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Balancing urban and peri‐urban exchange: water geography of rural livelihoods in Mexico

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The peri‐urban area is the region where there is a more dynamic interaction between the urban and rural. The peri‐urban area supplies natural resources, such as land for urban expansion and agricultural products to feed the urban population. In arid and semi‐arid lands, such as northern Mexico, these areas may also be the source of water for the city's domestic demand. In addition, scholars argue that peri‐urban residents may have a more advantageous geographical position for selling their labour and agricultural products in cities and, by doing so, sustaining their livelihoods. A considerable number of studies have examined the peri‐urban to urban natural resources transfer in terms of land annexation, housing construction, and infrastructure issues; however, the study of the effects of the reallocation of peri‐urban water resources to serve urban needs is critical as well because the livelihoods of peri‐urban residents, such as those based on agriculture and livestock, depend on water availability. In the case of Hermosillo there is a tremendous pressure on the water resources of peri‐urban small farm communities or ejidos because of urban demand. Based on interviews and structured surveys with producers and water managers, this paper examines how peri‐urban livelihoods have been reshaped by the reallocation of the city's natural resources in many cases caused some ejido members or ejidatarios to lose livelihoods.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Calzada Morelos y Privada del Roble #100, C.P. 31579, Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, México.

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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