Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Water as a common denominator to strife in the semi-arid of Ceará, Brazil  
Cydney Seigerman (University of Georgia) Donald Nelson (University of Georgia)

Paper short abstract:

In the semi-arid of Ceará, Brazil, inequality is a salient issue, and water is the common denominator to regional strife. Ethnographic work in Ceará shows how water conflicts reflect the diverse values of water in the region and the technoscientific views that dominate water management.

Paper long abstract:

The inter-basin dynamics of the Jaguaribe Valley and the city of Fortaleza ("the Jaguaribe-RMF system") in Ceará (northeast Brazil) is a microcosm of the water challenges faced in water-limited environments worldwide. Ethnographic work in the region has revealed that discussions related to water in the Jaguaribe-RMF system go back and forth between the innate struggle for survival in the harsh semi-arid environment and the need to learn to live in harmony with the region. Water in the region is highly contested as the region faces vulnerability to drought and increasing water demands and technoscientific approaches continue to be favored by the state. Fortaleza is a major metropolitan area and home to the state's key government agencies and the majority of the state's population. Decisions related to bulk water distribution are decentralized to the river-basin level, yet the decisions made by river basin committees are structured around technical information provided by the state, including meteorological predictions and allocation scenarios. Many living in the Jaguaribe Valley feel resentment toward the state as rural areas are left without reliable water supplies. At the same time, disparities in water access among users serving on a specific river basin committee result in intra-committee conflicts. Restrictions on agricultural practices meant to increase the efficiency of water use often fail to consider the challenges of farmers who must devise new methods to support their families. Inequality is a salient issue at all levels, and water is the common denominator to the strife that permeates the region.

Panel Env03
Drier worlds - living with water scarcity
  Session 1 Monday 15 April, 2019, -