Increasing demand and decreasing availability of water generate growing competition, with globalization and a neo-liberal policy climate favoring some uses and users over others. This generates processes of water accumulation that lead to a worsening of poverty and threaten water and food security of those with least power and voice, while also causing environmental degradation. Resulting water conflicts happen over access to resources, contents of rights and rules, the legitimate authority to make those rules, and the discourses used to articulate realities. This interdisciplinary, comparative research network – Water Justice/Justicia Hidrica – aimes at unraveling mechanisms of water accumulation and conflicts, and at supporting vulnerable water groups. It consists of a combination of thematic conceptual work with case studies in Latin American countries and in other continents. Dissemination and policy advocacy, combining virtual means of communication with real-life events, form an integral part of the activities of the network.  
Objectives of the alliance The main objective of the network is to contribute to more water justice – in the form of democratic water policies and sustainable development practices that support an equitable distribution of water.
  • 1. Development

To influence debate and encourage action among law- and policy-makers; and to support civil society strategies for more democratic water management policies, better water conflict resolution mechanisms, and a more even and just distribution of water resources.  

  • 2. Knowledge, research and innovation

To conduct comparative research and stimulate interactive learning processes through a multi-actor research and action network in partnership with peasant and indigenous water user organizations in concrete water management settings, to acquire deeper knowledge about: [Accumulation] the dynamics and mechanisms of processes of accumulation of water and water rights, along lines of class, gender and ethnicity; [Conflicts] the contents, dynamic nature and structural contradictions of the resulting conflicts; and [Civil Society Action]the opportunities for and multi-scale strategies by grassroots and civil society actors to confront water injustice and solve water conflicts.  

  • 3. Capacity development

To train and consolidate a gender-balanced, critical mass of water professionals enabling them to identify, understand and confront processes of water accumulation and conflict and supporting them in the interdisciplinary design of water development strategies that support the politcally and economically most vulnerable groups.

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