Social conflict over wind power in Brazil

I am happy to post this mini-documentary on the social conflicts and land grabbing as a result of the wind-power boom in Ceara, Brazil.  Low-carbon projects are not inherently socially just. Innovation requires not only technological change but attention to the social and economic structures - and how they are either changed, reinforced and for …

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Emerging water conflict in Fortaleza, Brazil

"Do not take our water." A simple message.  Don't take our water. Over the past ten months, communities in the peripheral northwest region of Fortaleza, Brazil have begun to organize against the state's "water security plan" to manage the five-year drought for the metropolitan region of 3.5 million people. The plan, which attends to the …

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Call for Papers on Water Security

Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers  New Orleans, LA, 3-5 January 2017 Water security is a complex and contested goal-oriented concept.  Scholars and policy makers have reviewed and commented on increased interest in water security, underscoring the problem of definition as the term is applied in multiple conceptual domains across spatial scales –from the nation to …

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Going to Brazil as Fulbright Scholar

Yesterday, I learned that I will be a Fulbright Scholar to Brazil to teach at the Universidade Federal de Ceará – Fortaleza (UFC) and conduct a research project on urban water provisioning and household water security. I am thrilled to work with students and faculty on an exciting project and further deepen our existing institutional …

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The ache of injustice

Observations from Emily Vandewalle, a graduate student who just completed her MS in Geography and now is off to the Philippines to work with a water NGO.

Environmental Justice - Texas

I peered deep into the 50 gallon plastic container at the few inches of water remaining at the bottom. Just moments before, the bucket was full- but after 20 minutes of using this water to pressure wash the inside of the 2500 gal water tank that provides water for the Ramirez* home, my plastic container was practically empty. I began to drag the container to the open field just behind the home to dump out the remaining water in attempt to begin the clean-up process after a day full of manual labor, frantic trips to the hardware store, sunburn, sore muscles, and homemade tamales. Just then, Mara*, the female head of the household, walked outside of her home and it dawned on me – maybe she wants to save this water. Upon asking, she hurriedly brought me a 5 gallon open bucket to pour the remaining water from my container into, to be saved for later use in the home- perhaps to fill…

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