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25 Years

Past International WaTERS Workshops






The International WaTERS Network is proud to host and support a number of workshops and conferences each year. Our events draw together leading academics, graduate students, and practitioners to share our findings and experiences. If you are interested in future events and updates, please email internationalwatersubc@gmail.com and watch our periodic newsletter. A summary of our past events follows. 


Periurban Water Conflicts: Perspectives & Issues of Water Justice in South Asia

Hyderabad, India
May 24-25, 2016

This meeting organized by the South Asian Consortium for Inter-disciplinary Water Resources Studies (SaciWATERs), the Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India (Forum) and Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM) focused on "Periurban Water Conflicts: Perspectives & Issues of Water Justice in South Asia.” The workshop discussed water justice perspectives including equity and the right to water. The workshop program can be found here. 

Pictured: Organizers and participants of the workshop in Hyderabad, May 2016

Joint Justicia Hídrica / International Waters Network workshop at PE-3C

Wageningen, the Netherlands
July 10, 2016

Over 40 participants from both networks and beyond shared in-depth updates from each of our pilot case study sites (Bangalore, Cape Town, and Lima).  Additional presentations covered Network themes such as urban-rural linkages and water equity in the global South, including work from Peru and Brazil. The workshop finished with a discussion of future directions for the network’s organization and outputs with a stress on the need for additional funding opportunities. Minutes are available here.

This workshop resulted in a 2019 special issue of the journal Water International titled “Rural-urban water struggles: urbanizing hydrosocial territories and evolving connections, discourses, and identities”, guest edited by Lena Hommes, Rutgerd Boelens, Leila Harris, and Gert Jan Veldwisch. (Link to journal issue here. This is now available as an ebook (see table of contents here).

Pictured: International Waters and Justicia Hidrica workshop participants enjoy a meal and relaxation at the end of a long day of talks and discussion.  July 2016.

Water Resilience and Justice Workshop

Stellenbosch, South Africa
August 24-26, 2016

This international workshop on equity and water-related resilience in southern Africa included over 35 participants, mostly from Southern Africa. This workshop focused on goal setting, research dissemination and grant writing for the future of the International WaTERS Network research program. Thematically, the workshop critically interrogated notions of resilience, highlighted definitions and framings from different disciplinary traditions, and integrated insights from scholars and practitioners with focus on southern Africa. Considerable attention during the first two days was given to case study work in the region. The third day was made up of small group and plenary discussions of collaborative publications and grant applications to extend this work, looking ahead to future needs and collaborative possibilities.  This workshop was made possible with support of the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies, the NEPAD Centers for Excellence, the Water Resources Commission of South Africa, the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) and other partners.  The workshop resulted in the development of a special journal issue (in process) focused on the themes of water related equity and resilience in southern Africa. A conceptual paper on the themes of the workshop is also under review. Download a summary of the workshop

A special issue of Human Geography, edited by Jacqueline Goldin, resulted from this workshop. The table of contents can be found here and the introduction by Jacqueline can be found here.


A further article was published as a result of this workshop: Rodina, L., Baker, L.A., Galvin, M., Golden, J., Harris, L.M., Manungfala, T., Musemwa, M., Sutherland, C., & G. Ziervogel (2017). Water, equity and resilience in Southern Africa: future directions for research and practice. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 26-27: 143-151. Preprint PDF of the article here.

Pictured: Professor Leila Harris leads brainstorming on themes of equity and resilience during a plenary session. Stellenbosch, South Africa, August 2016. 

VIII International Water Justice Course

Cusco, Peru
August 29-September 7, 2016

This course was organized by the Centre for Regional Andean Studies, Bartolomé de las Casas, the School for Social Science at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, the University of Bolivia in Medellin, Colombia, and members of the International Water Justice Alliance. 25 young professionals and trainers attended representing Chile, Panama, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia. Presentations analyzed processes of accumulation by dispossession and conflict. The event also included group exercises, case study presentations, participatory action research situated in the Hatunmayo River near Cusco.  The course develops skills such as critical thinking about land use and water extraction, how to conduct a stakeholder and power relations analysis, water rights and legal pluralism, intercultural communication and dialogue in integrated social water management and water governance. The course produced photography and video presentations for local social justice. For more information, see www.justiciahidrica.org.



South African Water Caucus and Water Governance Meetings

Western Cape, South Africa
October 18-19, 2016

This civil society network meeting strengthened its core mission of improving civil society capacity to monitor water governance. The participants conducted a fruitful reflection on gender dynamics in water governance, feminist and decolonial approaches to research, and discussed how this might be important for the outreach, research and ongoing work of the caucus. The different members of the water caucus reviewed elements of an ongoing community based research project (funded by the Water Research Commission), and several of the researchers graduated from a training program designed to help them learn techniques to develop case studies that strengthen civil society's role in water governance. The proceedings are available here.


Water Justice Alliance Researchers Meeting (Justicia Hídrica)

Cali, Colombia
November 16–20, 2016

Forty researchers and civil society actors from Latin America, Europe, and the USA came together to discuss water justice, hydropower development, extractive industries, agro-export and the cultural politics of water. Several  of the presentations focused on the International WaTERS case study in Lima.  The event also featured the launch of New Justicia Hídrica / Water Justice books, the opening of the Water Justice library, and the launching of the (In)Justicia Hídrica magazine. The event included the 7th International Water Justice Course with 20 young researchers and water professionals from Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Peru. They worked on a case study in urban Cali which helped them engage water governance, socio-ecological conflicts and social movements and to practice participatory action research.  For more information, see www.justiciahidrica.org.


First International WaTERS Network meeting

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, April 1-3, 2015

The first Network meeting brought together more than 25 researchers from the network's key institutional partners. The event included workshops, breakout sessions, public forums, and brainstorming events covering topics such as online pedagogical tools to improve student success, guidance to inform the development of our online training modules, an overview of resilience theory and practice, summaries and the key linkages between our case study sites (Lima, Cape Town, and Bangalore), and future Network directions and planning. Importantly, the event served as a networking tool to bring together researchers from around the world to meet each other (many for the first time) and discuss areas of common interest and future collaboration. Minutes are available here. 

Pictured: IW workshop participants enjoy post-conference meal and relaxation during our several day meeting to discuss the Network, including future plans and priorities. 

International WaTERS Participatory Training Workshop

Cape Town, South Africa
November 2-6, 2015

International WaTERS Network members Professors Goldin (University of the Western Cape) and Kooy (UNESCO-IHE) presented an advanced level workshop on participatory research in the water sector.  The event focused on teaching interdisciplinary skills needed to address water governance from a bottom up community based approach. The sessions offered participants a range of innovative and appropriate methodology, including digital storytelling, mood lines, participatory mapping, puppetry and a knowledge cafe.The course wanted to challenge participants to expand the breadth and depth of their knowledge beyond their specialization to consider social and political dimensions of today's water sector challenges. A short summary is available here.

This workshop resulted in a number of publications:

- Rodina, L., Baker, L.A., Galvin, M., Golden, J., Harris, L.M., Manungfala, T., Musemwa, M., Sutherland, C., & G. Ziervogel (2017). Water, equity and resilience in Southern Africa: future directions for research and practice. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 26-27: 143-151.

- A 2019 special issue of Human Geography titled “Reflections on Resilience and Vulnerability: Hydro-social Intersections with Equity and Social Justice” guest edited by Jacqueline Goldin. (Link to journal issue here).

Pictured: Participatory workshop participants gathered before the workshop to network and discuss important issues of their work and research.