Michelle Kooy

Associate Professor of Water Governance


Michelle Kooy is a social scientist (Human Geographer) and former development practitioner, who joined IHE Delft in 2012. As of 2017 she is an Associate Professor of Water & Uneven Urbanization, and as of 2020 she is the Head of the Department of Water Governance. She is affiliated with the Governance and Inclusive Development Group at the University of Amsterdam.

Research Summary

Kooy studies the politics of urban environments and the processes of urbanization, focusing on questions of urban justice, the right to the city, and water equity. Her urban political ecological research approach studies urbanization by following the social and ecological processes and relations through which physical environments (water) and society are transformed. Her analysis is relational, connecting the production of the city to the transformation of environments and societies far beyond the city.

The relation between power and water is central in the work of Kooy, with explicit attention to how uneven social relations shape distributions and transformations of water and water related risks into and through the city. Kooy is also interested in questions around the co-existence of urban water infrastructure systems.  

Kooy is the Principal Investigator of an Indonesian-Dutch Research cooperation project in Semarang, Indonesia, called GroundUp: a practice based analysis of groundwater governance for integrated urban water resources management. She is also a member of the EU funded International Training network: https://www.nextwatergovernance.net/


see also: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3226-9939

Biza, A., Kooy, M., Manuel, S., and M.Zwarteveen (2021) Sanitary governmentalities: producing and naturalizing social differentiation in Maputo City, Mozambique (1887-2017). Environment & Planning E: Nature and Space.


Alba, R., Kooy, M. and A.Bruns (2021) Conflicts, cooperation and experimentation: Analysing the politics of urban water through Accra’s heterogeneous water supply infrastructure. Environment & Planning E: Nature and Space.


Kooy, M., and Furlong, K. (2020) Nature based Solutions for Urban Water Management in Asian Cities: Integrating Vulnerability into Sustainable Design. International Development Planning Review

Etiegni, C., Irvine, K., Kooy, M. (2020) Participatory governance in Lake Victoria (Kenya) fisheries: Whose voices are heard? Marine Studies (early view).

R Alba, A Bruns, LE Bartels, M Kooy (2019) Water Brokers: Exploring Urban Water Governance through the Practices of Tanker Water Supply in Accra. Water 11 (9), 1919 .

Kooy, M. and C. Walter (2019) Towards A Situated Urban Political Ecology Analysis of Packaged Drinking Water Supply. Water 2019, 11(2), 225.

Kooy and Furlong (2019) Explanations and implications of bottled water trends across disciplines: Politics, piped water and consumer preferences. Editorial introduction for a special issue, Bottled Water: Explanations of a Global Trend. WIRES-Water DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1385

Etiegni, C., Kooy, M., Irvine, K. (2019) Promoting Social Accountability for Equitable Fisheries Within Beach Management Units in Lake Victoria (Kenya). Conservation and Society. DOI:10.4103/cs.cs_18_10

Kooy, M., Walter, C. and I. Prabaharyaka (2018) Inclusive development of urban water services in Jakarta: the role of groundwater. Habitat International 73:109-118.

Batubara, B., Kooy, M. and Zwarteveen, M. (2018), Uneven Urbanisation: Connecting Flows of Water to Flows of Labour and Capital Through Jakarta's Flood Infrastructure. Antipode, 50: 1186-1205.

Rusca, Alda, and Kooy (2018) Sanitation Justice? Addressing the multiple dimensions of urban sanitation inequalities, Chapter 11: 210-225, in Water Justice, eds. Boelens, Perrault, Vos. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316831847.014

Wesselink, A., Warner, J., Kooy, M., Sultana, P., Thompson, P., Syed, A. (2018) “Climate change migration and flood related disasters” p.71-83 in eds. Barua et al., Climate Change Adaption and Governance: Case studies from South Asia, CRC Press: Boca Raton, New York, London. https://www.crcpress.com/Climate-Change-Governance-and-Adaptation-Case-Studies-from-South-Asia/Barua-Narain-Vij/p/book/9781138054509

Nastar, M., Abbas, S., Aponte, C., Jenkins, S., Kooy, M. (2018) The emancipatory promise of participatory governance for the urban poor: Reflections on the transition management approach to transform urban groundwater management in cities of Dodowa, Ghana and Arusha, Tanzania. African Studies DOI: 10.1080/00020184.2018.1459287

Alda, Kooy, Rusca (2018) Mapping operation and maintenance: an everyday urbanism analysis of inequalities within piped water supply in Lilongwe, Malawi. Urban Geography 39 (1): 104-121.

