09:00 - 10:30
Session 6.10: Water Justice

Water justice is becoming an ever-more pressing issue in times of decreasing availability of good quality fresh water resources and increasing water-based inequalities and discrimination. Water grabbing and pollution generate poverty and endanger ecosystems’ sustainability. Megacities, mining, forestry, industry and agribusiness claim an increasingly large share of available surface and groundwater reserves. In many parts of the world, poorly adapted water governance models and unsustainable water management and conservation practices join hands with unequal water-based socio-economic distribution, political exclusion and cultural misrecognition of existing water users and uses.
This special session discusses the 2018 Cambridge University Press book “Water Justice”. Beyond large, visible injustices, this book also unfolds the many ‘hidden’ water world injustices, subtly masked as ‘rational’, ‘equitable’ and ‘democratic’. It features critical conceptual approaches, including analysis of environmental, social, cultural and legal issues surrounding the distribution and management of water. Illustrated with case studies of historic and contemporary water injustices and contestations around the world, the book seeks to lay new ground for challenging current water governance forms and unequal power structures. It also aims to provide inspiration for building alternative water realities. The book’s authors are renowned scholars from a diversity of (inter-)disciplines.
As the book itself, the special session will be of strong interest for students, researchers and policy makers interested in water governance, international relationships and institutional development, environmental policy and law, political geography, rural and urban sociology, and cultural anthropology.

Book launch and 5 presentations on key Water Justice themes, followed by a public debate that includes scholars, students, NGOs and policymakers

C3042 -
    • Chair - R.A. Boelens
The Multiple Challenges and Layers of Water Justice Struggles
  • Speaker - R.A. Boelens
Neoliberal Water Governmentalities, Virtual Water Trade and Contestations



  • Speaker - J.M.C. Vos
Reconfiguration of Hydrosocial Territories and Water Justice Struggles
Water Governance as a Question of Justice: Politics, Rights and Representation