The political construction and fixing of water overabundance rural–urban flood-risk politics in coastal Ecuador

Juan Pablo Hidalgo-Bastidas*, Rutgerd Boelens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecuador’s mega-dam project aims to control Chone city’s flooding hazards, but it submerges peasants’ territories–legitimized by ‘modern city/majority benefit’ versus ‘rural backward/sacrifice-able minority’ discourse. Presented as disordered, unruly and needing domestication, peasants must follow urban imaginaries and safeguard modern-urban progress. Policy-makers’ water overabundance discourse presents ‘flood risk’ as a natural and techno-managerial problem, hiding how unequal power balances establish ‘high-value’ (urban/elite) areas as protection zones and rural areas as sacrifice zones. Excessive water is stored in rural areas, neglecting peasants’ livelihoods and governance forms. The paper’s political ecology approach displays the ‘water overabundance’ discourse as a techno-political, naturalized construct that profoundly impacts rural–urban hydro-territoriality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-187
Number of pages19
JournalWater International
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Ecuador
  • Flood risk
  • urban–rural politics
  • water governance
  • water-abundance discourse

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