Water footprints and 'pozas': Conversations about practices and knowledges ofwater efficiency

Carolina Domínguez Guzmán*, Andres Verzijl, Margreet Zwarteveen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we present two logics of water efficiency: that of the Water Footprint and that of mango smallholder farmers on the desert coast of Peru (in Motupe). We do so in order to explore how both can learn from each other and to discuss what happens when the two logics meet. Rather than treating the Water Footprint as scientific, in the sense that it is separate from traditions or politics, and Motupe poza irrigation as cultural and, therefore, thick with local beliefs and superstitions, we describe both as consisting of intricate entanglements of knowledge and culture. This produces a more or less level playing field for the two water logics to meet and for proponents of each to enter into a conversation with one another; allowing furthermore for the identification of what Water Footprint inventors and promotors can learn from poza irrigators, and vice versa. The article concludes that important water wisdom may get lost when the Water Footprint logic becomes dominant, as is currently about to happen in Peru.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • (poza) irrigation
  • Ethnography
  • Knowledge practices
  • Mango export
  • Peru
  • Water footprint

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