Water Security for Whom? – Social and Material Perspectives on Inequality around Multipurpose Reservoirs in Colombia

Water for Whom investigates in/equalities in water security across the water-energy-food nexus focusing on the case of multipurpose reservoirs in Colombia. Building on the large body of literature on conflicts surrounding the construction of hydropower dams, the project advances research on the post-construction phase of multipurpose reservoirs and in post-conflict societies.

Dams – like many other man-made and ‘natural’ interventions – reconfigure social-ecological systems as much in material as they do in social terms. It is thus an understanding of socio-material dynamics that forms the basis of our research on how multipurpose dams reconfigure and may disrupt local livelihoods and water, energy and food sectors. Recognising that the social-ecological impacts of dams – and their operation – are unequally distributed across social groups and geographies, by asking ‘water security for whom’ we seek to investigate how and to what extent water security of some social groups can come at the cost of water, or food/energy, insecurity of others. A key objective is to broaden the notion of equality from a social to a social-ecological concept operationalised through the concept of ‘hydrosocial territories’ and through a novel methodology of interdisciplinary integration and contrast. This new approach of ‘situated modelling’ is advanced and empirically tested to foster conversations between social and natural sciences and affected communities around predictive knowledge and water security.

Principal investigators
Krüger, Tobias Prof. Dr. (Details) (Department of Geography)
Niewöhner, Jörg Prof. Dr. (Details) (Director / Office)

Further project members
Ortiz-Guerrero, Cesar Prof. Dr. (Pontifical Xavierian University)
Santos de Lima, Leticia Prof. Dr. (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, )

Participating organisational units of HU Berlin

Volkswagen-Stiftung (VW)

Duration of project
Start date: 06/2020
End date: 11/2024

Research Areas

Research Areas

Last updated on 2023-05-09 at 06:50