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The 'Third Bank' of the Lower Sso Francisco River: Culture, Nature and Power in the Northeast Brazil 1853-2003

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Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Author: Andrade, Renata Marson Teixeira de
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3572
Sector: Fisheries
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: South America
Subject(s): environmental policy--history
resource management--history
river basins--history
property rights--history
Abstract: "My dissertation examines how Brazilian modern water resources management in the Sao Francisco River has obtained its authority through a set of discursive displacements rooted in late 19th century imperial and early 20th century republican visions of nature and race. I argue that those discursive displacements, especially along the Sao Francisco River banks and islands, construct and give meaning to one entity 'the river of national unity' - within a historically and geographically specific system of signification (transportation, electric energy, irrigation, crops, and productivity) that is genealogically related to geopolitical aspirations supported by 19th century scientific and engineering river expeditions. The Sao Francisco River extends through six Brazilian states, crossing semi-humid and semi-arid terrains as it moves from the central-south highlands of Brazil to the dry northeast plateaus and mesas. The river drains water from an area of 644,000 km2, 8% of the Brazilian territory, with a current approximate population of 18 million people, living in 503 municipalities, including the capital city of Brazil, Brasilia DF."

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