revenue and increased costs for local businesses. 2) drought. 3) sewer water contamination; emphasis on environmental education for children inc. 'sewer Dan' comic books

Seattle

Cedar River Watershed (90,000-acre), South Fork Tolt River Watershed (13,300 acre)

Depletion.  Diminished snow pack.

St. Louis

Missouri and Mississippi Rivers; Compton Hill Reservoir.

Depletion.  Degradation. Record low flow on Missouri; pollutants from manufacturer dumping; use of Missouri river conflicts downstream

 

Table 1 continued. OECD Cities:  Water Source Issues

 

EU:

   

Amsterdam

Dunes:  The Amsterdam Water Supply operates a river and dune waterworks business in Vogelenzang and a river and lake waterworks business in Amsterdam South-East, known as Leiduin and Weesperkarspel, respectively. The company Leiduin draws its supply from pre-treated Rhine water, supplied by the NV Watertransportmaatschappij Rijn-Kennemerland (WRK) and dune water from the Amsterdam Water Board Dunes. Weesperkarspel uses discharge water from the Bethunepolder and water from the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal.

coastline management necessary to maintain dunes; improving environment impact of new water treatment plant; removal  of DOC and pesticides (likely common issues);

Amsterdam -sewer

discharge - Singel (and Rhine and/or Amsterdam-Rhine canal?)

new storage settling plant to mitigate wastewater impact on Singel

Athens

Marathon Reservoir; Yliki Lake; Mornos Reservoir; Evinos Reservoir; Boreholes (wells/ground water for emergency use)

Degradation. Irregular supply. 1)Yliki Lake is the only water resource, which poses a problem since it exhibits a high rate of water loss, due to the pervious areas in the lakebed. Solving this problem is difficult due to the large surface area, and the complicated mechanisms of water dissipation. In order to alleviate the negative aspects of this problem, water levels of the lake are kept within a certain range so as to minimize water losses. This delicate balance is achieved in conjunction with the maintenance of the necessary volume in the remaining reservoirs. 2) Harbors and lakes adjacent to industrial centers, especially the Gulf of Saronikos south of Athens, upon which about half of Greece's industry is located, receive large quantities of untreated industrial waste and municipal sewage.

Berlin

Wells: more than 800 operating in nine waterworks

conservation areas around catchment zones; concern for nitrates in groundwater

Budapest

Wells/River Danube: Over 700 potable water producing wells are operating on the Szentendre Island, Csepel Island, Margaret Island, and on the right and left bank of the River Danube, which render possible the supply of up to 1 200 000 cubic meters of potable water daily, exceeded the typical daily consumption of 600 000 - 800 000 cubic of the inhabitants in Budapest

Degradation? 6 country Danube water quality enhancement project (http://www.rec.org/DanubePCU/flyers/enh_top.html)

Frankfurt

Main River

 
















 

 

 

Table 1 continued. OECD Cities:  Water Source Issues

London

Thames River, Lee River, small amount from deep sources inc. private wells

Degradation. Rarely fail quality tests but still some concerns about contaminants and esp. sewage; with heavy rains sewage washes into river causing fish kills; Prozac in water supply via sewage; depletion of oxygen levels (from sewage)

Paris

Seine River & Marnes River (50%) + 50 springs (50%); 2) Neocomien and Albien aquifers for emergency use;

Degradation. Possible depletion. (the following may be of particular concern in the Seine but are general quality measures as well) 'eutrophication eutrophication; organic pollution (dissolved oxygen balance) organic pollution (dissolved oxygen balance); bacterial contamination bacterial contamination; nitrate nitrate; agrochemical and pesticides agrochemical and pesticides; toxic species: metals, PAHs, PCBs toxic species: metals, PAHs, PCBs

Paris

-sewer

Water to be used for cleaning the sewers and streets and watering parks is withdrawn from the Seine and from the Bassin de La Villette in the north of Paris

--

Rome

Tiber River and it's tributaries (1 large, 4 small)

Degradation. Pesticides; "alarming level of mutagenicity"; chemicals - have 4 treatment plants but only treats biological pollutants (BOD and COD abatement), but does not treat nitrates, bacteria, denitrification and heavy metals

Stockholm

Lake Mälaren (supply) Lake Saltsjön (discharge)

heavy metal in wastewater; metals in lake malaren decreased to 1/10 of what was 2-3 decades ago (decline manufacturing)

Warsaw

Supply: Wodociag Centralny (Central Water Main), Wodociag Praski (Praga Water Main ) and Wodociag Pólnocny (Northern Water Main). Sewerage: Vistula River. 

