Bringing together a multidisciplinary set of scholars and diverse case studies from across the globe, this book explores the management, governance, and understandings around water, a key element in the assemblage of hydrosocial territories. Hydrosocial territories are spatial configurations of people, institutions, water flows, hydraulic technology and the biophysical environment that revolve around the control of water. Territorial politics finds expression in encounters of diverse actors with divergent spatial and political–geographical interests; as a result, water (in)justice and (in)equity are embedded in these socio-ecological contexts. The territory-building projections and strategies compete, superimpose and align to strengthen specific water-control claims of various interests. As a result, actors continuously recompose the territory’s hydraulic grid, cultural reference frames, and political–economic relationships. Using a political ecology focus, the different contributions to this book explore territorial struggles, demonstrating that these contestations are not merely skirmishes over natural resources, but battles over meaning, norms, knowledge, identity, authority and discourses.
The articles in this book were originally published in the journal Water International.
1. Introduction: interweaving water struggles, institutions, and the making of territory Part I: Theories of the Hydrosocial and Water Equity 2. Defining, researching and struggling for water justice: some conceptual building blocks for research and action 3. Hydrosocial territories: a political ecology perspective 4. What kind of governance for what kind of equity? Towards a theorization of justice in water governance 5. What is water equity? The unfortunate consequences of a global focus on ‘drinking water’ Part II: Water Governance 6. PES hydro-social territories: deterritorialization and repatterning of water control arenas in the Andean highlands 7. Losing the watershed focus: a look at complex community-managed irrigation systems in Bolivia 8. Examining the emerging role of groundwater in water inequity in India 9. The colonial roots of inequality: access to water in urban East Africa 10. Popular participation, equity, and co-production of water and sanitation services in Caracas, Venezuela 11. Creating equitable water institutions on disputed land: a Honduran case study 12. Democratizing discourses: conceptions of ownership, autonomy and ‘the state’ in Nicaragua’s rural water governance 13. Adjudicating hydrosocial territory in New Mexico Part III: Hydrosocial Struggles 14. Downspout politics, upstream conflict: formalizing rainwater harvesting in the United States 15. Disputes over territorial boundaries and diverging valuation languages: the Santurban hydro-social highlands territory in Colombia 16. Diverting realities: how framing, values and water management are interwoven in the Albufera de Valencia wetland in Spain 17. Disputes over land and water rights in gold mining: the case of Cerro de San Pedro, Mexico 18. Territorial pluralism: water users’ multi-scalar struggles against state ordering in Ecuador’s highlands 19. Amazonian Hydrosociality: The Politics of Water Projects among the Waorani of Ecuador 20. Water scarcity and the exclusionary city: the struggle for water justice in Lima, Peru 21. Inclusive recognition politics and the struggle over ‘hydro-social territories’ in two Bolivian highland communities 22. Virtual water trade and the contestation of hydro-social territories 23. From Spain’s hydro-deadlock to the desalination fix 24. Santa Cruz Declaration on the Global Water Crisis 25. Conclusion
Most of the world’s water problems, and their solutions, are directly related to policies and governance, both specific to water and in general. Two of the world’s leading journals in this area, the International Journal of Water Resources Development (sponsored by the Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico) and Water International (the official journal of the International Water Resources Association), contribute to this special issues series, aimed at disseminating new knowledge on the policy and governance of water resources to a very broad and diverse readership all over the world. The series should be of direct interest to all policy makers, professionals and lay readers concerned with obtaining the latest perspectives on addressing the world’s many water issues.