Justice in (English) water infrastructure: a systematic review

Elisabeth A. Shrimpton*, Dexter Hunt, Chris D.F. Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


This paper reports on a systematic review of the literature around governance and water infrastructure in England to analyse data on the application, or absence, of justice themes. It finds that, unlike in other sectors, justice thinking is far from embedded in the water sector here and whilst there are signs of a discussion there is a lack of sophistication and coherence around the debate. More positively, the research suggests that the concept of justice can be used as a tool or framework to help air and address these complex issues and in doing so is an advance on the concept of sustainability. By exploring the issues in this way, the study reveals a wealth of opportunities to use justice‐thinking to improve infrastructure decision making. It is suggested a justice approach is the next step as our thinking matures beyond sustainability, improving the decisions we make for people and planet.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3363
Number of pages18
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the UK Engineer‐ ing and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under grants EP/R017727 (UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities Coordination Node) and EP/S016813 (Pervasive Sensing of Buried Pipes), and both EPSRC and United Utilities for supporting the doctoral research study of the first author, of which this is a part.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Governance
  • Infrastructure
  • Justice
  • Sustainability
  • Systematic literature review
  • Wastewater
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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