Maria Christina Fragkou

Associate Professor


Santiago, Chile

Líneas de Investigación

social metabolism; water resources management; environmental justice; environmental conflicts


  •  PhD in Environmental Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. España, 2009
  •  Certificate of Advanced Studies in Chemical Enginnering, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Chile, 2006
  •  Masters in Environmental Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Chile, 2006
  •  MSc in Environmental Technology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. Reino Unido, 2002
  •  Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Grecia, 2001

Experiencia Académica

  •   Associate Professor Full Time


    Arquitecture and Urbanism

    Santiago, Chile

    2010 - A la fecha

  •   Lecturer in the Masters Programmes JEMES (Joint European Master Programme in Environmental Studies) and MSc in Environmental Sciences Other

    Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

    Faculty of Sciences

    Bellaterra, Barcelona, España

    2006 - 2009

Experiencia Profesional

  •   Independent consultant - coauthor of the “Guide for integrated water management”, treating the technical, legal and institutional aspects related to water management, with the aim to be used as a reference manual by Greek NGO’s focused on environmental is Other

    WWF Greece


    2009 - 2010

  •   Expert evaluator of proposals in the “Water” Panel in the context of the CIP Eco-Innovation Other

    Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), Comisión Europea

    Brussels, Bélgica

    2011 - 2011

  •   Research associate on air pollution modelling and assessment Full Time

    Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

    Thessaoloniki, Grecia

    2003 - 2005

Formación de Capital Humano

PhD Courses
2023. Thesis II (Research Design course); PhD in Territory, Space and Society, University of Chile
2019-2021 Thesis I & II (Research Design courses); PhD in Territory, Space and Society, University of Chile
2013 Territory, Environment, and Socio-spatial Segregation in cities; PhD in Social Sciences, University of Chile

MSc Courses
2019-2022 Environmental Geography; MSc in Geography, University of Chile
2018-2019 Thesis Workshop I; MSc in Geography, University of Chile
2017-2019 Water Governance as a Social and Political Product; Module 3 in the Governance of Resources course, Master of Science in Governance of Risk and Resources, Heidelberg
Center para América Latina
2019-2022 Urban metabolism; Masters in Geography, University of Chile
2015-2017 Water access, management, and conflicts; emerging themes in water studies; Masters in Geography, University of Chile
2016 Hydrosocial cycle in the Atacama Desert; Masters in Geography, University of Chile
2013 Urban sustainability: from the biophysical to its social dimensions; Masters in Geography, University of Chile
2011-2012 Seminar on Renewable Energy Sources: Energy Policies and Socio-Environmental Aspects; Masters in Geography, University of Chile

Undergraduate Courses
2019-2022 Environmental Geography; BSc Geography, University of Chile
2019-2022 A critical overview on water management in Chile and the world; BSc Geography, University of Chile.
2014-2017 Urban-regional relations; BSc Geography, University of Chile
2013-2015 Research methodology; BSc Geography, University of Chile
2013-2015 Natural resource management in urban ecosystems; BSc Geography, University of Chile
2011-2019 Environmental Analysis and Assessment; BSc Geography, University of Chile

For a full list of courses, please visit:

Supervision of student thesis

PhD students (in course)
Science and policy interactions under climate change - Amigo, Catalina. PhD in Territory, Space and Society, University of Chile
Local forms of community care tactics of water under water insecurity - Zambra, Antonia. PhD in Territory, Space and Society, University of Chile

MSc & BSc students
Over 20 theses in the University of Chile’s MSc in Geography, and in MSc in Governance of Risk and Resources, Heidelberg Centre for Latin America
Over 35 theses in BSc Geography and BSc Natural Resources Engineering, and over 20 professional practices. I have also been invited as a member in 14 MSc and over 25 BSc final exam committees.
More information here:

Difusión y Transferencia

Mass Media Presence (Opinion Columns)

Fragkou, M.C. (2022) Hagamos llover. The Clinic, 3 August 2022,
Fragkou, M.C., Monsalve, T., Pereira, V., Bolados, M. (2022) Ni camiones aljibe, ni plantas desalinizadoras; la urgencia de garantizar agua continental para el consumo humano por sobre las industrias. FAU Opina, 13 abril 2022.
Fragkou, M.C. (2022) El día después del agua. El Desconcierto. 22 marzo 202.
Fragkou, M.C. (2020) A pandemic of water privatization: Poverty and lack of water in Chile. Disponible en:
Fragkou, M.C. (2015) Columna FAU Opina: "La sal de la vida". Disponible en:
Fragkou, M. C. (2009) Esperar a la lluvia o aprovecharla? Buscando la solución de las sequías en el alcantarillado. Punt ambiental - Revista trimestral electrónica del Colegio de Ambientólogos de Cataluña, 2. Octubre -Enero 2009. (En catalán)

Mass Media Presence (Documentaries)
The Intercept. In Chile, even water is privatised. Ben Derico and Jocelyn Tabancay. Interviewed as an expert, 2022
Deutche Welle Español. Should water prices be raised to combat drought? Interviewed as an expert, 2021
Deutche Welle Español. To the rescue of water in Chile. Interviewed as an expert, 2019

