Water Governance and rural -urban struggles in a post-industrial region in Bangladesh

Authors: Farhana Ahmad*, Cornell University
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Hazards and Vulnerability, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: rural urban water politics, water infrastructure, hydrosocial territories
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 4:35 PM
Room: Governors Square 9, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Drawing on political ecology and planning theories, the aim of this paper to describe the broader political economy, along with the discourses and techniques, which allowed Khulna city in Bangladesh to implement a water expansion project by (predatory) sourcing its water from elsewhere. The paper builds on over year long archival and ethnographic work in Khulna and investigates the expansion of the water distribution network in Khulna city and the way in which the political economy of the country is being used to source water from elsewhere in the region. In particular, this paper demonstrates how the city’s search for water has differentially affected two different areas and created new hydrosocial territorities. While the peri-urban area of Phultala, succeeded in protecting their water access and restricting municipal groundwater exploitation, the farmers in the rural area of Mollahat have not been able to avert the destructive impacts of urban water infrastructure in their territories.

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