Journal article Open Access

Challenges and opportunities facing water-service cooperatives: cases from Argentina and Finland (in English and Spanish)

Castro, Jose Esteban; Katko, Tapio S.; Pietilä, Pekka E.; Vihanta, Joni; Juuti, Petri S.; Rajala, Riikka P.; Orta, Melisa; Portapila, Margarita; Muñoz, Alberto; Pérez, Iván; Deon, Joaquín Ulises

DataCite XML Export

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<resource xmlns:xsi="" xmlns="" xsi:schemaLocation="">
  <identifier identifierType="DOI">10.5281/zenodo.7501802</identifier>
      <creatorName>Castro, Jose Esteban</creatorName>
      <givenName>Jose Esteban</givenName>
      <nameIdentifier nameIdentifierScheme="ORCID" schemeURI="">0000-0001-6106-4313</nameIdentifier>
      <affiliation>National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET)</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Katko, Tapio S.</creatorName>
      <givenName>Tapio S.</givenName>
      <affiliation>Tampere University of Technology, Finland</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Pietilä, Pekka E.</creatorName>
      <givenName>Pekka E.</givenName>
      <affiliation>Tampere University of Technology, Finland</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Vihanta, Joni</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Kannus Water Cooperative, Finland</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Juuti, Petri S.</creatorName>
      <givenName>Petri S.</givenName>
      <affiliation>Tampere University of Technology, Finland</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Rajala, Riikka P.</creatorName>
      <givenName>Riikka P.</givenName>
      <affiliation>Tampere University of Technology, Finland</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Orta, Melisa</creatorName>
      <affiliation>National University of Rosario, Argentina</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Portapila, Margarita</creatorName>
      <affiliation>National University of Rosario, Argentina</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Muñoz, Alberto</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Argentina's Union of Users and Consumers, Argentina</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Pérez, Iván</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Cooperative Funds Managing Institute (IMFC), Argentina</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Deon, Joaquín Ulises</creatorName>
      <givenName>Joaquín Ulises</givenName>
      <affiliation>National University of Cordoba, Argentina</affiliation>
    <title>Challenges and opportunities facing water-service cooperatives: cases from Argentina and Finland (in English and Spanish)</title>
    <subject>water-services cooperatives</subject>
    <subject>water and sanitation</subject>
    <subject>essential public services</subject>
    <date dateType="Issued">2019-07-16</date>
  <resourceType resourceTypeGeneral="JournalArticle"/>
    <alternateIdentifier alternateIdentifierType="url"></alternateIdentifier>
    <relatedIdentifier relatedIdentifierType="DOI" relationType="IsVersionOf">10.5281/zenodo.7501801</relatedIdentifier>
    <relatedIdentifier relatedIdentifierType="URL" relationType="IsPartOf"></relatedIdentifier>
    <rights rightsURI="">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International</rights>
    <rights rightsURI="info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess">Open Access</rights>
    <description descriptionType="Abstract">&lt;p&gt;his issue corresponds to Vol. 5, No 4, of the WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network Working Papers (;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;This issue is part of the activities of the WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network&amp;rsquo;s Thematic&amp;nbsp;Area 3 (TA3), the Urban Water Cycle and Essential Public Services (http://waterlat.&amp;nbsp;org/thematic-areas/ta3/). TA3 brings together academics, students, professionals&amp;nbsp;working in the public sector, workers&amp;rsquo; unions, practitioners from Non-Governmental&amp;nbsp;Organizations, activists and members of civil society groups, and representatives of&amp;nbsp;communities and users of public services, among others. The remit of this TA is broad,&amp;nbsp;as the name suggests, but it has a strong focus on the political ecology of urban water,&amp;nbsp;with emphasis on the politics of essential water services. Key issues &amp;nbsp;addressed within&amp;nbsp;this framework have been the neoliberalization of water services, social struggles&amp;nbsp;against privatization and mercantilization of these services, the politics of public policy&amp;nbsp;and management in the sector, water inequality and injustice in urban areas, and the&amp;nbsp;contradictions and conflicts surrounding the status of water and water services as&amp;nbsp;a public good, as a common good, as a commodity, as a citizenship right, and more&amp;nbsp;recently, as a human right.