Seminar: Tracing and Situating Water Resilience: The case of Cape Town, South Africa
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
In the coming decades, countries throughout the world will face increasing challenges due to climate change, especially with respect to changing hydrologic conditions. These challenges will be particularly acute in the Global South as they interact with existing pressures on already stressed water resources, such as increasing demand for water due to population and economic growth, poverty and inequality, and lack of institutional capacity, among others. Lucy Rodina's doctoral study aims to investigate key themes in resilience thinking as they apply to urban water governance, with specific attention to droughts, floods and associated water-related risks, such as water pollution. One of the key objectives of this research is to investigate the uptake and use of key constituents of resilience thinking in the context of urban water broadly, both conceptually and in practice. With a specific focus on a case study from South Africa, the goal is to theorize and develop a situated understanding of water resilience - attentive to specific biophysical environments, lived experiences, socio-political and governance contexts, power and marginalization – for water experts and decision makers on one hand, and residents of impoverished, peri-uban and informal settlements on the other. Through this approach, the study will also further inform the possibilities for addressing equity and social justice concerns within a resilience framework, by investigating the discursive and practical manifestations of questions of poverty, inequality and differentiated water-related vulnerabilities in water governance. Ultimately, this project aims to engage with resilience thinking critically by investigating the different dimensions in which resilience can be evaluated.
Lucy Rodina is a PhD Candidate, supervised by Leila Harris, at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) and a Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. In her research, Lucy explores the intersection of water governance and climate change in urban contexts using a political ecology lens. Topically, she examines the nascent challenges to the governance of urban water in South Africa under changing precipitation patterns, extreme flow events, and droughts. She seeks a deeper understanding of the ways in which climate change affects both water resources and existing water governance frameworks. What is at stake? How well suited are urban water governance frameworks to deal with these challenges? Lucy is also interested in investigating recent critical approaches to resilience, and evaluating the various ways in which resilience thinking is reshaping urban water governance under climate change.
Lucy did her MA at IRES with Dr. Leila Harris, working on water governance and the human right to water in South Africa. Before starting her Master’s, Lucy was involved in a water development project in the Nepalese Himalayas, focused on building irrigation canals and shaping strategies for future community development projects. Currently, Lucy is a Steering Committee member of the International Development Research Network at UBC and a member of the EDGES research collaborative and the Program on Water Governance. She is also actively involved with the Water Ethics Network. To learn more, visit: www.lucyrodina.com