Water Supply Innovation in Mexico City: Cyborg Urbanization Through Gendered Knowledge and Technology
By Katie Meehan
Water security is a serious challenge for sustainable urban development, but its resolution requires more than technocratic fixes. This study presents insights on the gendered dimensions of technological innovation and adoption in household water supply, based on a five-year ethnography of urban rainwater harvesting in Mexico City. Localized adaptations to network dysfunction, managed by women, have been redesigned as domestic rainwater systems that coexist with piped water and introduce greater flexibility, autonomy, and security in household water use. The result is a shift in the political economy of the household--away from private water sources, toward 'free' rain--and a new spatial grammar of infrastructural coexistence amid cyborg urbanization.