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Canals Spawn Dams? Exploring the Filiation of Hydraulic Infrastructure

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This article studies the aetiology underlying water management by exploring the social hermeneutics that determined its construction. It details how science, technology and political relations construct each other mutually, both producing and harnessing the scientific discourse on the environment. Supply management continues to prevail, in spite of contradictory claims, through the filiation process linking successive generations of water infrastructure. The case study of the Neste Canal inducing the construction of the Charlas Dam, allows the identification of three types of mechanisms participating in the construction of water deficits that now lead both proponents and opponents of dam construction to harness the environmental discourse. The first lies in the social construction of water science and technology. The second lies in the evolution of power relations among the various actors. The third lies in the insertion of the 'expert' within these power relations.

Keywords: Garonne River; Neste Canal; environmental narrative; sociology of science; water politics; water scarcity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2022) of 1.1. 5 Year Impact Factor: 1.1.
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