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The political construction and fixing of water overabundance: rural–urban flood-risk politics in coastal Ecuador
- Hidalgo-Bastidas, Juan Pablo, Boelens, Rutgerd
- Water international 2019 v.44 no.2 pp. 169-187
- domestication, ecology, governance, livelihood, peasantry, politics, rural areas, Ecuador
- 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.