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New Water & Urban Water Security III

Type: Panel
Theme:
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group, Water Resources Specialty Group, AAG Climate Task Force
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2020
Start / End Time: 7:00 AM / 8:15 AM (MDT)
Room: Virtual Track 3
Organizers: Gretchen Sneegas, Wendy Jepson, Amanda Fencl
Chairs: Wendy Jepson

Description

In the face of growing populations and climate change, existing freshwater sources and water infrastructure projects are not adequate to address the challenges of urban water insecurity – particularly adequate water delivery or quality. Desalination and wastewater reuse are seen as major technological interventions to address the increased pressure on freshwater resources from growing urban demands and climate change. These technological advances are making unconventional water production a viable and cost-effective competitor for traditional sources. Critics, however, highlight several impediments to their sustainable implementation: increased water prices, cultural non-acceptance, reliance on technical expertise, pollution outflows, energy demand and costs, and environmental justice concerns.

Critics and proponents tend to consider these interventions as monolithic technologies that can be grafted onto existing hydro-social, institutional, and governance systems. We seek to problematize this view by considering desalination and wastewater reuse as socio-technological systems that intersect and are co-produced in place with local water systems, contexts, institutions, scales, and capacities in distinct ways. From our perspective, the complex nature of water-producing technologies such as desalination and wastewater reuse should not be considered a priori as a panacea to water insecurity in growing urban areas; nor should it be a priori considered an unsustainable, techno-environmental fix. Rather, we approach these technologies as socio-technological systems that reconfigure hydro-social relations in new ways. Thus, our challenge is to identify how new technological interventions can be channeled into pathways towards sustainable water security and urban water transitions.


Agenda

Type Details Minutes
Introduction Wendy Jepson Texas A&M University 15
Panelist Anas Ghadouani The University of Western Australia 15
Panelist Micheal Mouritz Curtin University 15
Panelist Joe Williams Durham University 15
Panelist Joshua Cousins Dartmouth College 15

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