Whose scarcity? The hydrosocial cycle and the changing waterscape of La Ligua River Basin, Chile

Budds, Jessica (2008). Whose scarcity? The hydrosocial cycle and the changing waterscape of La Ligua River Basin, Chile. In: Goodman, Michael K.; Boykoff, Maxwell T. and Evered, Kyle T. eds. Contentious geographies: Environmental knowledge, meaning, scale. Ashgate Studies in Environmental Policy and Practice. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, pp. 59–68.

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Abstract

This chapter examines a conflict over water resources for irrigation in a rapidly developing agricultural valley in Chile’s semi-arid Norte Chico. It explores escalating demand for new water resources, in particular groundwater, for export-oriented fruit plantations, and its implications in terms of water resources management and access to water rights between commercial and peasant farmers. Situated within the broadly defined political ecology tradition, the chapter draws on emerging theorizations of human-nature relations to analyze how the nature of the conflict is shaped by social power, discourse and nature’s agency, as well as how the conflict, and attempts to address it through the production of a physical hydrological assessment, configure uneven socio-ecological outcomes at the basin scale.

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