The Coloniality of Modern Water:Global Groundwater Extraction in California, Palestine and Peru

Underhill, V. and Beckett, L. and Dajani, M. and Oré, M.T. and Sabati, S. (2023) The Coloniality of Modern Water:Global Groundwater Extraction in California, Palestine and Peru. Water Alternatives, 16 (1). pp. 13-38. ISSN 1965-0175

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Abstract

While water scholars have critiqued the social and political work of 'modern water' (Linton, 2010), lineages of critical water scholarship have yet to meaningfully engage with decolonial and Indigenous scholars’ insights on the global architecture of coloniality/modernity as it relates to our understandings of water. We argue that this engagement is necessary because it further elaborates the political work done by modern water: not only propelling modern projects and their associated inequities but, more fundamentally, expanding and normalising global coloniality and racial capitalism as structuring forces that endure even as they transform (Robinson, 1983). Drawing on the interrelated histories, present situations, and possible futures of land and water development in California, Palestine and Peru, we explore how the development and persistence of modern water across these sites likewise illuminates the development and persistence of varying modes of coloniality. We present each country as a 'case' with a focus on what Oré and Rap (2009) call 'critical junctures': that is, political, social, technological, and economic shifts that, together, bring into sharp relief the global structure of colonial/modern water. Ultimately, this paper draws critical water scholarship and decolonial thought into closer conversation to re-place and particularise what has been produced as a universal (and universalising) concept and to highlight the consistent presence of alternatives and waters otherwise.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Water Alternatives
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3305
Subjects:
ID Code:
190980
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
12 Apr 2023 08:45
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2023 02:13