Furlong, Kooy (2017) Worlding Water Supply: Thinking Beyond the Network in Jakarta. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 41(6): 888-903.

Zwarteveen, M. et al. (2017) “The politics of water governance: distributions of water, authority, and knowledge” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews on Water 4(6).

Walter, C., Kooy, M. and I. Prabaharyaka (2017) “The role of bottled drinking water in achieving SDG 6.1: An analysis of affordability and equity from Jakarta, Indonesia” International Journal of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 7 (4): 642-650.

Wesselink, Kooy, Warner (2016) Socio-hydrology and hydrosocial analysis: towards dialogues across disciplines. WIRES-Water doi: 10.1002/wat2.1196

Kooy, Walter, Prabaharyaka (2016) Inclusive development of urban water services in Jakarta: the role of groundwater. Habitat International 

Joshi, Kooy, van den Ouden (2016) Development for Children, or Children for Development? Examining Children's Participation in School-Led Total Sanitation Programs. Development & Change, Vol.47(5):1125-1145.

Etiegni, C., Irvine, K., Kooy, M. (2016) Playing by whose rules? Community norms and fisheries rules in selected beaches within Lake Victoria (Kenya) co-management. Environment, Development & Sustainability. DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9799-2

Kooy, M., Wild, L., Mason, N. (2015) Doing things differently: Can water supply, sanitation, and hygiene services support peace and state building processes?' Development Policy Review 33: 433–456. doi: 10.1111/dpr.12120.

Kooy, M. (2014) Developing informality: the production of Jakarta's waterscape. Water Alternatives 7(1): 35-53.

Di Baldassarre, G., Kemerink, J., Kooy, M. Brandimarte, L. (2014) Floods and Societies: the Spatial Distribution of Water-related Disaster Risk and its Dynamics, WIRES-Water.

Di Baldassarre, G., Kooy, M., Kemerink, J., Brandimarte, L. (2013) Towards understanding the dynamic behaviour of floodplains as human-water systems, Hydrology and Earth System Science 17, 3235-3244. DOI: doi:10.5194/hess-17-3235-2013.

Kooy, M. and K.Bakker (2008) ‘Splintered Networks: Fragmentation of water supply in Jakarta, 1870-1990’, Geoforum Vol.39:1843-1858.

Kooy, M. and K.Bakker (2008) ‘Technologies of Government: Constituting subjectivities, spaces, and infrastructures in colonial and contemporary Jakarta’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol. 32(2):375-391.

Bakker, K., Kooy, M., Shofiani, E., Martijn, E.J. (2008) ‘Governance failure, capability failure: Institutions, incentives, and technological constraints in connecting poor households to networked water supply’. World Development Vol. 36(10): 1891-1915.

Other information

BLOG of the Department of Water Governance: https://flows.hypotheses.org/

Multi-media production: Rishkawala: six videos for digital television channel in Bangladesh. Produced by Gooby Bagha productions and Ventoux Producties Ltd, under the N.W.O. Hydrosocial Deltas Project. Available for viewing here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/goopybaghaproductions/videos/

And described in the blog post ‘Rishkawala’, or the importance of the unnoticed’ https://flows.hypotheses.org/5336

Kooy and Furlong, ‘Why the rich in Jakarta have better access to water than the poor’, The Jakarta Post 19 March 2018. https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2018/03/19/why-the-rich-in-jakarta-have-better-access-to-water-than-the-poor.html


Connect with us

Never miss a thing!