Degradation. 1) According to official city site sewer problems are: a) overloading the sewer network in the central part of the city b) lack or deficiencies of the network in outlying boroughs and in the Luk Siekierkowski area of the Centrum borough c) lack of sewage treatment plants. 1 new built 2002 and 2nd slated.  2) pollution of the Vistula river

Other:

   

Helsinki

Lake Päijänne

 

Sydney

network of dams, storages and pipelines

Depletion.  Degradation from storm water?

Tokyo

5 river basins: Tone, Ara, Tama, Sagami, Tsurumi

Depletion and degradation. Despite worldwide acknowledgement of its "best practices" in water resources management and environmental protection, the Tokyo Region is well known for its water stress and vulnerability to water related disasters including flood (e.g., sub-basins of the Tone rivers), drought (e.g., Ara river) and water quality deterioration (e.g., sub-basin of the Tone river).

Toronto

Lake Ontario

Degradation?

 

Table 2. Water Management & Infrastructure Problems and Responses


US:

 

Atlanta

Leaking pipes and water meters, understaffed (9 repairmen for all meters in Atlanta), and under budgeted. Drought & water restrictions. Water conservation through landscaping project

Chicago

Growth of suburbs and increased water demand. Sewer overflow waterway pollution, overland and sewer backup flooding, lake beach closings due to contaminated river backups induced by severe rainstorms. Environmental impacts of urbanization.

Los Angeles

Securing water supply, via water markets & transfer. City's base rate of $2.33 per hundred cubic feet (hcf) of sewage flow in effect on October 25, 2003. Ultra low flush toilet rebate program. Stormwater pollution. Possible reservoir contamination

Miami

South District facility in Miami Dade county history of violations - sewage is migrating into sources of drinking water supply.  Gov Bush wrote Pres Bush to relax Safe Drinking Water Act's requirements for FL. One 'pool credit'/yr when empty pool - applied to sewer portion. South Miami-Dade sewage is migrating into drinking water supplies Permanent lawn watering restrictions

New York

Costs to suburban users, especially for lawn watering and back payments for excess usage. Watershed management (especially Catskills where there have been community/resource usage problems in past). Aging infrastructure ex. water main break, disruption subway service, pipe burst under 19th C row house. Sewage overflow. Sewage discharge in Long Island Sound. Lead levels in schools' water

Phoenix

Water filtration system unable to cope with heavy rains, led to 'boil order' for 1.4 million customers, and millions in lost revenue and increased costs for local businesses (1/05). Drought. Sewer water contamination; emphasis on environmental education.

Seattle

UV light water treatment plant (first in US to combine with ozonation).  Drought concerns (30%normal snowpack). Aging infrastructure and suboptimal water quality.  $3.4 billion investment planned to improve both. Earthquake preparedness?

St. Louis

Manufacturer charged with illegally discharging wastewater and chemicals into sewers.

EU:

 

Amsterdam

NA

Amsterdam

Integral water management: quantity and quality of surface water, agriculture, recreation, shipping, environmental protection, land use planning and nature conservation.   Water quality and level management.

Athens

Protests against gasification of sludge (long term plan sludge drying). "Structurally induced water abundance."

Berlin

Merger of communist and market traditions

Budapest

N/A

Frankfurt

1992 widespread water conservation campaign.  Dropped consumption from 63 million/m3 (1990) to 46 million/m3 (2001): the result was -26%. Used as example by EU water conference.



Table 2 continued. Water Management & Infrastructure Problems and Responses


London

Aging infrastructure - sewer system=140 yr old. Leaks. Polluting the Thames - untreated sewage spilled into river killed 8,000+ fish Desalination (per capita London is drier than Madrid or Istanbul). Increasing water bill (12 pounds/yr average) to build massive sewage tunnel under London & Thames.

Paris – potable

Convincing consumers to use tap water over bottled water (hence name change and promotion of Eau de Paris).

Paris – sewer

Flooding due to age & population strain have caused fish kills downstream of treatment plants and renewed attention to sewage treatment. Installation of zero-nuisance composting/sludge-drying stations. Insufficient sewage infrastructure-violent storms lead to floods and pollution, fish kills; constructing more sewer mains and storage facilities.

Rome

Sewage (water purification) only covers 84% (73%); 10 yr national water system overhaul. Infrastructure problems, leakages.

