Compliance or Defiance? : Assessing the Implementation of Policy Prescriptions for Commercialization by Water Operators
Author(s): Mireia Tutusaus
Whereas the global water community may have reached consensus on the need for water providers to operate on the basis of commercial principles, staff of water utilities are faced with the challenge of implementing these principles in their everyday work. In the everyday domain, these principles appear to directly conflict with the mandate of water operators to provide water services to all. Moreover, the socio-political, economic and bio-physical context in which these water operate may be ill-suited to implement commercialization. In pursuing commercialization these operators adapt, reinterpret, modify, deflect, alter or betray the original principles of commercialization during implementation. This research takes inspiration from the rich literature on policy implementation and policy translation, which argues that policy models need to be transformed and modified if they are to be successfully adopted or implemented. This research analyzes the alterations visible in the daily implementation of commercial models of water provisioning and, in doing so, present a better understanding of how water operators implement policy prescriptions of commercialization in practice. Based on the analysis of the adaptations and (re)interpretations of the implemented model of commercialization in the different cases, this thesis argues that a new way of speaking about commercialization should be developed.