“Changing water use and management in the context of glacier retreat: a case study of the Peruvian village of Huashao”

Conlon, Susan (2018) “Changing water use and management in the context of glacier retreat: a case study of the Peruvian village of Huashao”. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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In Peru´s Callejón de Huaylas, the physical and social dynamics of water use and management are changing rapidly. A shift from subsistence to commercial crop production in comunidades campesinas is leading to intensive water use, compounding the impacts of glacier retreat on water availability. The 2009 Water Resources Law aims to address water scarcity and conflict though ‘formalising’ water use and management, bringing increased state control over water user organizations. This study explores how villagers in a water user organization in Huashao interacted with state discourses and practices of ‘formalization’. It uses discourse analysis to examine ‘formalization’ and its relationship to changing policies at the national and global levels. Through an ethnographic case study, it explores villagers’ everyday water use practices and the outcomes for social and institutional relationships. It investigates changing water use and management, the role of water users in shaping these changes and the influence of historical interactions with the market and NGO initiatives.
The thesis shows that globalized discourses of water scarcity and climate change adaptation travel from global to local levels to subtly disperse state control over local water use and management. Yet, local water users interact with wider processes of social, historical and economic change in ways that respond to new commercial opportunities outside global management discourses. By asserting ways of thinking and acting around water based on flexible, opportunistic judgements to reproduce livelihoods, they challenge understandings of water and life in comunidades campesinas in ‘formalization’ policies. An ethnographic approach appreciates that people live with and negotiate contradictions in everyday life as they react to new water governance arrangements that defy simple interpretations of change in such contexts. I argue that understanding water users’ interactions with wider social change, and the outcomes for water use practices and management institutions, illuminates apparently contradictory behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Bruce Beckett
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 11:10
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2018 11:10
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/67693


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