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Modular, adaptive, and decentralised water infrastructure: promises and perils for water justice

Stoler, Justin; Jepson, Wendy; Wutich, Amber; Velasco, Carmen A.; Thomson, Patrick; Staddon, Chad; Westerhoff, Paul


Justin Stoler

Wendy Jepson

Amber Wutich

Carmen A. Velasco

Patrick Thomson

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Chad Staddon
Professor/Associate Head of Department: Research and Scholarship

Paul Westerhoff


Climate change, ageing infrastructure, and funding shortfalls threaten the sustainability of modern, 20th century centralised water systems by increasing drinking water costs and undermining water security, particularly for underserved populations. Modular, adaptive, and decentralised (MAD) water infrastructures can address this by using novel technologies, institutions, and practices to produce, transport, and store clean water in the absence of — or integrated alongside — existing centralised water infrastructure. Examples of MAD water systems include: next-generation ultrafiltration systems, atmospheric water capture systems, mobile water treatment stations, and innovative container-based systems. These decentralised models require a justice-oriented framework to unlock the promise of sustainable access to safe, reliable, affordable water supply for a more mobile, just, and resilient world. We propose a model for advancing justice-oriented MAD water.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jun 23, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 23, 2022
Publication Date Aug 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jun 29, 2023
Journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Print ISSN 1877-3435
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 57
Article Number 101202
Keywords decentralised water infrastructure; water justice
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