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No longer strong social cohesion

Lessons from two transboundary water conflicts in the Mexicali Valley, México

Alfonso Andrés Cortez-Lara

English abstract: This work examines the role of local stakeholders in managing transboundary and irrigation water in the Mexicali Valley. The analysis focuses on the impacts of institutions as they relate to two transboundary water conflicts, the salinity problem, and the All-American Canal lining divergence. The views of farmers and water managers show that farmers have lost social cohesion and economic and political power during the period in between these two episodes, which in turn reduced their role and influence in water management issues. During the salinity problem, unified and strong leadership and widespread participation were credited with influencing beneficial outcomes. On the other hand, the existence of opposing views regarding the All-American Canal lining conflict and weak leadership seem responsible for ineffective participation in solutions. The research illuminates the complexities of water management in transboundary settings and the role that local actors may play in increasing cooperation and regional integration.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo revisa el papel de los actores locales en la gestión y manejo de recursos hídricos transfronterizos y el riego en el Valle de Mexicali. El análisis enfatiza los impactos de los arreglos institucionales relacionados con dos conflictos por aguas transfronterizas, el problema de la salinidad del río Colorado y el revestimiento del Canal Todo Americano. Las percepciones de los agricultores y los gestores del agua indican que los agricultores han ido perdiendo cohesión social y poder económico y político lo cual ha reducido su papel e influencia en aspectos relacionados a la gestión de aguas transfronterizas. Durante el episodio de la salinidad, fue notoria la unificación y fortaleza de liderazgos que indujeron una significativa participación social. En contraste, la prevalencia de opiniones diversas respecto al conflicto del revestimiento conjugado con el frágil liderazgo redundó en una inefectividad de los usuarios para lograr impactos positivos. El artículo muestra la complejidad de la gestión transfronteriza del agua así como el papel clave que los actores locales pudieran tener para alcanzar la cooperación e integración regional.

French abstract: Ce travail examine le rôle des acteurs locaux dans la gestion des eaux transfrontalières et d'irrigation dans la Vallée de Mexicali. Ce e analyse se concentre sur l'impact des institutions dans la mesure où elles ont pris part à deux conflits sur l'eau, et traitent du problème de la salinité et des divergences sur le tracé du canal All-American. Les opinions des fermiers et des gestionnaires de l'eau révèlent que les fermiers ont perdu toute cohésion sociale ainsi que tout pouvoir politique et économique durant la période entre ces deux épisodes. Il en a résulté qu'ils ont de fait perdu leur rôle et leur influence dans les domaines de la gestion de l'eau. Au cours du problème de salinité, un leadership unifié et fort et une vaste participation ont été récompensés par d'excellents résultats. Mais de l'autre côté, l'existence de vues opposées dans le cadre du conflit sur le tracé du Canal All-American ainsi qu'un pauvre leadership ont vraisemblablement entraîné une participation inefficace lors de la recherche de solutions. Ce e étude met en lumière les complexités de la gestion de l'eau dans des cadres transnationaux, et le rôle que peuvent jouer les acteurs locaux dans l'augmentation de la coopération et de l'intégration régionale.

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Safe milk and risky quinoa

The lottery and precarity of farming in Peru

Astrid B. Stensrud

When various Peruvian governments were planning the Majes Irrigation Project (MIP) in the 1960s and 1970s, the long-term vision was to develop an industrial, export-oriented agriculture and bring economic development to southern Peru. Today, most

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Jeroen Warner

The article sketches the history of the Flood Action Plan 20 (FAP-20), an experiment with polder compartmentalization, seeking to integrate flood management, drainage, and irrigation, and make it more democratic in response to the destructive 1987 and 1988 floods in Bangladesh. As a transferred technology the project took too little cognizance of local physical, social, institutional, and economic context and practices to be able to work successfully. The project did bring previously unavailable amenities to the region that served as a shelter area in the floods of 1998.

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Reinhold Loeffler

The case of a remote tribal village in southwest Iran demonstrates the circumstances conducive to positive rural development. My research suggests that since the founding of this village around 1880, its people - led by a progressive, literate young chief - successfully defended their realm against incorporation into the neighbouring chiefs' reigns of lawlessness and warfare; introduced and modernised irrigation agriculture and fruit cultivation then unique in the whole region; and embraced formal education. Discussing such adaptive strategies, I argue that a strong ethos of progress and achievement, including civic awareness, motivated local people from the beginning to pursue new ways to improve their livelihood.

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Riziki S. Shemdoe, Idris S. Kikula, and Patrick Van Damme

This article presents local knowledge on ecosystem management by analyzing and discussing traditional tillage practices applied by smallholder farmers as a response to drought risks in dryland areas of Mpwapwa District, central Tanzania. Farming activities in the area wholly depend on rain-fed systems. Information from key informants and in-depth household interviews indicate that farmers in this area use three different traditional tillage practices—no-till (sesa), shallow tillage (kutifua), and ridges (matuta). Available information suggests that selection of a particular practice depends on affordability (in terms of costs and labor requirements), perceived ability to retain nutrient and soil-water, and improvement of control of erosion and crop yield. In this area, smallholder farmers perceive no-till practice to contribute to more weed species, hence more weeding time and labor are needed than in the other two practices. The no-till practice also contributes to low soil fertility, low soil moisture retention, and poor crop yield. No plans have been made to introduce irrigation farming in these marginal areas of central Tanzania. Thus, improving the ability of the tillage practices to conserve soil moisture and maintain soil fertility nutrients using locally available materials are important tasks to be carried out. This will ensure the selection of practices that will have positive influence on improved crop yields in the area.

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Infrastructures of progress and dispossession

Collective responses to shrinking water access among farmers in Arequipa, Peru

Astrid Oberborbeck Andersen

pigs, cattle, and other domesticated Figure 1 Spatial distribution of irrigated areas (grey) and urbanized areas (black) in the city of Arequipa. Map produced by author, in collaboration with SEDAPAR S.A., and printed with permission. animals that

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Delta Ontologies

Infrastructural Transformations in the Chao Phraya Delta, Thailand

Atsuro Morita and Casper Bruun Jensen

adaptability of cities to floods. Yet it is not only the built environments that have changed. The ‘natural’ delta environments have also been transformed due to the extensive construction of water management facilities, such as irrigation dams and canals. In

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Hydrologic Habitus

Wells, Watering Practices, and Water Supply Infrastructure

Brock Ternes and Brian Donovan

of the United States, especially the state of Kansas, where the High Plains aquifer has been overpumped for its valuable irrigation water. Extractions from tens of thousands of wells have mined groundwater supplies in Kansas for 70 years, and the

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Ståle Knudsen, Ingrid Birce Müftüoğlu, and Isabelle Hugøy

irrigated banks along the river Kızılırmak. The Kargı hydropower project includes a relatively small reservoir in the district of Osmancık, from where a tunnel, short-cutting Kargı, transfers water from an outlet near the dam to a point further downstream

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Water scarcity and sustainability in the arid area of North America

Insights gained from a cross-border perspective

Alejandro Yáñez-Arancibia and John W. Day

States overall ( Parry et al., 2004 ), or perhaps for crops in the coast of México ( Azuz-Adeath, 2015 ). However, this is not the case for more arid regions of the US agricultural system where irrigation, fertilization, and high technology support large