Forestry extractivism and the production of water scarcity in Mapuche territory: Chol-Chol and Lumaco River basins, La Araucanía, Chile.
Keywords: Municipalities, Agua Potable Rural (APR), water trucks, mega-drought
Water scarcity in Mapuche lands planted with large-scale forestry monocultures of pines and eucalyptus is a critical socio-environmental issue in Chile. Using an approach based on political ecology, and methods based on both spatial data’s representation and ethnographic interviews with key actors, the article shows evidence about the relationship between forestry extractivism and water scarcity in two river basins of the Araucanía Region. In particular, we focus on analysing water scarcity for human consumption in areas inhabited by Mapuche communities and Chilean peasants. The findings highlight critical socio-environmental processes resulting from the systematic lack of water among communities, which include a struggle between communities and forestry corporations regarding the causes of scarcity, and the uneven consequences of forestry extractivism, such as forced migration of people without water, changes in consumption habits of drinking water for communities, and the new profitable business of water trucks. We argue that water scarcity in the context of the forestry expansion contributes to exacerbating the socio-spatial inequality and the Mapuche resistance against both the state and forestry corporations, in an area with significant claims for land, water, native forests, human rights, and political autonomy.
|Título de la Revista:||WATER ALTERNATIVES-AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL ON WATER POLITICS AND DEVELOPMENT|