Published December 15, 2019 | Version v1
Journal article Open

"Why organizing if there is no water?" Community organization in times of socio-metabolic fractures and the emergence of alternatives (in Spanish)

  • 1. University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany
  • 2. University of Bio-Bio, Concepción, Bio-Bio, Chile


This publication belongs to Volume 6, No 2, of the WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network Working Papers Series (

Chile has experienced over four decades of neoliberalism, which was introduced by the civil-military dictatorship of 1973-90. One of the main consequences of this process has been the neoliberalization of common goods such as water and land. In some territories, the accelerated extractivism of this period has affected the reproduction of life cycles as well as the shaping of “socio-metabolic fractures”. In this article we discuss the consequences of this process on community-based organization of water control and access. We address as a case study a territorial conflict in the Province of Petorca. In this province, the privatization and commodification of water and the impact of the fruit-farming agribusiness for export have caused a dramatic lack of water for human consumption and peasant life. Based on contributions from critical institutionalism and political ecology, we seek to understand how the socio-metabolic fracture has an impact on the different forms of community water management. We also reflect on social innovations that have helped to maintain the appropriation of water by the community.



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