Ecosystems, watersheds and water rights in Cajamarca, Peru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In contested environments, the importance of water transcends its status as a mere resource to comprise the ecosystem and the watershed. Farmers and ronderos in Santa Cruz, Cajamarca, who face the brunt of deleterious environmental impacts from mining in their territories emphasize the relevance of ecosystems and watersheds for water provision. The interdependency of water and ecosystems is demonstrated through their local water rights. As water sources are threatened, the scope of local water rights is reconceptualized to guarantee water as both resource and nature. In analysing the transformation of water rights in the midst of socioenvironmental conflicts, the article shows how the residents of Santa Cruz take an unconventional approach assembling local understandings of water and global environmental discourses to protect the entirety of the environment where water flows.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLegal Pluralism and Critical Social Analysis
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Andes
  • ecosystems
  • mining
  • water rights
  • watersheds


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