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Space, Time and Hydrosocial Imaginaries: Water Quality Governance of the Pyramid Lake Paiute and Nez Perce Tribes

Authors: Teresa Cohn*, University of Idaho - Moscow, ID, Kate Berry, University of Nevada-Reno
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Cultural Geography, Indigenous Peoples
Keywords: water quality, Tribal, indigenous, water governance, time, spatio-temporality, hydrosocial
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper focuses on the ways in which space and time (or spatio-temporalities) reveal themselves within the relationships between hydrosocial imaginaries and materialities. Conceptions of space and time are central to water governance, providing a framework upon which overall hydrosocial relations are constructed, and fundamental to the establishment of socio-cultural-political relationships. We are especially concerned with the ways in which tribal governance of water quality is embedded in hydrosocial imaginaries that reflect different—and sometimes divergent or competing—configurations of space and time among governing entities. We focus on two aspects that relate to water quality governance of the Pyramid Lake Paiute and the Nez Perce Tribes. First, we examine how hydrosocial imaginaries of water quality are connected to spatialized configurations of lands that Tribes govern. We are particularly interested in how areas upstream from reservations have prompted changes to hydrosocial imaginaries and constrain tribal governance options. Second, we examine dams as they materially alter space, reconfigure water times, and compound hydrosocial imaginaries, all of which influence configurations of tribal water quality governance. We conclude by suggesting that space and time are significant aspects of hydrosocial imaginaries and materialities in tribal water quality governance.

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