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Water Justice

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Megacities, mining, forestry, industry and agribusiness claim an increasingly large share of available surface and groundwater reserves. This new, Noragric co-authored book discusses both the major injustices and the 'hidden' inequalities in water resource management. 

Water Justice

From the publisher [Source: Cambridge University Press]:

"Water justice is becoming an ever-more pressing issue in times of increasing water-based inequalities and discrimination. Megacities, mining, forestry, industry and agribusiness claim an increasingly large share of available surface and groundwater reserves. Water grabbing and pollution generate poverty and endanger ecosystems' sustainability. Beyond large, visible injustices, the book also unfolds the many 'hidden' water world injustices, subtly masked as 'rational', 'equitable' and 'democratic'. It features critical conceptual approaches, including analysis of environmental, social, cultural and legal issues surrounding the distribution and management of water. Illustrated with case studies of historic and contemporary water injustices and contestations around the world, the book lays new ground for challenging current water governance forms and unequal power structures. It also provides inspiration for building alternative water realities. With contributions from renowned scholars, this is an indispensable book for students, researchers and policymakers interested in water governance, environmental policy and law, and political geography.
  • Examines water justice from a range of disciplinary angles including engineering, anthropology, environmental policy, political geography and social philosophy to provide readers will a full understanding of the complex issues at play
  • Case studies from around the world - both historic and contemporary - provide an awareness of the diversity of social struggles globally
  • In addition to the unequal distribution of water resources, the book also discusses skewed access to participation in decision making, highlighting the different dimensions involved in unequal water governance structures"

Reviews & endorsements

'This is a major book on the political ecology of water conflicts by the top experts in the field. It defines a new field of study, 'water justice'. It's a great addition to the study of local and global movements against environmental injustice with a focus on water-grabbing and unequal access to water for irrigation, mining, urban sanitation, and hydroelectricity.' Joan Martinez-Alier, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Economic History, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

'Boelens, Perreault and Vos have assembled a genuinely impressive set of authors to tackle the nature, meaning, and drivers of water injustices across the world, and to explore the possibilities of water justice. While the picture is far from rosy, the book provides rich theoretical and empirical perspectives through which to understand the inequities surrounding the control and use of water and to imagine alternative futures. This text will be a point of reference for many years to come.' Anthony Bebbington, Australian Laureate Fellow, University of Melbourne, and Milton P. and Alice C. Higgins Professor of Environment and Society, Clark University, Massachusetts

'This timely and engaging volume by some of the world's foremost scholars on water constitutes a loud sound of alarm. Not only that, it shows why liberal and neoliberal water rationalities … won't work. Proposed instead is a sophisticated approach to the question of water as nature, and of its relation to justice, from which emerges a powerful framework for alternative hydrosocialities. By reminding us that what is at stake … is people's very right to exist, Water Justice enables us to imagine and construct other paths for fair and wise water policies.' Arturo Escobar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

'It would be difficult to overstate the global significance of water injustice, which continues to be a major obstacle preventing millions of human beings from enjoying a dignified life. Water Justice addresses key aspects of this complex problem, bringing together a unique international team of scholars. This is not only a timely collection, but also one that provides access to rich theoretical arguments and empirical examples that allow an in-depth treatment of the topic. The book is a welcome contribution for academics, students, and practitioners, and will attract a wider readership among those concerned with the future of civilized human life.' José Esteban Castro, Newcastle University

''Water justice!' is the rallying cry of this book. It explores in a readable, illuminating and comprehensive way the multiple dimensions of water injustice and the diverse struggles to change these.' Cristóbal Kay, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Chapters by NMBU affiliates 

Critical ecosystem infrastructure: Governing the forests-water nexus in the Kenyan Highlands - Connor Cavanagh, Postdoctoral Fellow, Noragric

Water Grabbing: Practices of Contestation amd Appropriation of Water Resources in the Context of Expanding Global Capital - co-authored by Lyla Mehta, Visiting Professor, Noragric

The Book 


Published 22. February 2018 - 13:48 - Updated 22. February 2018 - 14:33

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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