The Moral Hazards of Smart Water Management
Smart water management (SWM) brings technological sophistication to water governance by providing monitoring, operational and communications capacities through real-time information. SWM’s quantification appeals to metric-driven governance but, we argue, also perpetuates a technocratic and instrumental-rationalist mindset. The peril of this mindset is that it sees technology as a solution for sustainability problems caused by deep-seated structural and behavioural faults. This essay reflects on this dynamic by siting the SWM concept within discussions about technocracy, moral hazard and power dynamics. It suggests that SWM’s rhetorical positioning undermines its own goals while naively seeking universal applicability, resolvable by embracing the precautionary principle.
Kris Hartley & Glen Kuecker (2020) The moral hazards of smart water management, Water International, 45:6, 693-701, DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2020.1805579