Stockholm

Encourage stormwater management on property through stormwater index charge.

Warsaw

Sewer problems are: overloaded sewer network in the central part of city; lack or deficiencies of the network in outlying boroughs and in the Luk Siekierkowski area of the Centrum borough. Lack of sewage treatment plants.  Pollution of the Vistula River.

Other:

 

Helsinki

Customers wish that waterworks speed up the construction and renovation work of water supply and sewer networks, and be more productive in their customer service and information dissemination. Strong eye on conservation & environmental sustainability. 1994 plant:  treats wastewater, producing gas for plant's electric needs & compost sludge. Corporate sponsorships (inc WWF) and work with schools on sustainability and education

Sydney

Limited supply/water restrictions. Strong conservation campaign. Trade waste program. 1998 - water crisis w/ 3 boil advisories (high concentrations of Cryptosporidium and Giardia). Stormwater Trust addresses pollutions inc. through education program. Plan to harvest flood water and pipe to dam

Tokyo

Leaks; reinforcement of earthquake-resistance for water supply.  Conservation (inc. demand; limited supply & drought; not possible to build more and more dams); increased energy demands and emission of greenhouse gases; 2002 entered into energy partnership with Burns and Roe Worley Pty Ltd and Energetics Pty Ltd

Toronto

Aging water and wastewater system; part of fee goes to repair systems Water conservation education efforts


 

 

1980s

2005

%  change

 

Year

Population

Year

Population

 

US:

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta

1980

425022

2005

426338

0.31%

Chicago

1980

3005072

2005

2871499

-4.65%

Los Angeles

1980

2966850

2005

3866382

23.27%

Miami

1980

346865

2005

380540

8.85%

New York

1980

7071639

2005

8158957

13.33%

Phoenix

1980

789704

2005

1435968

45.01%

Seattle

1980

493846

2005

574211

14.00%

St. Louis

1980

453085

2005

325438

-39.22%

 

 

 

 

 

 

EU:

 

 

 

 

 

Amsterdam

1980

716919

2005

740094

3.13%

Athens

1981

885737

2005

721477

-22.77%

Berlin

1987

3260000

2005

3405250

4.27%

Budapest

1980

2059347

2005

1728718

-19.13%

Frankfurt

1987

618266

2005

644451

4.06%

London

1981

6805600

2005

7287555

6.61%

Paris

1982

2176243

2005

2103674

-3.45%

Rome

1981

2840259

2005

2503056

-13.47%

Stockholm

1982

649686

2005

770284

15.66%

Warsaw

1980

1596100

2005

1680890

5.04%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other:

 

 

 

 

 

Helsinki

1990

492400

2005

568676

13.41%

Sydney

19861

3536000

2005

3774894

6.33%

Tokyo

19802

8349000

2005

8124310

-2.77%

Toronto

19813

2975495

2005

5006513

40.57%

 

Table 3. OECD Cities:  Population change from the 1980s to 2005

Sources:  1980 census figures and estimates taken from Thomas Brinkhoff, City Population, http://www.citypopulation.de, 1http://www.sydneycity.net/sydneyfacts.htm, 2http://www.demographia.com/db-jp-city1940.htm, and

3http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/etoimm/tables/canada/vismin.cfm.  2005 estimates are from © 2004 mongabay.com, http://www.mongabay.com/igapo/2005_world_city_populations/.





 

 

Table 4.  OECD Cities:  Water Cost Assessment

 

U.S.

 

Atlanta

Metered volume plus: minimum bi-monthly charge of $11.58 inside the City and $13.98 outside the City for drinking water portion of bill. A minimum charge of $29.40 for sewer portion of bill. Total amount also reflects surcharge of 0.15 per ccf for security-related purposes

Chicago

By property (not owner).  Metered volume most homes; non-metered older homes get  semi-annual estimates

Los Angeles

Metered volume. City implemented 31% bi-monthly discount for the first 18 hcf of water for low income customers.

Miami

Metered volume plus various fees including sewer and wastewater; seasonal sub-charge 15% Nov-April

New York

Metered volume (cubic feet): $1.60/100 ft3 in 2004, detailed charges (e.g., per shower, sink, type of business, etc.)

Phoenix

Metered including service, volume and environmental charges.

Seattle

Metered volume

St. Louis

 

Metered; sewer and water are separate. Primary funding source for sewerage and drainage system is a user charge (annual average: $170.52 for a single or family). Flat/metered rate is the same for residential and business but the multiple per item charges make even small business have higher rates.

