The datafication of water infrastructure and its implications for (il)legible water consumers

F.I. Hoefsloot*, Christine Richter, J. Martínez, K. Pfeffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Redevelopments of Lima’s water infrastructure aim to reduce
inequalities in water consumption, connections, and coverage by
implementing data technologies and claim to make urban water
management more efficient. However, little research has been done
on how the city’s hydrosocial geography is shaped by the increasing
use of data for the supervision and control of its water infrastructure.
This article analyzes the datafication of Lima’s water
infrastructure as the interplay between different legibility-making
practices to understand how the use of multiple, interoperable and
real-time data sources, shapes the hydrosocial geography of the
city as well as the relationship between Lima’s main provider of
water and sewerage services (SEDAPAL) and urban water consumers
across three scales: newly urbanized areas, water sectors, and
households. We conclude that, in an already unequal urban landscape,
the datafication strategically (re)structures the relationship
between SEDAPAL, as a state organization managing the water
infrastructure, and Lima’s residents.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalUrban Geography
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 28 Feb 2022


  • Water infrastructure
  • smart urbanism
  • legibility making
  • datafication
  • Lima
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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