Call for Proposal (EN). Accessibility to Potable Water in Rural and Periurban Territories of Latin America



Dr. Chloé Nicolas-Artero (Politecnico di Milano)
Dr. Melina Tobías (CONICET, IIGG/UBA)
Dr. Mariana Schmidt (CONICET, IIGG/UBA)
Arch. Marcelo Perez Mercado (Univalle, CIAU-UPB)

In recent decades, the Latin American region has witnessed significant productive and territorial transformations that have directly affected the availability, quality, and distribution of water for various social groups. The situation of water scarcity has multiplied, particularly affecting the rural and peri-urban populations. Access to water depends on the installation of one or more sociotechnical devices at the household level (community, private, or public network; well; water hauling from a source; rainwater collection; purchase of containers). Emergency measures established by states or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may contribute to the multiplication of access methods, for example, by financing water distribution through tanker trucks. However, state interventions for water accessibility in rural and peri-urban areas often do not consider the local population's customs and practices related to the service, or contribute to the overexploitation of sources, leading to unsustainable strategies over time. Three main approaches can be identified in the literature on domestic water access in rural/peri-urban spaces in Latin America. An economicist- and indicator-based approach aims to identify factors that ensure better performance of organisations responsible for managing services to improve water access. A second approach, from the political or legal sciences, evaluates the limits and challenges of water governance to supply rural or peri-urban populations. Finally, the third approach comprises articles analysing local conflicts related to water access and their impact on the living conditions of the population.

This call aims to highlight the diversity of logic, strategies, arrangements, and practices of domestic water access in overlooked rural and peri-urban territories. It does not propose focusing solely on the effects of or responses to scarcity on a micro-local household scale. Instead, it encourages the adoption of approaches to understand the multiscale, temporal, and material dimensions of population water access. Contributions are expected to analyse how territorial/productive transformations, power relations, political economy, public policies, and/or climate change influence the heterogeneity and diversification of potable water access methods. Contributions may focus on households, service distribution organisations, or their interface; exploring not only the quantity of water access but also its quality in these contexts (available infrastructure and its maintenance in the medium and long term, degradation and/or contamination of water resources through various pathways, etc.), state and local logic and knowledge regarding water accessibility, and conflicts arising from managing this complexity.

Deadline for submissions: April 30, 2024
Contact and submission email:
Guidelines for authors: