Water, accumulation, and the space in-between

By Basile Boulay

Droughts, floods, shrinking water tables and growing competition to access what is becoming the new gold bring water governance at the centre of the global discourse. While evidently crucial, the governance question cannot be disentangled from the broader issue of the neoliberal agenda seeking the commodification of life, including water. Can sound resource management be achieved when states openly support private accumulation at the expense of nature and people? Madelaine Moore’s new book on Water struggles as resistance to neoliberal capitalism comes in handy to help us make sense of these questions by bringing insights from Australia and Ireland.

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Blue bonds: Shifting the responsibility innovatively

By Arınç Onat Kılıç Debt and Green Transition blog series

When we think of debt, we cannot overlook the role it plays in the blue economy. There is an increasing emphasis on the importance of making financial flows consistent with improving ocean ecosystems, along with the recognition of the role oceans and seas play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Through the efforts of financing climate action and developing blue economies, blue finance has created a legitimate space for financial actors to intervene in funding projects, standard-setting and combining debt, equity and the protection of the marine environment. What’s missing in the mainstream discussions over the blue bond sector is the way in which debt dynamics transform states’ commitments and differentiated responsibilities under the international environmental law – as introduced by Principle 7 of the Rio Declaration – by promoting and legitimizing certain forms of sovereign climate finance.

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Water Operator Partnerships after 15 years: Re-politicising the debate

By Andrea Beck

Just over 15 years have passed since the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) published a plan that proposed, inter alia, the concept of Water Operator Partnerships (WOPs). In this plan, which was released in March 2006, WOPs were envisioned as “a structured programme of cooperation among water operators, based on mutual support and on a not-for-profit basis.” The idea was to use peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange to develop the capacities of water operators, so that they could deliver reliable, good-quality services on the way to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Continue reading “Water Operator Partnerships after 15 years: Re-politicising the debate”

For the redistribution of water, framing matters!

By Lize Swartz | EADI/ISS Blog Series

In the face of increasing pressure on global water availability, a degree of inventiveness in finding just and sustainable ways to ensure access to water is required. The redistribution of water is one possible way in which this could be done. But ongoing research on elite responses to a recent water scarcity crisis in South Africa shows that the redistribution of water resources will not go uncontested by water elites and that existing narratives on the sharing of water are not creating the extent of solidarity needed. Continue reading “For the redistribution of water, framing matters!”