La Plata River Basin: The Production of Scale in South American Hydropolitics

  • Luis Paulo Batista da Silva
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Transboundary waters are a great challenge to water governance in a context framed by the sanctioned discourse (Allan 2001) of water crisis (e.g., Gleick 1993; Camdessus et al. 2005) and the predictions of increasing disputes over water resources in the future (Wolf 1998; Giordano et al. 2002). This situation is sharpened by the great importance of surface river basins shared by two or more countries, which cover almost half of earth’s land surface and provide water for around 40 per cent of the world population (Wolf 1998; UN-Water 2008; Earle et al. 2010). In South America, a continent with three of the largest transnational river basins in the world, in area, flow and stream length—the Amazon, Orinoco and La Plata (Castillo 2011)—transboundary water security issues do not seem so acute compared to other regions such as the Middle East and North Africa, where water availability is already an urgent matter (Allan 2001). Nevertheless, in South America processes such as agricultural frontier expansion, increasing urban populations and climate variability raise questions on water politics in the continent and the production of scales to address water governance (Tucci 2004).


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Paulo Batista da Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Grupo RetisFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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