The commitment to infrastructure: Public investment and the reproduction of water scarcity in contexts of large mining in Peru and Colombia

Gerardo Damonte, Astrid Ulloa, Catalina Quiroga, Ana López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public and private policies typically consider the construction of infrastructure the most appropriate response to the problems of water scarcity and water disputes. However, infrastructure in itself not always is the solution. In this context we have the following questions: What are the logics behind the construction and implementation of water infrastructure? Why water infrastructures are not alone a solution to water stress and scarcity? How does infrastructure construction reduce or deepen inequalities in access to water? This article answers these questions by arguing that water infrastructures respond to technical-political projects of territorial control and mining expansion located in areas of mining influence, rather than aiming to solve water access and supply problems. In doing so, they ended up deepening inequalities in local water access. This article compares infrastructures constructed in the context of large-scale mining projects in Espinar, Peru and La Guajira, Colombia. The information presented was collected following qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews and situated ethnographies). Likewise, the article systematizes secondary quantitative and qualitative data provided by government institutions related to water and mining, and the Environmental Impact Studies and web publications regarding the Tintaya-Antapaccay and Cerrejón mining projects.

Translated title of the contributionLa apuesta por la infraestructura: Inversión pública y la reproducción de la escasez hídrica en contextos de gran minería en Perú y Colombia
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4208
JournalEstudios Atacamenos
Volume68
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Colombia
  • Infrastructure
  • Peru
  • Perú Colombia
  • escasez hídrica
  • infraestructura
  • minería
  • mining
  • poder
  • power
  • territorio
  • territory
  • water scarcity

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