Published June 30, 2022 | Version v1
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Public-private transgressions in water-related public policies and their impact on hydrosocial spaces, territories, and basins. Lessons from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico(in Spanish and Portuguese)

  • 1. Newcastle University, United Kingdom
  • 2. Centre for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS), Mexico City, Mexico
  • 3. Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico
  • 4. University of the Republic, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • 5. University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • 6. Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain


Vol 9 No2 of theWATERLAT-GOBACIT Network’s Working Papers.


This issue of the WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network’s Working Papers was organized by
members of the Network’s Thematic Area 6, TA6– Hydrosocial Basins, Territories, and
Spaces. TA6’s membership includes academics, students, practitioners, representatives
of social movements and civil society organizations, among others. This TA has a wide
remit, as it covers broad areas related to the social and environmental impacts of waterrelated
infrastructures and operations, as well as extractivist activities, including mining
and agribusinesses, among other. Given its broad focus, TA6 has important linkages
with other Thematic Areas, including TA3, Urban Water Cycle and Essential Public
Services, TA2 – Water and Megaprojects and TA9–Water and Production.
This particular issue offers a joint coverage of topics addressed by TA6 and TA9.
The issue focuses on the interrelations between private businesses and public
authorities in processes that disregard the rule of law, violate human rights, and favour
the development and consolidation of monopolistic forms of control over water sources
by private bussinesses, processes that have negative impacts on the living conditions
of large populations in rural and urban areas and cause environmental unsustainability.
It features four articles presenting experiences from Argentina, Brasil, and Mexico.
Article 1, by Lourdes Romero Navarrete, presents a critical analysis of government
policies that, over the course of several decades have allowed the extreme monopolisation
of water abstraction rights in the hands of a few bussiness families that control the diary
industry in La Laguna Region, across the States of Cohahuila and Durango in semi-arid
Northern Mexico.The author argues that this decades long-process of monopolisation
of water rights in a semi-arid region has taken place under the government of different
political parties and would have even worsened since 2018, despite the election that
year of a more progressive political party to the Federal Government.
In Article 2, Antonio Rodriguez Sanchez discusses the interrelations between
government authorities and a large multinational brewery industry that, through a
sofisticated network of public-private interactions has established a monopolistic
control of water sources in the semi-arid central region of the State of Zacatecas, Mexico.
Article 3, coautored by Natalia Dias Tadeu, Ana Claudia Sanches Baptista, Estela
Macedo Alves and Izabela Penha de Oliveira Santos, examines how government
policies led to the privatization of essential water and sanitation services in the State
of Sao Paulo, Brazil between 2013 and 2020, helping to transform power relations at
the State and municipal levels and promoting private control over the provision of these
essential services.
In Article 4, Robin Larsimont addresses the public-private interactions and coresponsibilities
underlying the development of highly sophisticated wine production in
the Andean piedmonts of the Province of Mendoza, Argentina



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