Mass Media Presence (Podcasts)
Global Development Institute podcast. The University of Manchester. Urban metabolism, water scarcity & seawater desalination in Chile. ‘Red Talks: on the Politics of Resources, Environment and Development’. May 2022.
University of Chile Podcast; Chapter 55: The closing of Ventanas industrial zone. July 2022.
La voz de los que sobran. Expert interview, 7 December 2021.
Huilo Huilo Foundation podcast. Drought and climate change. August 2021.
University of Chile Podcast; Chapter 13: The mountain range is water. June 2021.
Txs Rockstar programme, Interviewed by Gabriel León. 23 March 2022.

Selected Panel Invitations (2019-2023)
2023 Panel on Space and gender; Seminar DOcta Spes: Women Architects have always been always here; Laboratory of Environmental Communication and Audiovisual
Documentation (LECAD), Department of Architecture of the University of Thessaly, Greece. 15 february 2023
2022 Panel on Desalination: Social And Environmental Regulatory Challenges. Centre for Environmental Law. Faculty of Law, University of Chile. 13 October 2022
2022 Commentator on the “Secas” documentary projection. Festival of Sciences. Organised by the Chilean Ministry of Science. 7 October 2022
2022 Keynote speaker on Just Water Transitions. Closing ceremony of the ENEAS Spring school - The University of Chile’s Transdisciplinary Network on Energy, Water and Sustainability. 7 October 2022
2022 Seminar on Women's role in water management. UN Water and Peace Chair, 14 September 2022.
2022 Panel on Feminism, Nature, and Territory. V Latin American Seminar on Geography, Gender and Sexualities; 8 September 2022, Santiago, Chile
2020 Urban metabolism, water scarcity & seawater desalination in Chile. ‘Red Talks: on the Politics of Resources, Environment and Development’. Resources, Environment, and Development research group. Global Development Institute. The University of Manchester. May 2022
2022 Seawater desalination for human consumption in Chile. Lessons from a multi-scale analysis of Antofagasta. Seminar “Water: Development, Sustainability and Technology”. The University of Chile’s Vice-rectory and the Advanced Centre for Water Technologies (CAPTA). May 2021
2021 Citizen monitoring of water quantity and quality. Web seminar on Citizen Control: The importance of public control and oversight. General Comptroller of the Republic of Chile. 21 October 2021
2021 Water security under climate change; a look at human water consumption. Working seminar on "Water security in the scenario of climate change". UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (CONAPHI-UNESCO-CHILE). 8 October 2021
2021 Desalination of seawater for human consumption; a hydro-social perspective on its incorporation in the Atacama Desert. Panel on Drought and new water sources. XXIII Conference on Water Law and Management. Centre for Water Law and Management, Pontifical Catholic University. August 2021
2020 Water crisis in Chile: causes, solutions, and its impact on our daily lives. Third Seminar on Poverty and the Environment. Environmental education department of the Chilean Ministry of Environment and the Solidarity and Social Investment Fund (FOSIS). 2 December 2021, online event
2019 Launch of the study "Water Scarcity in Chile: Challenges for human consumption and perspectives in comparative models", prepared by the Newenko Foundation. Heidelberg center for Latin America, 29 April.
2019 Main speaker; (Des)veladas por el agua, presenting the topic: "Desalination of water as a response to scarcity". Organised by Fundación Newenko and Colegio de Ingenieros en Recursos Naturales (CIRN). Café Palermo, Santiago, Chile. 30 January.

Premios y Distinciones

  •   Excelence in Research


    Chile, 2019

    Recognition for Research, Innovation & Artistic Creation, University of Chile Excellence in Research for obtaining a Fondecyt Regular grant (Project 1181859), which was in the top 9% of the winning projects of the Geography & Urbanism study group.

  •   Iberoamerican Grant for Young Professors and Researchers, Santander Universities


    Chile, 2017

    Grant award (€5.000) for research stay at the University of Alicante (Alicante, Spain).


Article (20)

