Image Database Export Citations


Water Grabbing and the Role of Power: Shifting Water Governance in the Light of Agricultural Foreign Direct Investment

Show full item record

Type: Journal Article
Author: Bues, Andrea; Theesfeld, Insa
Journal: Water Alternatives
Volume: 5
Page(s): 266-283
Date: 2012
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7961
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Africa
Subject(s): water management
property rights
agricultural development
Abstract: "In recent years, the trend for foreign actors to secure land for agricultural production in low-income countries has increased substantially. The concurrent acquisition of water resources changes the institutional arrangement for water management in the investment areas. The consequences of 'land-grabbing' on the local water governance systems have not so far been adequately examined. This paper presents an institutional analysis of a small-scale irrigation scheme in Ethiopia, where foreign and national horticultural farms started to use water from an irrigation canal that was formerly managed as a user-group common-pool resource by local smallholders. The study follows a qualitative case-study approach with semi-structured interviews as the main source of data. For the analysis we employed the Common-pool Resource Theory and the Distributional Theory of Institutional Change. We found that the former management regime changed in that most of the farmers’ water rights shifted to the investment farms. We found three key characteristics responsible for the different bargaining power of the two actor groups: dependency on natural resources, education and knowledge, and dependency on government support. We conclude that not only the struggle for land but also the directly linked struggle for water is led by diverging interests, which are determined by diverging power resources."

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Art5-2-5.pdf 566.9Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show full item record