Negotiating Network-Narratives for Political Comparatives: The Case of Brazilian Hydro-Imaginaries


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IPC-IG's contributor Lauren Nicole Core, presented her research about different narratives pertaining to water perceptions in Brazil.

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  • Three Statistics about water
  • Explain Nexus: Water and energy are inextricably linked, but there awareness and acknowledgement of this remains lowGlobal energy and water demand are increasing, with existing and projected supply issues (quantity and quality)Climate change will affect availability and use of both water and energySolutions in one area often negatively impact other areas: nexus connections, interdependencies and trade-offs need to be consideredBart Schoonbaert of King’s College London
  • Aptly   labelled   the   “water   tower   beyond   our   imagination”,  vast   quantities   of   literature   in both Brazil and abroad have   established   the   strategic   global   importance  of  Brazilian  water resources  (Allan,  2011:  204;  Gama,  2011;  Hoekstra,  2005;   Rebouças,   2003).   Brazil   is   subdivided   into   twelve   separate   hydrological   areas,   featured   in   Map   One   (ANA,   2012a).   The   charismatic   Amazon   River   alone   showcases   the   world’s   largest   flow   of   freshwater   by   volume,   with   three   million   cubic   meters   surging   through   per   second   (Allan,   2011).   The   ‘rainfall   regime’   greatly   varies   across   the   country,   from   500   mm   in   the   semiarid   regions   to   more   than   3000   in   the   Amazônia   regions   (ANA,   2012b).   Thus   water   is   dispersed   asymmetrically   on   a   national   scale   and   an   uncomfortable   hydrological   balance  persists  in  many  regions.
  • Fifteen   years   ago   a   highly decentralised   model   of   water   governance   set   sail   in   Brazil   through   the   National   Water   Act   that   abides   by   the   utilitarian   principle   of   multiple   use,  demonstrated   in   Figure   one  (Government  of  Brazil,  1988;  1997;  Van  Koppen,   Moriarty,   and   Boelee,   2006;   Porto   and   Kelman, Consumptive  uses  of  water  such  as   irrigated   food   production   and   non-­‐consumptive   uses   such   as   hydropower   generation   are   taken   into   account   (Abers,   2005;   ANA,   2012a).     Environmental   and   local   needs   are   also   factored   into   water   allocation   decisions   (Syme,   1999).  
  • The  semantic  meaning  of   ‘water  networks’  proposed  by   Islam  and  Susskind  (2013)  will be  adopted,  characterised  by   groups  amalgamated   according  to  “...complex  interdependencies  and   feedback  among  social  values   and   cultural  norms,  assets   including  economic  and   human  resources,  and   governance  institutions...”    
  • There   are   existing   notions   of   ‘good’   narrative   renditions,   as   well   as   simplified   ideas   such   as   Aristotle’s   claim   to   a   beginning,   middle   and   an   end.Deleuze was a French philosopher whofrom the early 1960s until his death, wrote influentially on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art.
  • The   NGO   network-­‐narratives   displayed   an   integration   of   pluralistic   knowledges   when   discussing   the   impact   of   the   agricultural   expansion   on water resources.
  • narratives   perceived   acute   risks   related   to   their  water   security   due   to   economic   growth.   However,   the   reasoning   differed   amongst   respondents,  ranging  from  agricultural  irrigation  to  the  negative  impacts  of  technology.   Although   the   farmers   narrated   stories   with   high   concern   of   agrotoxins,   there   was   an   evenly   distributed   response   to   the   impact   of   economic   growth   on   water   resources.  Perhaps   compellingly,   water   as   a   means   of   income   is   not   referenced   in   any   of   the   narratives.   Compelling   as   many   of   the   farmers   are   directly   dependent   upon   water   resources   for   livelihood.  
  • Many  people  are  working  in  the  same  direction  and  many  others  are  working  in   another  direction.  In  my  opinion,  it  is  not  working  well.  (Int.  01)Overall,   the   seven   networks   demonstrated   a   commonality   in   terms   of   cooperation,   forward-­‐thinking,   and   historical   reflexivity,   despite   other   narrative   divergences.   In   terms   of   character,   government   is   mentioned   most   frequently   followed   by   the   Amazon   River.   Plot   elements   most   often   touched   upon   issues   such   as   sanitation   and   homecoming. A   dichotomous   attitude   toward   water   emerges,   swirling   in   the   confluence   of   economic  growth  and  water  resources  (Kellert,  1980;  1996).  
