WSJUST Webinar Series: Don’t blame climate change: urban droughts and the politics of water (in)security

March 20, 2024, 16.00 - 17.00

Don’t blame climate change: urban droughts and the politics of water (in)security 

Over the past two decades, more than 80 cities across the world have experienced severe drought-related water crises. These crises are often attributed to intensifying climate change. Yet, the physical dimension of climate change alone does not explain the fundamentally unjust outcomes of these crises. Through an urban political ecology lens, this talk will focus on two interrelated dimensions of urban water (in)security and justice. First, I examine how power relations, economic visions, and variability in the exercise of agency shape the production and distribution of uneven drought risk across urban spaces. Second, I discuss the unsustainable water use by urban elites and its role in exacerbating urban water crises. I conclude that water-justice focussed policies should prioritise the needs of those who most directly experience the effects of urban water crises and ongoing development struggles, whilst preventing any form of overconsumption. 

You can register for this session here.

0.5 ECTS credits after participation to more than 80% of the sessions and engagement with assigned readings

About the speaker

Dr. Maria Rusca's work focuses on political ecologies of water and hydroclimatic extremes, critical disaster studies, climate urbanism and experimental political ecologies. Although her research is firmly rooted at the intersection of development studies and environmental geography, Dr. Rusca is committed to developing research at the nexus between social and natural sciences to further the fields of political ecology and development studies. She draw on multiple qualitative research methods and has developed novel interdisciplinary and film-based approaches to examine socionatural disasters, scenarios of societal responses to extreme events, and the urban metabolism of water quality inequalities and waterborne diseases. The work of Maria is published in high-ranking journals across geography, environmental science, geosciences and water resources.

This webinar is the opening session of the Water Security & Justice webinar series that takes place between 21 February and 1 May. Please visit this page to see more information about the series and the full program.