Panel Paper: Designing Policy Responses to Continued Usage and Consumption of Bottled Water in North American Cities

Friday, July 20, 2018
Building 3, Room 209 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Raul Pacheco-Vega, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas

Bottled water has normally not been considered a policy issue until very recently, given that municipal water utilities are generally tasked with providing a steady supply of the vital liquid and delivering it to every household within urban boundaries. However, in cities where water delivery infrastructure is in decay, it’s hard to justify to the public any pressure to avoid consuming bottled water. Nevertheless, when cities are under extreme duress to face water shortages because of abrupt climatic events such as continued drought like the one facing the state of California, or the city of Cape Town, policy makers are forced to design policy responses that deal with the complexity of safe drinking water delivery in a context of extreme complexity. Using complex adaptive systems theory (CAS) and policy design theory, I posit a framework for examining complex decision-making processes regarding the regulation of the bottled water industry in cities under high water stress, and in turn, designing policy responses that satisfy the many complex criteria needed to address urban water crises.