To identify, analyze and assess the nature, type, level of activity, distribution, relationship with other themes and operability of the social movements related to the problems of lack of access to drinking water in urban areas.
In methodological terms, this research line is placed in a “research-action” perspective, incorporating participatory observation methodologies. In some of the lines of work, experiences of collaborative research, of co-production of knowledge, within the framework of the citizen science paradigm are proposed. Therefore, the treatment of a research object from the point of view of an analytical team is not considered, but the incorporation of the organic and living reality of social agents and the processes with which they interact in the project itself.
This research line counts with the following ongoing activities: i) Follow-up of the wording of the Regulation of the integral urban water cycle of Andalusia; ii) Participation in the construction and analysis of results of the collaborative map of water conflicts in Andalusia; and iii) Identification of specific measures to address water poverty by urban water utilities in Andalusia.
i. Follow-up of the wording of the Regulation of the integral urban water cycle of Andalusia
Throughout the year 2018, the Regional Ministry of Territory and Environment of the Andalusian Government organized a participatory process on its proposal for the Andalusian Regulation of the Integrated Urban Water Cycle. This process was developed through two open days (at the beginning and at the end of the process), three thematic participatory workshops and several sectoral meetings with different social agents. In this process, an important group of social organizations with stable structure and institutional recognition participated in a coordinated manner: Asociación de Operadores Públicos de Abastecimiento y Saneamiento (AEOPAS), Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), Federación de Asociaciones de Consumidores y Usuarios en Acción (FACUA ANDALUCÍA), Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua (FNCA), Ecologistas en Acción (EEeA), Fundación SAVIA , Red Andaluza de la NCA, Asociación Valor Ecológico (ECOVALIA) y Unión Pequeños Agricultores (UPA). WAPONET members actively participated in this process, developing a work of momentum and coordination.
The process of debate on the Regulation has been a great effort for all the people, institutions and organizations involved. The general impression is that advances have been made that advise that this effort not be diluted at the juncture of the end of the legislature in Andalusia (end 2018 – beginning 2019). From the point of view of civil society organizations that have worked in coordination, the fundamental ideas, specifically related to water poverty, that should be consolidated are the following:
- The first block of the tariff structure, of an affordable price, must coincide with the provision recognized at the “Vital Minimum”, which is set at 100 liters / person / day.
- In situations of well contrasted socio-economic vulnerability, this “Vital Minimum” is guaranteed, supported by the collection of the company up to 2% of the tariff income
At the moment, after the change of government produced in Andalusia, the experience of coordinated action of the social organizations continues and aspires to recover the intervention in the elaboration of the Regulation.
ii. Participation in the construction and analysis of results of the collaborative map of water conflicts in Andalusia
During the last decade the cartographic construction process has undergone an important transformation, especially in relation to the socio-technological paradigm known as web 2.0, which involving transdisciplinary practices understood in its deepest sense, has multiplied the tools and strategies useful for counter-information production. Among them, the strategies used by the Environmental Justice (Justicia Ambiental, by its name in Spanish) movements stand out. This is the context in which the experience of the collaborative web cartographic viewer on the debates, conflicts and social initiatives around water in Andalusia is developed, based on cooperative research and the co-production of open knowledge. The project was born with the instrumental objective of designing a cartographic tool capable of facilitating the incorporation of associations, platforms or activists to the process of analysis and dissemination of knowledge about water conflicts that have led to different types of citizen reactions (protests, demands for information, knowledge development, organizational experiences, proposals for alternatives, solutions, etc., depending on the case), taking the Andalusian territory as a case study. WAPONET members actively participate in this project.
iii. Identification of specific measures to address water poverty by urban water utilities in Andalusia
From the analysis of the implementation of the “Vital Minimum”, in which WAPONET members participate, it appears that the cities of Seville, Caddis and Cordoba are those that have already implemented this type of supply. Generally this measure proposes a volume of 100 liters / person / day, which is what has been implemented in these cities. In the specific case of Seville, the managing entity, EMASESA, in practice exceeds this measure and there is no cut under any circumstances as long as the affected person has a positive social services report.