‘Water Justice: pathways for voice, truth, reconciliation AND INCLUSION’


The world faces severe global risks of over-extraction and misuse of water that will prevent achievement by 2030 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The crisis of water availability and access, and degradation of water resources, perpetuates a cycle of water injustice when: (1) people do not have water access to meet their needs (physical, social, economic and cultural); (2) there is inadequate recognition and protection of these needs (including cultural practices); (3) water governance is not inclusive and lacks procedural justice, especially in relation to vulnerable people; and (4) knowledge is withheld, obscured or marginalised to maintain the status quo. Those most afflicted by water injustice are the poor and vulnerable. Water justice issues play out across scales and axes of social difference such as gender, class, race and ethnicity.

Invitation to contribute to the special issue

To respond to the global problems of water injustice, this special issue seeks contributions from scholars and communities from any relevant discipline. The special issue will: (1) Amplifyvoice’to those suffering from water injustice; (2) Promote ‘truth’in relation to injustice and the impediments to water justice; (3) Seek ‘reconciliation’ and meaningful pathways to overcome past and current water injustice; and (4) Support inclusion with evidence and information for practitioners, governments, academics, civil society, and communities about how to incorporate water justice within the mainstream of water governance.

To facilitate comparisons and understanding, seven guiding or framing questions should be applied (noting that contributors can go beyond these guiding questions) by contributors. Submissions are also welcome of case studies where there have been actions to respond to water injustice and also perspectives that consider the challenges, opportunities and trade-offs to securing water justice.

(1) For whom? (e.g., the affected people(s) and their places)

(2) To what? (e.g., access, availability, water quality, and sanitation)?

(3) Where? And at what scale? (e.g., location/spatial and also the human scale such as individual, community, and national scale);

(4) When? (e.g., current situation, lessons from the past, future actions for justice and sustainability);

(5) Why? (e.g., what historical, political-institutional, socio-economic and other frameworks or perspectives provide an explanation for water injustice);

(6) How? (e.g., which drivers of water injustice should be prioritised? what scope is there to mitigate water injustice within existing responses and governance structures?); and

(7) Which actions are required? (e.g., ethical decision-making, unequal power relationships, dispossession, and disenfranchisement, etc.).

INITIAL submission DETAILS AND deadlines

All contributors are requested to send a one page (maximum) abstract to the editors for feedback by  

1 December 2019. Deadline for initial submissions is 1 March 2020.

Instructions for authors are available at: https://tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=cijw20&page=instructions

Submissions MUST be made through the portal at the International Journal of Water Resources Development (https://tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?show=aimsScope&journalCode=cijw20). Authors MUST specify that their submission is for the Water Justice special issue.

Further details about the special issue can be obtained by contacting one of the three guest editors: Safa Fanaian (safafanaian@gmail.com), Quentin Grafton (quentin.grafton@anu.edu.au) or Gabriela Sacco (gabriela.encuentromundi@gmail.com).