This paper explores how, historically, the utopian thinking built into Spain’s water policies has legitimized profound transformations of the Guadalhorce Valley’s hydro-social territory (in Málaga), also justifying water transfers from rural to urban areas. It analyzes how the ‘regenerationist hydraulic utopia’ has been materialized through different ‘governmentality strategies’. This intensified during Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, decaying gradually into dystopias that, to this day, express profound socio-environmental impacts: dispossession, displacement, uprooting and breaking up local water governance institutions and practices. Meanwhile, the urban and tourism industries in Málaga have been strengthened by giving them priority for water supply.
- Hydraulic utopia
- hydro-territorial transformation
- water transfers