Water management studies often overlook community diversity, different stakeholders’ values, and frames to claim water rights. Using a political-ecology approach, this article examines an irrigation system in Ecuador’s highlands via Fraser’s principles of justice (recognition, representation, redistribution). Large flower companies and indigenous smallholders frame their arguments differently to legitimize water allocation claims. Framing is effective when it resonates with other stakeholders’ values. Some unexpected findings are explained: most of the water is still used by large companies since communities took control; rules regarding water use differ greatly among sectors in the system; and small flower producers have been appearing recently.
- communal water resource management
- Community irrigation