&amp;nbsp;The publication is a product of a long-term collaboration with the Capacity&amp;nbsp;Development of Water and Environmental Services (CADWES) Research Group, which&amp;nbsp;holds the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Water Services at Tampere University of&amp;nbsp;Technology (TUT) in Finland under the coordination of the issue&amp;rsquo;s co-editor, Prof. Tapio&amp;nbsp;S. Katko. The idea of developing a series of publications on the history and relevance of&amp;nbsp;water-service cooperatives around the world has been an important component of our&amp;nbsp;common research plans and initiatives, and we decided to start with this issue on the&amp;nbsp;challenges and opportunities facing cooperatives in the current context. Consistently&amp;nbsp;with our Network&amp;rsquo;s inter- and transdisciplinary approach, the authors include academics&amp;nbsp;and post-graduate students from the social sciences, history, and engineering, as well&amp;nbsp;as professionals and leaders of civil society organizations working in areas relevant to&amp;nbsp;the topics addressed in the publication.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;The issue features four articles, two of them addressing the situation of waterservice&amp;nbsp;cooperatives in Finland, and the other two focused on experiences from&amp;nbsp;Argentina. Article 1 is authored by Pekka E. Pietil&amp;auml; from CADWES-TUT and Joni Vihanta,&amp;nbsp;who is the Managing Director of Kannus Water Cooperative in Kannus Municipality,&amp;nbsp;Finland and simultaneously a PhD student doing research on water cooperatives at&amp;nbsp;TUT. The paper presents a synthetic overview of the situation of water cooperatives in&amp;nbsp;Finland, including an analysis of the challenges and opportunities they face in a context&amp;nbsp;of rising consumer expectations and stricter service standards. Article 2 by Petri S. Juuti&amp;nbsp;and Riikka P. Rajala, also from TUT, complements the first paper by focusing attention&amp;nbsp;on the case of the first water cooperative created in Finland, Pispala Water Cooperative,&amp;nbsp;which was founded in 1907 near the city of Tampere in the south of the country.&amp;nbsp;Both articles highlight the fact that in the late Nineteenth Century, before becoming&amp;nbsp;independent from Russia in 1917, Finland decided that essential water and sanitation&amp;nbsp;services should be delivered by municipal public bodies or cooperatives run by users&amp;nbsp;and community organizations, rather than by profit-making private companies, which&amp;nbsp;remains a significant principle for the organization of these services in the country until&amp;nbsp;today.&amp;nbsp;Article 3 is led by Melisa Orta, a PhD student in Politics at the National University of&amp;nbsp;Rosario (UNR) on a studentship from the National Scientific and Technical Research&amp;nbsp;Council (CONICET), Argentina, and was co-authored with Margarita Portapila, from&amp;nbsp;the International French-Argentinean Centre of Information Sciences and Systems&amp;nbsp;(CIFASIS), CONICET and UNR, Alberto Mu&amp;ntilde;oz, from Argentina&amp;rsquo;s Union of Users and&amp;nbsp;Consumers, and Iv&amp;aacute;n P&amp;eacute;rez, from the country&amp;rsquo;s Cooperative Funds Managing Institute&amp;nbsp;(IMFC). The article discusses in some detail the history of the cooperative movement&amp;nbsp;in Argentina since the late Nineteenth Century, and the development of water-service&amp;nbsp;cooperatives in the country. It focuses on the case of water-service cooperatives in the&amp;nbsp;Province of Santa Fe and highlights the significance of cooperatives in the provision of&amp;nbsp;services in small and medium cities and rural areas. The authors also address the wide&amp;nbsp;range of obstacles and threats facing water cooperatives, from the lack of safe water&amp;nbsp;sources and adequate financial and technical resources to the systematic antagonism&amp;nbsp;showed since the 1980s by neoliberal governments that seek to erode and eventually&amp;nbsp;dismantle the cooperative movement, which they see as an obstacle to their plans to fully&amp;nbsp;privatize essential services and other important areas. Finally, Article 4 was authored by&amp;nbsp;Joaqu&amp;iacute;n Ulises Deon, a PhD student in Social Agrarian Studies at the National University&amp;nbsp;of Cordoba (UNC) on a studentship from CONICET, Argentina, also working on a joint&amp;nbsp;PhD on Urban-Regional Studies between the Bauhaus Universit&amp;auml;t Weimar, Germany,&amp;nbsp;and UNC, Argentina. The article partly complements the previous one by addressing&amp;nbsp;important aspects of the history of the cooperative movement in Argentina, highlighting&amp;nbsp;the fact that not all cooperatives adhere to cooperative principles, and many are in fact&amp;nbsp;private enterprises in disguise. The paper addresses the development of cooperatives,&amp;nbsp;and particularly water-service cooperatives, in the arid Province of Cordoba, Argentina,&amp;nbsp;and focuses in more depth on four cases that the author considers are examples of&amp;nbsp;genuine cooperative experiences. The article presents a very critical assessment of&amp;nbsp;government policies against water-service cooperatives at the national, provincial&amp;nbsp;and local levels, and shows evidence of the multiple pressures facing the cooperative&amp;nbsp;movement in the province. Cooperatives have developed successful strategies to cope&amp;nbsp;with these pressures, by establishing alliances with social movements and civil society&amp;nbsp;organizations, exercising legitimate leadership in local and regional struggles to defend&amp;nbsp;their water sources from the aggressive expansion of extractivist activities, including&amp;nbsp;mining, agribusinesses, and private urbanizations.&lt;/p&gt;</description>
All versions This version
Views 2626
Downloads 2424
Data volume 93.9 MB93.9 MB
Unique views 2323
Unique downloads 2121


Cite as