Articles | Volume 77, issue 3
Geogr. Helv., 77, 357–367, 2022

Special issue: Development in action: development geography meets science...

Geogr. Helv., 77, 357–367, 2022
Standard article
20 Sep 2022
Standard article | 20 Sep 2022

Blended finance, transparent data, and the complications of waters' multiple ontologies

Christiane Tristl

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Cited articles

Ahlers, R. and Merme, V.: Financialization, water governance, and uneven development, WIREs Water, 3, 766–774,, 2016. 
Akallah, J. A. and Hård, M.: Under the historian's radar: Local water supply practices in Nairobi, 1940–1980, Water Altern., 13, 886–901, 2020. 
Amankwaa, G., Heeks, R., and Browne, A. L.: Digital innovations and water services in cities of the Global South: A systematic literature review, Water Altern., 14, 619–644, 2021. 
Anand, N.: Leaky states: Water audits, ignorance, and the politics of infrastructure, Public Culture, 27, 305–330,, 2015. 
Bakker, K.: Privatizing Water. Governance Failure and the World's Urban Water Crisis, Cornell University Press, New York, ISBN 9780801447235, 2010. 
Short summary
This article questions an essentialist view of modern water, finding new relevance regarding models of blended finance that rely on transparent data of digital systems to close the financing gap in water provision. Ethnographically tracing the implementation of pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) water dispensers in two settings in Kenya, I show that the transparent performance data form part of the enactment of only one water reality amidst multiple waters in relation to their sociotechnical environments.