  • In  this  same  optimism,  the  research  looks  forward  to   enhancing   diplomatic   water-­‐network   dialogues   by   bridging   more   interdisciplinary   and   interest  divides  in  the  future
  • Negotiating Network-Narratives for Political Comparatives: The Case of Brazilian Hydro-Imaginaries

    1. 1. Negotiating Network-Narratives for Political Comparatives The Case of Brazilian Hydro-Imaginaries Lauren Nicole Core IPC-IG/UNDP Submitted as part of a MA Dissertation in Environment and Development King‟s College London Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Lorimer, Oxford University Dr. Tony Allan, King‟s College London
    2. 2. Special Thanks to: Professor Tony Allan, King‟s College London, University of London Ana Carolina Coelho, The National Water Agency of Brazil Ana Cristina, The Secretariat of Water Resources of the GoB Luiz Zalaf, Ministry of Education of the Government of Brazil Ana Paula Daltoe Inglez, IBAMA Museum of Modern Art, the City of Rio de Janeiro The Water Mark Project (Marca de Água) Professor Rebecca Abers of the University of Brasilia Professor Pedro Jacobi of the University of Sao Paulo International Policy Center for Inclusive Growth, UNDP My family (happy birthday mom!)
    3. 3. Why is water so important? What does it mean to you?
    4. 4. Water Food Land Energy Climate Change Trade Finance Energy Water Food Land Energy Climate Change Trade Food Water Food LandEnergy Climate Change Water Energy Climate Change
    5. 5. • Encapsulating twelve percent of the planet‟s water supply, Brazil is the world‟s greatest repository of accessible „blue‟ and „green‟1 water (ANA, 201 2b; Allan, 2011: 212). • The United Nations sanctioned a „Brazilian Decade for Wate r‟ (Década Brasileira da Águ a) by presidential decree in 2005 that promotes the susta inable management of water (de Silva, 2005; ANA, 2006). The „Water Tower Beyond Our Imagination‟ Brazil:
    6. 6. In a “continent- -‐sized country” such as Brazil, the task of orchestrating the water wealth among a diverse range of „water- -‐networks‟ may present a formidable governance challenge (Harvard Water Security Init iative, 2012; Islam and Susskind, 2013; Garjulli, 2007; Luijendijk and Arriens, 2007) . The Case of Brazil The water sector in Brazil is highly decentralized and relatively recent ly reformed (fifteen years old), leading to a lucrative case for a conte mporary network--‐narrative analysis (Campos and Studart, 2000). The physical geography of the country is highly diverse, with key water wealth tensions through uneven distribution and therefore complicated political deliberations (Abers, 2008). Water Resources and the Problem of Incoherence 1 2 3
    7. 7. The Principle of Multiple-Use
    8. 8. Enter you title What are Water Networks?
    9. 9. Ingram, Ingram, and Lejano (2012) describe „ network- narratives‟ as the way networks craft a colle ctive identity and negotiate multiple knowle dges through “collective sense- making” (Boyce, 2005). What are Network-Narratives?
    10. 10. It has been found that.. However… • Narrations about water resou rces are often inclusive of “, tradition, and other im pulses beyond intellectual rat ionality...that do not easily fi t into transaction- -‐based models...” (Ingram, Ingram and Lejano, 2011). • Water resource management is largely compelled by a “rational- -‐purposive” knowledge syste m, where water management paradigms such as the IWR M (Integrated Water Resourc e Management) take preceden ce (Jeffrey, 2006; Saravannan and McDonald, 2009; GWP, 2000). On Narratives
    11. 11. Bruner (1990) o utlines how hum ans tend to craf t stories to expr ess their identiti es, rather than explain themselve s through logical listing or fact- -‐sharing. Networks are perp etually faced with pluralistic knowled ges, such as norm ative, technical, an d cultural (Ingram, Ingram and Lejano, 2012; Boyce, 1995; Brown, 2006; Fisher, 1987; 1994). Narratives are consi dered increasingly i mportant to contem porary scientific disc ussions as Sethi an d Briggle (2011) clai m that “...the public uses stories to unde rstand science, and so do scientists, wh ether they‟re doing it on purpose or n ot...” Applying a Narrative Analysis Why? In line with this In sum
    12. 12. Aristotle: Ingram, Ingram, and Lejano (201 2) liken a „good‟ and „deeply rendered‟ narrative to Deleuze‟ portrayal of a rhizome as “ and connectable in all o f its dimensions...” and “ [ing] heterogeneous elements i nto one assemblage...” (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987; cite d in Ingram, Ingram and Lej ano, 2012). *Side Note: Aristotle was defeated by the problem of why hot water sometimes freezes faster than cold, known as the Mpemba effect. Not all narratives are Made Alike… Deleuze: Aristotle:
    13. 13. This research builds upon recent work in the field of public policy that appreciates the role of narratives i n organizational processes (Roe, 1994; Currie and Br own, 2003; Hajer and Wagenaar, 2003). Similarly, an emerging interest in applying narrative an alysis to water resources has been demonstrated thro ugh recent works such as the Hermeneutics of Wate r by Lejano and Leong (2012). What are Water Networks?
