IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Water and common goods: community management asa a possible alternative to the public-private model


  • Alba Distaso

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Basilicata (Italy))

  • Margherita Ciervo

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Foggia (Italy))


In this paper we demonstrate that in economic systems characterised by social structures founded on reciprocal trust and interpersonal relations, water is a common good. In order to verify this, we refer to an economy of reciprocity practiced by some indigenous communities of the Bolivian Andes. We compare water management in these communities with another case of collective provision of water services now present and functioning in some areas of the Italian Alps and Apennines. In the examined case studies, we find that any kind of water property regime other than that the indigenous communities practice represents not only an inefficient system of management of the resource but also a reduction in relational goods. In both cases, water is a resource to exploit, and also a means to strengthen the interpersonal relations and the identity of the community.

Suggested Citation

  • Alba Distaso & Margherita Ciervo, 2011. "Water and common goods: community management asa a possible alternative to the public-private model," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 119(2), pages 143-166.
  • Handle: RePEc:vep:journl:y:2011:v:119:i:2:p:143-166

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Yes

    More about this item


    Water; Economy of Common Goods; Economy of Reciprocity; Community Management;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:vep:journl:y:2011:v:119:i:2:p:143-166. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vep - Vita e Pensiero). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.