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Environmental Justice in Latin AmericaProblems, Promise, and Practice$
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David V. Carruthers

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262033725

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262033725.001.0001

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Cultural Politics and the Essence of Life: Who Controls the Water?

Cultural Politics and the Essence of Life: Who Controls the Water?

(p.286) (p.287) 12 Cultural Politics and the Essence of Life: Who Controls the Water?
Environmental Justice in Latin America

Stefanie Wickstrom

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the cases of Chile, Bolivia, and Mexico to determine which of these countries has better control of water resources. Local beliefs and cultural traditions have played a key role in the management of water resources in these countries. The existing framework governing the management of water resources in Chile is guided by the General Water Directorate, which is successful in empowering private economic rights and controlling government regulatory power. In Bolivia, water resources are managed by sectoral activities with guidance from regional authorities. In Mexico, local, regional, and national governments monitor and manage water resources. The Federal Water Law emphasizes stakeholder participation in water management at different levels. The chapter finds that Mexico manages and distributes water resources more effectively than other countries.

Keywords:   water resources, local beliefs, cultural traditions, regional authority, stakeholder participation

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