Making a Splash in the New “Water Security” Journal

Making a Splash in the New “Water Security” Journal

This week, our paper came out in the newish journal “Water Security”. In it, we argue that water security shouldn’t be seen as merely the sufficiency of water as an object (“H2O”), but should be reconceptualized and explicitly linked to broader social and political relations that enable benefits to water related services (e.g., drinking, recreation, productive uses, cultural practices). To do this, we draw on Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach, a moral and political philosophical framework that centers on well-being, human development, and justice. We believe that a relational water security framework informed by the capabilities approach offers new ways to consider the politics, sociology, and cultures of water security. The relational perspective demands a fuller consideration of the political structures and processes through which water is secured, with emphasis on the social relations of access, as opposed to simply the politics around water supply.

The ideas outlined in this paper were generated at a highly productive meeting hosted at Texas A&M in October 2016. Since publication, a Canadian magazine has reported on the paper, in which great connections to current world water issues are made that help to contextualize the significance of our proposed reconceptualization of water security. A special thank you to Wendy Jepson for her leadership at the conference at TAMU and on this paper– the capacities brilliance was all her!