The Humble Rainwater Tank: Disrupting Modern Water, Nature and Control

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dc.contributor.advisor Trowsdale, Sam en Elcoat, Jessica en 2020-07-13T04:09:57Z en 2020 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Water supply is largely an invisible process whereby water is delivered through underground pipes to taps that provide a seemingly endless supply of water. This has created a culture of passive water users. Society expects drinking quality water to flow freely from their tap, but does not understand or acknowledge the environmental impact of this constant use. Nature is thought of as something to be controlled and harvested. However, in the last few decades, this control has been questioned due to environmental concerns. This has caused the culture of passive users to be questioned as well. This research seeks to explore if and how the humble rainwater tank disrupts modern notions of water, control and nature and whether it harbours the radical potential for changing the water culture of society. The case study area of Auckland, New Zealand, has many peri-urban communities which have never been connected to a centralised piped water supply. Instead, people have relied on decentralised (individual property) rainwater tanks as their only supply of freshwater. Auckland also has many new developments which use rainwater tanks for additional water supply and stormwater management. This thesis uses a combination of photo journals and interviews to explore participant’s everyday practices and performances involving water. From this, notions of water, nature and control are discussed and grounded in the geographical, sociological and anthropological literature. Along with the expected photos of short showers and recycling washing-up water, the results tell a story of household control. The tank has created a bigger impact than simply saving water. It caused participants to become managers of quality and demand. It redefined the role of the expert and gave power to the household. The data also shed light on societal boundaries. Water use was not invisible to the participants. Having a limited supply meant that some of the social norms surrounding modern perceptions of cleanliness were actively contested and considered non-viable. Limited supply disrupted the boundary between the natural and built environment. Nature was not something far away, that could be manipulated and disregarded. Nature was thought of as a part of the household. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265308511302091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
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dc.title The Humble Rainwater Tank: Disrupting Modern Water, Nature and Control en
dc.type Thesis en Environmental Management en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 805458 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2020-07-13 en

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