Water Services Management

Water Services Management Group

The Water Service Management (WSM) group focuses on the processes and activities that provide water supply and sanitation services for domestic users.

The service provider forms the main focus of the WSM Group. While studying the provision of water and sanitation services and the management of related infrastructures, the group develops and critically reviews the institutional framework, financial instruments and business models which characterize the different socio-economic contexts.

Morover in analyzing service provisioning, the group distinguishes four strongly interrelated dimensions. These are the organization of the service provider, the bio-physical environment in which the service provider operates, the institutional environment in which the service provider functions and the customers of the service providers. In all of these dimensions, the nature and manifestation of technology and physical infrastructure plays a crucial role.

Water Services

In analyzing service provisioning the group distinguishes four strongly interrelated dimensions of water provisioning. These are the organization of the service provider, the bio-physical environment in which the service provider operates, the institutional environment in which the service provider functions and the customers of the service providers. In all of these dimensions, the nature and manifestation of technology and physical infrastructure plays a crucial role. The Water Services Management Group understands that water and sanitation services provisioning encompasses social, technological, financial and organizational systems which are strongly interdependent and which together form a specific service delivery system. 

By placing importance on the concept of service modalities the WSM group also highlights the interdisciplinary nature of this field of study in which engineering, natural and social sciences converge. 

Particular configurations of these interrelated/complex systems represent different service modalities which characterize the service delivery in a given location. 

Different service modalities lead to different levels of service. Levels of service concern the quality and quantity of services that consumers can access, the price that is charged for those services and the convenience of access. In many countries in the world, service provisioning is characterized by a mix of service modalities and, as such, a mix of service levels. The uneven and often inequitable levels of service delivered to consumers form a particular focal point of the WSM Group.