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Conference papers

Visibility without breakdown: inquiries, discoveries and knowledge in the maintenance of French water infrastructures

Abstract : ∫Drawing on the study of a recently created public water management company in the South of France, we will highlight the role of maintenance activities in producing new forms of visibility for infrastructures. While breakdowns are usually considered the most important reasons for infrastructures visibilization, we will show how investment in daily maintenance has led the company to struggle with different forms of invisibility. Confronted with a lack of global vision of infrastructures distributed on newly regrouped territories, the company notably sought to answer the questions, "What exactly are the infrastructures we have to take care of? What are they made of? Where does our network stop?" We will show that the answers to these questions, which are continually updated, not only involve the careful generation of various data (flow monitoring, detailed descriptions of water facilities, geolocation, etc.), but also draws on an organizational structure specifically designed to foster this renewed awareness towards infrastructures. Such organization ensures that the data are the product of in-depth site-based inquiries which build on general and local knowledge and sometimes even lead to discoveries. This case illustrates that infrastructures maintenance, far from consisting of a series of repetitive and routine tasks alone, can also be assembled as an instrument of organizational knowledge.
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Contributor : Jérôme DENIS Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, November 25, 2019 - 4:34:25 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, January 15, 2022 - 4:16:02 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02379421, version 1


Jérôme Denis, Daniel Florentin. Visibility without breakdown: inquiries, discoveries and knowledge in the maintenance of French water infrastructures. 4S Conference, Sep 2019, New-Orleans, United States. ⟨hal-02379421⟩



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