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Accepted Paper:

Managing floods, managing people: a political ecology of watercourse regulation on the Kemi River  
Franz Krause (University of Cologne)

Paper long abstract:

The stark seasonal variations of the discharge of the Kemi, largest river in the Finnish province of Lapland, have long formed an integral part of the rhythmic dynamics of social and ecological life along its banks. With the spread of permanent infrastructure and activities, however, the annual spring-flood is increasingly conceived as a hazard.

Fuelled, among others, by recent flooding events, climate-change scenarios, a growing opposition to hydropower developments and an EU directive, plans are being debated to dam the river in hitherto protected areas in order to decrease flood-risk in the provincial capital.

This paper presents the divergent perceptions of floods, security and the nature of a river, on which the debate is based, and indicates how regulating the rhythms of the river also implicates managing places, biological processes and river dwellers.

Panel W087
Water scenarios: forecasting and liquid knowledge
  Session 1