Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Las disputas territoriales de una sociedad hídrica. Conflictos en torno al agua en Mendoza, Argentina

Elma Montaña


The purpose of this work is to analyze water conflicts by introducing symbolic dimensions not duly recognized or legitimized by the local society. To that end, water conflicts are reviewed in four production processes, meaningful to Mendoza and other drylands of central-western Argentina: viticulture, tourism, subsistence production processes and a fourth process that contains the three previously presented: the human settlements production processes, urban an rural, in the oases and in the non-irrigated lands. Analyzing these processes and conflicts for Mendoza’s case has shown not only how dependent dryland societies are on water resources, but –most significantly – the importance that the ways of controlling and manipulating water have in shaping it social tissue and in consolidating their powers. In other words, Mendoza has been understood as a modern hydraulic society. It is from this outlook that water resource management has proved to be structural not only in the modelling of this dryland society, but also in the shaping of its urban spaces, its oases, as well as in the invisibilizing of the non irrigated spaces. Moreover, water management emerged as a key link between that society and these spaces, and this is why here we read territorial struggles.

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