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Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14537-14557; doi:10.3390/su71114537

From Indicators to Policies: Open Sustainability Assessment in the Water and Sanitation Sector

Instituto de Investigaciones en Energía No Convencional (INENCO), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Salta (UNSa), Avenida Bolivia 5150, A4408FVY Salta, Argentina
Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giovanni de Feo
Received: 21 July 2015 / Revised: 24 September 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Government Policy and Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [987 KB, uploaded 2 November 2015]   |  


A water and sanitation sustainability index (WASSI) was developed and estimated in four cities of the province of Salta, in northern Argentina. The index was built with nine descriptors and fifteen indicators that covered all essential aspects of the sustainability of local water and sanitation management systems. Only one of the cities studied obtained a sustainability value above the acceptability threshold adopted (50 of 100 points). Results indicate that the water company needs to address some environmental and social issues to enhance the sustainability of the systems studied. The WASSI was conceptually robust and operationally simple, and could be easily adapted to the case studies. The index can be followed and updated online on a web site specially developed for this project. This website could be useful to promote participatory processes, assist decision makers, and facilitate academic research. According to local stakeholders, a more open sustainability assessment based on sustainability indices and supported by virtual tools would be relevant and highly feasible. It would help decision makers improve the sustainability and transparency of water and sanitation management systems, and promote more sustainable water policies in the region and beyond. View Full-Text
Keywords: open sustainability assessment; Salta; sustainability indicators; WASSI; water and sanitation open sustainability assessment; Salta; sustainability indicators; WASSI; water and sanitation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Iribarnegaray, M.A.; D’Andrea, M.L.G.; Rodriguez-Alvarez, M.S.; Hernández, M.E.; Brannstrom, C.; Seghezzo, L. From Indicators to Policies: Open Sustainability Assessment in the Water and Sanitation Sector. Sustainability 2015, 7, 14537-14557.

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