Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.3390/su141711029
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Can tanker water services contribute to sustainable access to water? A systematic review of case studies in urban areas
Author Zozmann, H.; Morgan, A.; Klassert, C.; Klauer, B.; Gawel, E.
Journal Sustainability
Year 2022
Department OEKON
Volume 14
Issue 17
Page From art. 11029
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords tanker water; water markets; informal water vendors; sustainable access to water
Abstract Tanker water markets (TWM) supply water services in many urban areas, including those unconnected to public infrastructures. Notwithstanding, they have been associated with outcomes in conflict with sustainability goals of water policy, e.g., through inequitable and unaffordable supply or by contributing to groundwater overexploitation. So far, the literature dedicated to TWM has primarily conducted case studies embedded in diverse local contexts, which impedes the comparison and transfer of insights. In this article, we systematically summarize existing empirical knowledge on TWM and assess to what extent normative claims about the impacts of TWM on sustainability goals are supported by evidence. We use the concept of sustainable access, which combines notions of what constitutes access to water and what characterizes sustainable supply of services. The available evidence suggests that TWM have two key functions in urban water systems: (1) They provide services at otherwise unavailable levels, particularly with respect to the temporal availability and spatial accessibility of the service, and (2) they extend access to areas without or with low-quality network supply, typically low-income communities on the fringe of cities. From the perspective of sustainable access, we find that TWM can provide high service levels and thus fill a specific gap in the landscape of urban water services. Due to comparatively high prices, however, it is unlikely that these services are affordable for all. The combination of heterogeneous access to cheaper (subsidized) piped water and marginal pricing in TWM results in allocation outcomes that are not coherent with existing notions of equitable access to water. However, there is little convincing evidence that TWM necessarily result in unsustainable water use. The literature indicates that urban water governance in the studied areas is frequently characterized by a lack of effective institutions, which impedes the regulation or formalization of TWM.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Zozmann, H., Morgan, A., Klassert, C., Klauer, B., Gawel, E. (2022):
Can tanker water services contribute to sustainable access to water? A systematic review of case studies in urban areas
Sustainability 14 (17), art. 11029