Data on accumulative allocation of water rights in the Atacama Desert (Antofagasta Region, northern Chile), 1905-2018
The (not-so-free) Chilean water model. The case of the Antofagasta Region, Atacama Desert, Chile
Desafios da governança da água: a contribuição do conceito de territórios hidrossociais para novos arranjos institucionais
Desalinated drinking-water provision in water-stressed regions: Challenges of consumer-perception and environmental impact; Lessons from Antofagasta, Chile
Distribución de agua potable por camiones aljibe; un análisis geográfico del agua movilizada en Petorca durante la megasequía
Managing Water Scarcity Futures: Identifying Factors Influencing Water Quality, Risk Perception and Daily Practices in Urban Environments after the Introduction of Desalination
Nosotros tomamos agua de mar”; injusticias hídricas asociadas al agua desalinizada para consumo humano en la ciudad de Antofagasta
Technical-Scientific Knowledge in the water conflict in Chile: An analysis of conflict judicialization in Antofagasta and Valparaiso regions
¿Infraestructura ante la crisis hídrica? Políticas de Estado en los ríos Petorca y La Ligua
Hacia una ecología política de las nuevas periferias urbanas: suelo, agua y poder en Santiago de Chile1
Desalination and the disarticulation of water resources: Stabilising the neoliberal model in Chile
Escasez hídrica, género, y cultura mapuche. Un análisis desde la ecología política feminista
Water scarcity: disclosing its hybrid origins in the Bueno river basin, Chile
Coal mining on pastureland in Southern Chile; challenging recognition and participation as guarantees for environmental justice
An ecosystemic approach for assessing the urban water self-sufficiency potential: lessons from the Mediterranean
El análisis de flujos energéticos como herramienta de análisis territorial; el caso de la Región Metropolitana de Barcelona
Trust matters: Why augmenting water supplies via desalination may not overcome perceptual water scarcity
Metabolisms of injustice: municipal solid-waste management and environmental equity in Barcelona's Metropolitan Region
Conflictividad en construcción: desarrollo urbano especulativo y gestión de agua en Santiago de Chile
Proposal of a methodology for the accounting of MSW flows based on MFA and a new MSW management assessment indicator; a case study of the wider Barcelona area

BookSection (8)

Water Scarcity in Latin America
Environmental Perspectives on cities
The Chilean Water Model.
Disclosing water inequalities at the household level under desalination water provision; the case of Antofagasta, Chile
Environmental Justice
El pasto es siempre más verde que el cactus: modificaciones hidrometabólicas, producción de áreas verdes, y justicia ambiental urbana en el desierto de Atacama, Chile
Integración del conocimiento local en la educación formal como estrategia de adaptación a la variabilidad climática en zonas montañosas del norte de Chile
Artificial water flow accounting in a Mediterranean coastal region

BookWhole (1)

Guía para la gestión integrada de agua

ConferencePaper (5)

Ecología política y ‘nuevo urbanismo’: conflictos y discursos acerca de los recursos hídricos en la zona norte de Santiago de Chile
Exploiting the mineral south of a developing country: coal re-commodifi cation in Chile under national energy policies in times of resource scarcity
Integración del conocimiento local en la educación formal como estrategia de adaptación a la variabilidad climática en zonas montañosas
Metabolising seawater; A framework for the analysis of desalination´s socio-environmental impacts
Vulnerabilidad Hídrica: Propuesta de un modelo conceptual para el diálogo interdisciplinario

Proyecto (14)

Conflictos socioambientales en torno a recursos hídricos transfronterizos en áreas protegidas: un análisis comparativo de casos sudamericanos
“Science-policy interfaces and scenario construction in Chile: How to better bridge scientific evidence with policy- making? An inter-transdisciplinary challenge for environmental complex problems”
Nuestra Casa, Nuestro Cauce; manual para la autogestión hídrica domestica
Reconfiguring hydrosocial territories, disclosing socially constructed scarcities; an analysis of State responses to permanent and temporal water deficits in Chile
Dinámicas naturales, espaciales y socio-culturales=> Perspectivas sobre los conflictos socio-ambientales en territorios forestales de Chile, 1975-2014
Analysis of Copiapo’s Water Metabolism with the Aim to Propose Water deficit Mitigation Strategies
Desarrollo de un dispositivo analítico transdisciplinario para interpretar los procesos políticos de significación socio-ambiental y la conflictividad ambiental en Chile
ENTITLE - European Network of Political Ecology
Adaptación del enfoque metabólico para el análisis de la sustentabilidad del campus en instituciones de educación superior; Aplicación en la Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo de la Universidad de Chile como caso de estudio
Desarrollo de capacidades de adaptación de las comunidades altoandinas al cambio climático. Una propuesta didáctica para su comprensión y gestión
Indicadores urbanos de autosuficiencia ambiental para agua, residuos, energía y materiales
SosteniPrA (Sostenibilidad y Prevención Ambiental)
Maria Fragkou

Associate Professor



Santiago, Chile

Manuel Prieto

Profesor Titular

Ciencias Históricas y Geográficas

Universidad de Tarapacá

Arica, Chile

Matías Calderón

Profesor Asistente A

Ciencias Sociales

Universidad de Tarapacá

Iquique, Chile

Rodrigo Fuster


Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales Renovables

Universidad de Chile

Santiago, Chile

Mauricio Folchi


Historical Sciences

Universidad de Chile

Santiago, Chile

pilar moraga

Full Professor

Derecho Económico


Santiago, Chile

Beatriz Bustos

Associate Professor



Santiago, Chile

Hugo Zunino

Associate Professor

Social Science

Universidad de La Frontera

Temuco, Chile

Rodrigo Hidalgo

Profesor titular

Facultad de Historia, Geografía y Ciencia Política

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Santiago, Chile

Johanna Höhl

Profesora asistente


Santiago, Chile