Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 543381
Title The Ostrich Politics of Groundwater Development and Neoliberal Regulation in Mexico
Author(s) Hoogesteger van Dijk, J.D.
Source Water Alternatives 11 (2018)3. - ISSN 1965-0175 - p. 552 - 571.
Department(s) WASS
Water Resources Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Abstract In this article I present the politics that spurred groundwater development in Central and Northern Mexico between 1930 and 1990, and analyse the working/effects of the neoliberal groundwater policies that were implemented in the country since the 1990s. I first present, based on an analysis of the Comarca Lagunera and the state of Guanajuato, the socio-economic, political and institutional dynamics that shaped groundwater development between 1930 and 1990, with a special focus on how with state support large commercial farmers and small ejidatarios developed groundwater irrigation. My analysis shows how the actors involved in groundwater development, just like ostriches, stuck their head in the sand, oblivious to aquifer overdraft and its environmental consequences. Then I present how – since the 1990s – neoliberal groundwater regulation policies have worked out on the ground opening the doors to regulatory capture and groundwater accumulation through capital, oblivious to sustained aquifer overdraft, a shrinking peasant ejido sector, increased rural outmigration and the health threat of toxic concentration of Fluoride and Arsenic in many groundwater dependent areas. This analysis raises serious doubts about the capacity of – often (inter)nationally lauded – neoliberally inspired groundwater policies to contribute to socio-environmental sustainability and equity.
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