Journal article Open Access

The significance of shared history and sense of ownership over their waterscapes among members of water cooperatives in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Minelli, Francesca

This article is based on a case study of the water cooperatives operating in peri-urban areas of the Cochabamba conurbation, Bolivia. Water cooperatives were created by the local population to cater for their water needs when their neighbourhoods remained unserved. I analyse how water cooperatives established and then maintained effective forms of control over their waterscapes over time by exploring the significance of the members’ shared experiences, focusing on the histories of the cooperatives and the continued active participation of their members. I argue that the cooperatives exercise both discursive and material forms of control over their territories and water systems, and that the relationship between the cooperatives and their members is fundamental to maintain control over their waterscapes in the rapidly changing conditions of the Cochabamba conurbation.

 

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