Keywords: common pool resource, drinking water, water supply, urban tail-enders, Uzbekistan, sanitation, World Bank, United Nations, UN, sustainability, sustainable developmen
The hidden urban tail-enders – drinking water supply as a common pool resource problem in Khorezm, Uzbekistan
In academic debates, drinking water supply is considered mainly to be either a public or an economic good, or something in between. Nevertheless, in situations of insufficient supply, the non-academic literature refers to common pool resource problems, in which certain uses of drinking water should be 'avoided' or even 'punished'. To highlight the importance of understanding drinking water supply as a potential common pool resource problem, this article analyses the impact of a United Nations Development Programme/World Bank Water and Sanitation project in Khorezm Province/Uzbekistan. Even though the project was supposed to lead to sustainability of drinking water supply, the project itself and the transitional context created a situation similar to that pertaining in irrigation – an urban tail-enders problem.