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Resources: Podcasts

Jessica Budds: Extracting Minerals, Producing Waterscapes - Rethinking the Relationship Between Mining and Water in Peru


Date:  Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Presenter:  Dr. Jessica Budds is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Environment and Development at the University of East Anglia in the UK. With a background in Hispanic studies and human geography, she works on political ecologies of water and development in Latin America, with an interest in how power relations shape instances of water (water flows, patterns of access, infrastructure, policies and discourses), and how water counter-shapes social relations and forms of governance, thus configuring 'waterscapes' in particular ways.

Description:  In this talk, Budds draws on work undertaken as part of a UK Economic and Social Research Council project to explore the relationship between the expansion of mining and growing demand for water resources in the Andes. While previous research has centred on the contamination and depletion of water resources by mining, Budds argues that the expansion of mineral extraction has both wider and deeper implications for water resources, and, moreover, that the nature of water issues has reshaped practices and debates around mining. In this presentation, she builds on emerging scholarship within political ecology that repositions water from a material resource to a 'socio-nature' that embeds and reflects power relations, both material and discursive. She supports this perspective with field data from Peru, in order to show how the mining sector's thirst for water influences social relations, technologies, institutions, and discourses, which operate over varying spatial and temporal scales, and often beyond the watershed. The concept of the waterscape, she contends, is well suited to examine these multiple ways in which water becomes produced through mineral extraction.

For reference, please see the event flyer.