Reflections on the 10th Annual Hydro-Hegemony Conference

King’s Water held a strong presence at the 10th Hydro-Hegemony Conference earlier this month, highlighted by presentations and co-organizing from Professor Naho Mirumachi, a presentation on La Plata governance by Isabella Battistelo Espindola, and attendance by King’s 1st year PhD student, Veronica Horvath.

Hosted at the Humanity Hub in the Hague, Netherlands, Hydro-hegemony 10 was notably international, with many languages being spoken during coffee break debates and experts from river basins across the world.

ImageDuring the closing reflections of the conference, the words “hopeful, inspired, and grateful” were commonplace. Many emerging scholars were excited to share their work for the first time among seminal authors in the field. Many collaborators were excited to have a chance to re-connect and discuss new life events and research endeavors. Conversations over coffee breaks were held in multiple languages while scholars and practitioners debated the topics presented at the prior sessions.

Sessions provided both topical and regional coherence, namely around stakeholder representation, the power of framing and discourse in transboundary water conflicts and cooperation, and current issues in the Nile, Helmand, Lake Victoria, Lake Chad, and La Plata Basins.

In an effort to move beyond binary associations, King’s Water’s Dr. Naho Mirumachi and King’s Geography graduate and University of East Anglia Professor Mark Zeitoun discussed the many faces of conflict and cooperation. Along with HH10 co-organizer Dr. Jeroen Warner, they have a book being released early 2020 on opportunities for transformation.“Do Rivers Have Rights?” was one of the favorite sessions and the presentations on Colombia’s Atrato River made the room abuzz. In particular, hearing from judicial officer Aquiles Arrieta was quite compelling.