EU:

 

Amsterdam

Revenues raised through special local taxes collected by the water board from households and businesses: pollution tax and local water rates. Water board charge. Residents fixed amount per address; land owners and tenants per hectare; real estate owners based on property value. User-pays pollution tax for discharging waste water into the sewerage systemor into surface water [ Water board sets  tax rate annually. Households pay fixed amount per pollution unit equal to average amount of waste produced per person. Households of more than one person are charged for three pollution units, one-person households pay for one pollution unit. Businesses pay on the basis of the amount of pollution they cause (polluter-pays-principle). In 2005 one pollution unit equals € 55,80].

Athens

Metered

Berlin

NA

Budapest

NA

Frankfurt

NA

London

Residential: by cubic meter; Industrial: by cubic meter and size of site and pipe; 25% value added tax on all

Paris

NA

Rome

N/A

Stockholm

Residential and industrial charges include 25% value added tax. Fixed charges: subscription + gross floor area of building (by dwelling unit for detached houses/small buildings); index for storm water (based on floor and site area) Costs based on consumption and applied to sewage fee ; additional storm water charge; industrial also includes annual 'meter size' charge

Warsaw

NA

Other:

 

Helsinki

As of 2005, 1/5 will be charged by floor area+ metered consumption+ connection charge. Apts slightly less than houses

Sydney

Metered volume (kiloliter). Trade waste charges for commercial and industrial.

Tokyo

Fixed by pipe size plus variable metered usage, bi-monthly. Reduced rate for bathhouses otherwise basic rate is same for 300 mm+ supply pipe and by volume rate peaks at 100 mm

Toronto

Metered volume (imperial gallon or cubic meter). Lowest for smallest and largest blocks; middle 5 approx equal (see attached); rate hikes will affect businesses more.


Table 5.  OECD Cities:  Water Management

 

 

Ownership Type

Service Provider

Amsterdam

public

WRK Waterworks (N.V. Watertransport-maatschappij Rijn-Kennemerland); Amsterdam Water Supply; DWR (sewer)- The Water Board Amstel, Gooi and Vecht (AGV). Ownership/management style in place since 13th C .

Atlanta

public

City of Atlanta Bureau of Water (owns), United Water Services Atlanta (operates).  Contract runs from 1999-2018.

Budapest -sewer

public

Budapest Sewage Works Company for over 150 years

Chicago

public

The Chicago Department of Water Management.  Jan 1, 2003 the Chicago Department of Water Management was formed by combining the old Department of Water with the Department of Sewers.

Frankfurt

public

City of Frankfurt

Helsinki

public

Helsinki Water

Los Angeles

public

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Miami

public

Miami-Dade County's Water and Sewer Department (WASD)

New York

public

The New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority was formed in 1984 via New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority Act. It manages the City's water and sewer system along with the closely linked  New York City Water Board and New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Paris

-sewer

public

SIAPP - The Paris Metropolitan Wastewater Authority

Phoenix

public

Phoenix Water Services Department

Seattle

public

Seattle Public Utilities

St. Louis

 

public

St. Louis Water Division (potable); Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District  (a division of the Public Utilities Department of the St. Louis City government)

Stockholm

public

Stockholm Vatten

Sydney

public

Sydney Water Corporation

Tokyo

public

Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Waterworks

Toronto

public

Toronto Water

Warsaw

public

Warsaw Water Works & Warsaw Sewage Treatment as of 2002

Berlin

public/private

Berliner Wasserbetriebe (in 2000 - 49% owned by RWE and Vivendi, 51% City of Berlin)

Budapest

-potable

public/private

Waterworks of Budapest , Ltd. 1994 (73.6% - Budapest City Council; 23.65% - Hungariaviz Rt (Suez and RWE)

Rome

public/private

ACEA S.p.A. (in 2000 - 49% private, 51% City of Rome)

Athens

private

Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP).  Founded 1980.  Privatized in 1999.

London

private

Thames Water Utilities Ltd. 1989 Serving London in various forms since 1613.  In  2001 Thames Water acquired by RWE, becoming their Water Division and quickly becoming one of the largest water services company in the world by acquiring the US's largest private water company, American Water Works, in 2001.

Paris

-potable

private

Eau de Paris  1860s ; As of 1/2005, formerly SAGEP (Societe Anonyme de Gestion des Eaux de Paris)






 

Download File: 52.pdf

Globalization Research Center - Africa