Uses and Customs in Bolivia: Impacts of the Irrigation Law on Access to Water in the Cochabamba Valley

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Title: Uses and Customs in Bolivia: Impacts of the Irrigation Law on Access to Water in the Cochabamba Valley
Authors: Razavi, Nasya S.
Date: 2012
Abstract: Networks of indigenous irrigating farmers played an influential role in the Cochabamba Water War of 2000 that succeeded in ousting the major water company Bechtel from Bolivia and securing changes to the national legislation to recognize indigenous water rights. In their mobilization against privatization, the irrigators used a narrative grounded in the defense of their water rights and traditional uses and customs or usos y costumbres. Following the Water War, the irrigators effectively organized to have their traditional water rights recognized in the new Irrigation Law no. 2878, which was signed into law in 2004, and the Regulations, which came into effect in 2006. This paper critically examines the impacts of the Irrigation Law on access to water in the heavily farmed region of the Cochabamba Valley. It asks whether the social inequalities amongst farming communities, often exacerbated by usos y costumbres, are being reinforced through the law’s implementation. An analysis of the political processes of institutional change and the power dynamics in the rural water sector reveals that the configuration of power asymmetries formalized in the Irrigation Law maintains unequal access to water resources.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/22890
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5814
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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