NEWAVE side events at the UN 2023 Water Conference

June 8, 2023

During the UN 2023 Water Conference, NEWAVE organized two virtual side-events. The two side events focused on the themes of governance in contentious socio-hydrological contexts and reflexivity in research practices in water governance. We invite you to read the recap of the two sessions below.

The first event titled “Rival waters: governance in contentious socio-hydrological contexts” took place on the second day of the Conference (22 March, 2023). The session centered around the notion of water (in)justice within different contexts, introducing diverse water specialists from academia. Dr Hernández-Mora discussed the theme of conflicts surrounding hydraulic infrastructures. Dr Puma focused on groundwater depletion in the context of domestic agricultural production and imports. Water grabbing was the topic of the presentation delivered by Prof. Rulli, while water appropriation through hydraulic infrastructures was the central theme discussed by Prof. D’Odorico. Similarly, Prof. Selby brought in specific cases of water grabbing in contentious hydro-political contexts in recent years. Lastly, Prof. Dell’Angelo brought in the contested notion of water wars, ending his presentation with the theme of water grabbing. The flash talks were followed by a dynamic panel discussion moderated by Prof. Maria Rusca.

The second virtual side-event was organized by a number of NEWAVE ESRs. Titled “Overcoming Obstacles for Reflexive Research Practice in Water Governance”, this session took place on the second day of the Conference (24 March). This ESR-led event discussed the notion of reflexivity and emphasized the need for consideration for critical perspectives. The session was borne out of the experiences of 15 NEWAVE Early-Stage Researchers, covering 15 unique research projects on water governance who experienced both opportunities and challenges for reflexivity in water governance research. The event was held in both English and Spanish and the list of panelists included: Siddharth Agarwal, Founder of Veditum India Foundation; Neil Dhot, Executive Director at AquaFed; Ricardo Camilo Niño Izquierdo, Technical Secretary at Comisión Nacional de Territorios Indígenas; Sarah Van Borek, Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Toronto.