Law, Scarcity, and Social Movements: Water Governance in Chile's Maipo River Basin

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/613576
Title:
Law, Scarcity, and Social Movements: Water Governance in Chile's Maipo River Basin
Author:
Borgias, Sophia Layser
Issue Date:
2016
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The challenges of water governance in Chile today lie at the confluence of growing water demands, increasing climatic variability, and mounting discontent with neoliberal water policy. These these dynamics coalesce in the Maipo, Chile's most densely populated river basin and seat of the capital city, Santiago. The Maipo River sustains the growing capital city of Santiago, booming agricultural production in the Santiago valley, and hydroelectric generation from the river's swift descent from the Andes. Now, with the population of Santiago exceeding 5 million, a seventh year of drought racking central Chile, and controversial hydropower development sparking mass protests, the stakes of water governance in this critical river basin are higher than ever. Based on in-depth empirical research in the Maipo River basin, this thesis explores how processes of environmental and social change interact with Chile's internationally famous water laws to shape water governance, understood as the set of processes through which actors influence decision-making and conflict resolution related to water resources. Bringing legal geography and political ecology into conversation with water governance literature, I analyze the ways that law, social mobilization, and water scarcity are shaping water governance. In Chapter 1, I analyze the law of river sectioning and the way it influences water use and management practices throughout the Maipo River basin. Chapter 2 explores the Alto Maipo hydropower conflict in the upper basin and demonstrates the important role of social movement actors trying to shift water governance in new directions. Themes from both of these chapters converge in Chapter 3, which examines the struggle over the meaning of water scarcity in the context of increasing attention to drought and climate change. These dynamic socio-environmental processes are considered in relation to each other as integral parts of the ongoing negotiation of water governance. This research aims to insert considerations of social and environmental justice into ongoing policy debates about water governance in Chile to address the conflicts stemming from uneven access to resources and decision-making.
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Keywords:
climate change; drought; social movements; water governance; water law; Geography; Chile
Degree Name:
M.A.
Degree Level:
masters
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Geography
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Bauer, Carl J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleLaw, Scarcity, and Social Movements: Water Governance in Chile's Maipo River Basinen_US
dc.creatorBorgias, Sophia Layseren
dc.contributor.authorBorgias, Sophia Layseren
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractThe challenges of water governance in Chile today lie at the confluence of growing water demands, increasing climatic variability, and mounting discontent with neoliberal water policy. These these dynamics coalesce in the Maipo, Chile's most densely populated river basin and seat of the capital city, Santiago. The Maipo River sustains the growing capital city of Santiago, booming agricultural production in the Santiago valley, and hydroelectric generation from the river's swift descent from the Andes. Now, with the population of Santiago exceeding 5 million, a seventh year of drought racking central Chile, and controversial hydropower development sparking mass protests, the stakes of water governance in this critical river basin are higher than ever. Based on in-depth empirical research in the Maipo River basin, this thesis explores how processes of environmental and social change interact with Chile's internationally famous water laws to shape water governance, understood as the set of processes through which actors influence decision-making and conflict resolution related to water resources. Bringing legal geography and political ecology into conversation with water governance literature, I analyze the ways that law, social mobilization, and water scarcity are shaping water governance. In Chapter 1, I analyze the law of river sectioning and the way it influences water use and management practices throughout the Maipo River basin. Chapter 2 explores the Alto Maipo hydropower conflict in the upper basin and demonstrates the important role of social movement actors trying to shift water governance in new directions. Themes from both of these chapters converge in Chapter 3, which examines the struggle over the meaning of water scarcity in the context of increasing attention to drought and climate change. These dynamic socio-environmental processes are considered in relation to each other as integral parts of the ongoing negotiation of water governance. This research aims to insert considerations of social and environmental justice into ongoing policy debates about water governance in Chile to address the conflicts stemming from uneven access to resources and decision-making.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen
dc.subjectclimate changeen
dc.subjectdroughten
dc.subjectsocial movementsen
dc.subjectwater governanceen
dc.subjectwater lawen
dc.subjectGeographyen
dc.subjectChileen
thesis.degree.nameM.A.en
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineGeographyen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorBauer, Carl J.en
dc.contributor.committeememberScott, Christopher A.en
dc.contributor.committeememberOglesby, Elizabethen
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