Urban water governance: Approaching a pressing environmental and social challenge

Thomas Bolognesi, Megan Farrelly, Francisco Silva Pinto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Most of the world's population lives in urban areas, and the population concentration in urban centres significantly affects water flows and ecological functions. We consider urban water as a smaller water cycle within the global water cycle. It thus has ecological and social characteristics. As we face the so-called water crisis, comprehending urban water use, delivery, and management is essential. Yet prior to 2005, limited scholarly attention was directed towards understanding the nuances and challenges of urban water governance. This has now shifted, with urban water governance regarded as a critical field of research. But the field remains fragmented, which limits knowledge cumulation and ability to deal with urban water governance issues. We aim at clarifying the field to overcome this difficulty and ease a systemic understanding of urban water governance. We depict urban water governance as a particular and generic object. To present its multiple dimensions and challenges, we define the generic dimensions, i.e., water, urban, and governance, to then focus on associations of generic dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Urban Water Governance
EditorsThomas Bolognesi, Francisco Silva Pinto, Megan Farrelly
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon Uk
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003057574
ISBN (Print)9780367523534, 9780367523541
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Environment and Sustainability Handbooks


  • urban water
  • governance
  • Socio-ecological systems

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