The Politics of Fresh Water : Access, conflict and identity book cover
1st Edition

The Politics of Fresh Water
Access, conflict and identity

ISBN 9781138859227
Published December 14, 2016 by Routledge
260 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Water scarcity is not simply the result of what nature has to offer but always involves power relations and political decisions. This volume discusses the politics of the freshwater crisis, specifically how access to water is determined in different regions and historical periods, how conflict is constructed and managed, and how identity and efforts to control water systems, through development, technologies, and institutions, shape one another. 

The book analyzes responses to the water crisis as efforts to mitigate water insecurity and as expressions of collective identity that legitimate, resist, or seek to transform existing inequalities. The chapters focus on different processes that contribute to freshwater scarcity, including land use decisions, pollution, privatization, damming, climate change, discrimination, water management institutions and technology. Case studies are included from North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and New Zealand.

Table of Contents

1. The Politics of Fresh Water: Setting the Stage  Tamar Mayer and Catherine M. Ashcraft  2. Ancient Roman Water Rights and Commons Theory  Cynthia J. Bannon  3. Legal Mobilization and the Politics of Water Pollution: The Case of the Matanza-Riachuelo Basin in Argentina  Daniel Ryan and Andrés Napoli  4. Does River Basin Governance Mean Wider Access to River Management? A Long-term Perspective from the Tennessee, Columbia, and Connecticut Rivers  Eve Vogel  5. Shifting Currents in Water Diplomacy: Negotiating Conflict in the Danube and Nile River Basins  Catherine M. Ashcraft  6. The Era of Big Dam Building: It ain’t Over ‘til it’s Over  Francis J. Magilligan, Chris S. Sneddon, and Coleen A. Fox  7. Oil and Water Don’t Mix: Impacts of Oil and Gas Development on Sakhalin’s Water Resources  Jessica K. Graybill  8. The Plight of New Zealand’s Watersheds  Michael Vincent McGinnis  9. Cultural Water Wars: Power and Hegemony in the Semiotics of Water  David Groenfeldt  10. Theorizing Gender, Ethnic Difference, and Inequality in Relation to Water Access and Politics in Southeastern Turkey  Leila M. Harris  11. Water, Life, and Community in the Arid Realm: The Curious Case of Karez and Acequia  Daanish Mustafa  12. The Politics of Muddled Waters in Gujarat: A Religious Nationalist Development Model’s Treatment of Water  Pushpa Iyer  13. In Hidden View: How Water became a Catalyst for Indigenous Farmworker Resistance in Baja California, Mexico  Marcos López  14. From Management to Governance: Rethinking Water Policy and Privatization on Easter Island  Maria Alessandra Woolson  15. Strange Waters: From Confluence to Vortex in the Los Angeles Basin  T. S. McMillin

View More



Catherine M. Ashcraft is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of New Hampshire, USA. 

Tamar Mayer is the Robert R. Churchill Professor of Geosciences and Director of both the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs and the Program in International and Global Studies at Middlebury College, USA.