Groundwater commons? Transboundary challenges and opportunities in the Anthropocene

  • Date: –15:30
  • Location: Observatorieparken Old Observatory, Kyrkogårdsgatan 8A
  • Lecturer: Andrea Ballestero, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Ethnography Studio at the University of Southern California. Francesco Sindico, Professor in International Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Law. Larry Swasuk, Professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
  • Organiser: Aquifers in the Anthropocene (AQUA) and Centre for Integrated Research on Culture and Society (CIRCUS)
  • Contact person: Susann Baez Ullberg
  • Konferens

This international and interdisciplinary symposium is convened by the research network Aquifers in the Anthropocene (AQUA) to address how the subterranean and oftentimes transboundary condition affects the knowledgeability, use, and governance of groundwater.

Which are the ideas, practices, technologies, values, and norms that managing, regulating, and sharing groundwater are based upon, and what challenges and opportunities arise if and when they differ across local, regional and national boundaries?

In the 21st Century, the global demand for freshwater for industry, agriculture and domestic uses is increasing. Representing 97% of the world’s available freshwater resources, groundwater is often preferred over surface water because of expectations in terms of both quality and quantity. The increased consumption together with an unsustainable use of the world’s aquifers has resulted in depletion, contamination and risk of social and political conflicts.

The status and (un)sustainable management of groundwater con be conceived of as a geohydrosocial problem, meaning that the underground and human society are entangled, affecting each other in often unpredictable ways. In contrast to surface water, groundwater’s subterraneous existence and movement take place largely out of human sight and control, constituting what we could call a phenomenological challenge. While groundwater’s underground condition can create an illusion of being an infinite resource, it is a difficult object to assess and predict, and an unruly resource to regulate, manage and share because groundwater does not attain political-administrative borders and regulations that shape water practices on the surface ground. What are the challenges and opportunities that arise as a consequence of this in times of social and ecological strain?

More information and programme in the included PDF-document. 

REGISTRATION: Please register here by 16 October the latest. Please indicate if you have any food preferences or allergies.


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