Opportunities for Change in the Water Supply System of Chișinău, Moldova- A case study on actor behavior for sustainable water supply system management in a transition economy
Abstract: Partially due to years of poor water management practices in Moldova, water resources are increasingly becoming a concern. This situation is intensified by the pollution of water bodies that could be used for drinking water supply. An improvement of the water supply system in Moldova’s capital city Chisinau would result in an upgrading of water quality and hence increased health and living conditions in the country. Moldova is a transition economy with limited financial resources and deteriorating water supply infrastructure as well as inefficient service. The water supply system reflects the continued transition state of the country it has been in since its independence. The focus of this study is on the actor behavior within the water supply system of Chisinau, which is analyzed with the thinking of systems approach. Within the malfunctioning water supply system problems are disclosed due to actor behavior, which are identified using Donatella Meadows’ system problems and malfunctions. System dysfunctions are reinforced by actor behavior such as corruption and an ideological divide in the country, which further embeds political instability and a Moldovan identity crisis. This underlying problem overshadows every other malfunction, which is not currently being managed sufficiently. It additionally diverts from the overall goal of the system, which could be more aligned towards sustainable water management and qualitative drinking water access. This problem is not case specific for Chisinau’s water supply system, or even to the state of Moldova alone. Rather, this is a worldwide problem, and especially important to countries in transitional phases. Nevertheless, the identified problems of the system can serve as a guiding tool for practical mediation towards solving dysfunctions of the system.
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