Las Vegas - a place not conducive to great thoughts, at least not the kind I consider great.
Nor is it conducive to great photography. I couldn't even take a decent picture of the Las Vegas Strip from my Southwest flight. It's more like a picture of the engine of a brightly-painted Boeing 737-700.
I'm down here for a couple of days to attend the NGWA Ground Water Expo. I am staying at the venerable Las Vegas Hilton, a place that once (c. 1976) was the second largest hotel in the world in terms of rooms. It's now nowhere near that position, even in its home city - 15th, to be exact. But it is the largest Hilton Hotel in the world, with almost 3,000 rooms. And it was just renovated in 2008. My room must have been out of town when that occurred.
So where's the water in this post?
Well, for starters, I had a delightful conversation with a new colleague about one of my favorite topics: hydrophilanthropy. And tomorrow I'll attend the annual meeting of the Developing Nations Interest Group, which I founded in 2005.
I also received an email about a new book, The Right to Water: Politics, Governance and Social Struggles. Here is the description:
The right to clean water has been adopted by the United Nations as a basic human right. Yet how such universal calls for a right to water are understood, negotiated, experienced and struggled over remain key challenges. The Right to Water elucidates how universal calls for rights articulate with local historical geographical contexts, governance, politics and social struggles, thereby highlighting the challenges and the possibilities that exist. Bringing together a unique range of academics, policy-makers and activists, the book analyzes how struggles for the right to water have attempted to translate moral arguments over access to safe water into workable claims. This book is an intervention at a crucial moment into the shape and future direction of struggles for the right to water in a range of political, geographic and socio-economics contexts, seeking to be pro-active in defining what this struggle could mean and how it might be taken forward in a far broader transformative politics.The Right to Water engages with a range of approaches that focus on philosophical, legal and governance perspectives before seeking to apply these more abstract arguments to an array of concrete struggles and case studies. In so doing, the book builds on empirical examples from Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and the European Union.
Foreword Maude Barlow
1. The Right to Water: Possibilities and Prospects Farhana Sultana and Alex Loftus
2. The ‘Commons’ Versus the ‘Commodity’: Alter -globalization, Anti-privatization and the Human Right to Water in the Global South Karen Bakker
3. The Human Right to What? Water, Rights, Humans and the Relation of Things Jamie Linton
4. A Right to Water? Geographico-legal Perspectives Chad Staddon, Tom Appleby and Evadne Grant
5. The Political Economy of the Right to Water: Reinvigorating the Question of Property Kyle Mitchell
6. Scarce or insecure? The Right to Water and the Ethics of Global Water Governance Jeremy Schmidt
7. The Right to Water as the Right to Identity: Legal Struggles of Indigenous Peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand Jacinta Ruru
8. Legal Protection of the Right to Water in the European Union Marleen van Rijswick and Andrea Keessen
9. Rights, Citizenship and Territory: Water Politics in the West Bank Iliaria Giglioli
10. Water Rights and Wrongs: Illegality and Informal Use in Mexico and the U.S. Katharine Meehan
11. The Centrality of Community Participation to the Realization of the Right to Water: The Illustrative Case of South Africa Cristy Clark
12. The Right to the City and the Eco-Social Commoning of Water: Discursive and Political Lessons from South Africa Patrick Bond
13. Anti-Privatization Struggles and the Right to Water in India: Engendering Cultures of Opposition Krista Bywater
14. Seeing through the Concept of Water as a human Right in Bolivia Rocio Bustamante, Carlos Crespo and Anna Maria Walnycki
15. From Cochabamba to Colombia: Travelling Repertoires in Latin American Water StrugglesVerónica Perera