Water and Cities

Around the world cities are running out of drinking water. Yes, literally running out of water!

Cape Town is a well-publicised example. But recently Chennai, and before that São Paulo, all faced the possibility of water not coming out of the taps. So what do cities do to respond to this crisis? How is the crisis materialised differently across cities? For whom is there a water crisis?

“For me, it’s almost like, these experiences offer us an insight into what’s happening globally”  

Dr Nate Millington

We’re talking with Dr Nate Millington about these questions, which emerge from his research in managing water in the midst of changing climate dynamics and profound inequalities in Cape Town and São Paulo.

“It’s getting harder and harder for the infrastructures that we have in place to deal with the climate”

Dr Nate Millington


Dr Nate Millington is a Presidential Fellow in Urban Studies in the Geography Department at the University of Manchester. His research is focused on the politics of the urban environment in an era of climate crisis, with particular interests in the governance of water and waste. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow with the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town and a visiting researcher at the University of São Paulo, and he has conducted extensive research in São Paulo, Brazil and in South Africa. His current research is dedicated to understanding the relationships between climate crisis, financial capital, and infrastructure in cities marked by intense inequality.

Nate is a managing editor of the Situated Urban Political Ecology webspace and a board member of the AAG Urban Geography Specialty Group.

Twitter: @nate_millington

Read Nate’s article on environmental displacement, risk, and the complex landscapes of flood prevention in São Paulo here: Linear Parks and the Political Ecologies of Permeability: Environmental displacement in São Paulo, Brazil

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