Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Geography, University of Oregon

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2007
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Geography, University of Arizona
Greywater and the Grid: Analyzing Wastewater Reuse in Tijuana

Public-private management of water has become increasingly common in cities around the world. New efforts to commodify and market wastewater, however, raise key questions in institutional change, political economy, and the role of informal wastewater reuse in communities located off the infrastructure grid. This dissertation project will examine how household greywater reuse transforms public-private efforts to reclaim wastewater in Tijuana, Mexico. Using ethnographic and geospatial modeling techniques, I will: 1) analyze the adaptive strategies, institutions, and recycling systems developed in greywater reuse; 2) model the potential reduction of available wastewater flows for public-private reclamation; and 3) examine the ways that greywater reuse provides political autonomy for off-grid communities and reconfigures public-private management. My research will show that greywater reuse constitutes an alternative economy, redefines the institutional dynamics and physical capacity of public-private reclamation, and improves local conditions of urban runoff and water quality. As Tijuana's wastewater transitions from an environmental "bad" into an economic "good," this research will elucidate institutional and equity challenges for public-private water management along the U.S.-Mexico border.