Over the next months, King’s Water and IWMI will team up to discuss and challenge ideas about how we value water and explore the political economy of large river basins. The webinar series ‘Changing political economies in large river basins: Environment, pressuresEnvironment, values and systemic pressures’ will be hosted by Dr Naho Mirumachi (King’s Water) and Dr Alan Nicol (IWMI).
Inaugural episode: Setting the scene – a chaotic landscape for valuing water
28 April 2021 13:00-14:00 BST (GMT+1)
The ever-present relationship between large river basins and development has been a feature of global political economy for hundreds of years. A recognisable ‘water crisis’ narrative emerged in the last few decades of the 20th Century, which shifted attention to improving water governance and considering systems interconnectedness – a concept epitomised, perhaps, in the water-energy-food nexus advocated in policy circles and key global water events. Yet these relatively technocratic narratives have sat somewhat uneasily alongside wider discourse on values, the politics of contestation, everyday struggles over water and, increasingly, the actions taken up to deal with climate change.
Embedded in these new concerns and challenges are global politics of trade, shifting geopolitics,aid siloes, climate security and post-colonial legacies. These processes of complex value(re)construction, absorption and contestation are beginning to shape river basin systems in newways.
We are excited to be launching a webinar series at this particular moment of 2021, when theWorld Water Day 2021 theme is on valuing water. In this multi-episode series, we will examine values from a political economy perspective and with respect to a selection of the world’s key river basins and regions. Extending our thinking beyond the ‘water box’, we invite a range of speakers from multiple fields to join in on the conversation.
In the first episode, we ask questions around values, discussing the drivers and demands that are shaping the political economy of river basins today. We want to explore the big picture including the underlying ideologies and systemic pressures that matter but are often left unspoken.
Who are the winners and losers in the processes of complex value construction and contestation and what, if anything, does this mean for our long-term capacity to build future-proof socio-economic systems and polities?
**This webinar series is dedicated to the late Prof Tony Allan, our friend and colleague who advanced academic and policy debate on the economic and political processes that (under)value water**