    14. 14. • Pre-embarking collection and Oxbridge Seminar on Brazilian studies to identify literature gap • Fieldwork: 2 months in Brazil/ Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro • Rio + 20 and the Museum of Modern Art • Post fieldwork secondary data analysis – A lucid research experience occurred, shaped through reflection and re ceptiveness to new insights. • Semi-structured Interviews (58) • Multi-sectoral Focus Groups (5 • Questionnaires (200) • Secondary Qualitative and Quantitative Data • Background Activities/Emotional • Language • Conference Attendance (3: Rio + 20, CNRH Plenary Meetings) • The Water Mark Project Marca de Água: 626 respondents, derived from 14 RBCs and 4 intermunicipal consortia Methodology Methodology Multi-Method Approach
    15. 15. Divergent narratives ab out the same issues relate d to water r esource gover nance were f requently obs erved. Environmental NGOs, inter national, and academia ne tworks largel y coalesced a round cohere nt narrations. The state network - narrative is frau ght with tensions between the agric ultural developmen t of Brazil and t he demands of th e environment. Th e internal politics of water resource governance seem t o be fluctuating/ conveyed in a h ybridized utilitaria n--‐ecologistic Findings 1. 2. 3. Findings
    16. 16. Interview 03 Interview 01 Interview 03 Interview 01 I think that econom ic growth is dange rous in cities. The sources of water ar ea affected, but in agriculture, I think, I am not so worr ied about the use of water in agricult ure. (Int. 03) The greatest impact [on water resources] is agribusiness. It is difficult to control the i mpacts because they are dif fuse. Additional impacts fr om agriculture include the impoverishment of soil and the carrying of organic ma terial into the rivers, causi ng not only the impact on t he quality and quantity of waters but also siltation of the soil... (Int. 01)
    17. 17. They [agriculture] have built an elect oral system so that they continue to have disproportionate power .. . Even if the government is from a different party, a left party, th ey can rule the government. (Int. 01 ) In Brazil we say something like: „each administration lacks thought of the other‟ ... It is not rational. But it h appens like that. (Int. 16) As a federal government economist, I think that the most important pro blem of the water system and env ironmental system is that they ar e not integrated ... And in the la st decade, we are trying to integ rate more, but it is very difficult because people have been educated to think about just one of them.... (I nt. 14) The network- -‐narratives of government officials frequently cited ‘a gribusiness’ as a strong cha racter and referred to the e nvironmental networks as ‘s hy.’ Government
    18. 18. eNGOeNGO Water is the basis of life and you cannot buy life (Int. 53) In a more symbolic aspect, what happens is t hat when people have more money, people want to grow more and consume more, an d people usually are less connected to cultu ral perspective, symbolic perspectives, it is more automatised, this is something that is not talked about that should be. (Int. 52)
    19. 19. When most people think of Brazili an water, they think of a beautifu l view of the Amazon River, some thing beautiful. Because I am an engineer, I work by fixing things that don’t work. I think of childre n walking with a basin on their h eads fetching for water. Children living next to rivers that are imm ensely polluted, barefoot. I see ba d things, because I feel compelled to solve these problems. (Int. 49) Industry
    20. 20. We need a big campaign to help improve the correct use of water ... to avoid res idual toxic waste, industrial effluents and a grotoxins in the rivers. (Int. 41) I believe that economic development facilita tes access to education and that there is b etter ecological awareness, on the other ha nd consumption demands more water. (Int. 33) Farming Cooperatives
    21. 21. Concluding Ideas • A hegemonic narrative thread was revealed that involves the hy bridised and tense discussion between utility and conservation. • Overall, the seven networks demonstrated a commonality in ter ms of cooperation, forward- -‐thinking, and historical reflexivity, despite other narrative diver gences. • Moreover, an information gap was illustrated, that is instead fil led by imaginative ideas of infinite water wealth and experienti al education. • Finally, affective and attitudinal dimensions were found to play a role in the way networks shape their identities and interests. Concluding Ideas
    22. 22. This research may be complemented by a more nuanced analysis of water network narratives, for example within a more localised context or a s an inter--‐network investigation. Additional points of departure include integrating a narratological analy sis with a technical- -‐positivist discussion to investigate the synergies of divergent water w ays of approaching water issues. Although the network--‐narratives were demonstrated as discordant, the overarching Brazilian narrative is dominated by an upbeat and forward--‐thinking tone. Future Directions
    23. 23. Thank you very much for your time, attention, and support!
    24. 24. questions or comments?