Forum Index > Ecological Citizenship > Ecological Citizenship and Water

Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
A thread on which to share thoughts, links, texts, images etc. that relate to ecological citizenship and water 

Katherine Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 144
Various clever people on the task of writing about ecological citizenship have put together draft papers, which are I believe now available in dropbox (or by contacting the authors perhaps). I've started a bibliography list on this subject. Not as visually attractive as the Mural.ly but maybe a useful resource nonetheless. It's possible to annotate in Refworks so could turn this into an annotated bibliography if so desired: http://www.refworks.com/refshare2?site=029611130817600000/210241398781035768/Hydrocitizenship
Owain Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 1194

Ecological citizenship is, in part, about becoming more aware of our embeddedness in the environment , and the implications that everyday actions have on the environment and others in it


See this short hydrocitizenship Youtube  ‘film’ about plastic in hand cleaners

Antony Lyons 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 138
Thanks Owain
I know there are new research initiatives into the impacts, so will aim to inform myself more fully.

Somewhat unrelated (but maybe not...?), I read this article yesterday:
Title: "Viewpoint: How the consumer dream went wrong"
Part of the discussion touches on citizenship, so worth mentioning here.
"Perhaps the most significant effect of the dominance of the Consumer has been on politics. Here, the idea of the Citizen has arguably become meaningless in the face of the Consumer..."

It actually was broadcast on Radio4 last night, but I've not listened yet.
Owain Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 1194
Cheers  Antony - the production of identity through consumption - and how it is pushed constantly -  is a fundamental problem in all this.  I got a few references I will add. Will check that link. We need to move from consumer society to creative society - where identities -  and relationships -  are performed in other ways. (Out of office)
Sara Penrhyn Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 832
The bibliography list is valuable, thanks Katherine!
Owain Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 1194

so i said something like  "if we can look after the water we are on our way to looking after the world"

This sort of backs that

"sustaining water supplies must be based on sustaining nature"

Antony Lyons 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 138
I thought this thread might be a good place to show a selection of images from a 'core' - and common - 'document of citizenship' - i.e. a UK passport. I don't personally possess one, but my daughter does...and I snapped these on a recent trip. The bulk of the imagery in the new(ish) passport design seems to derive from watery landscapes?

Katherine Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 144
On a slightly different note... more on the 'rights' side of citizenship than the 'responsibilities' side (something I feel maybe politically in the ecological citizenship discourse is somewhat missing? But maybe that's just me) - I just came across this article about the financialisation of water supply: http://cjres.oxfordjournals.org/content/6/3/419.full.pdf+html. Allen argues that the displaced financial nature of the supply of water has implications in terms of creating a 'post political' environment (see page 435 onwards). 

Related to this I would recommend Alex Loftus's book Everyday Environmentalism, the third chapter (I think - without having the book at hand)  looks at how disputes over the provision of water to households led to political action at a grassroots level in a South African example. 

I think the question raised by Allen's paper and contrasted in Loftus' chapter is around the extent to which people are in fact empowered 'citizens' or merely consumers in a post-political situation in which provision of water is under the control not of a political regulatory system but of a global financial market in which democratic politics is not a real possibility and against which national political systems have both limited power and limited incentive to intervene.   
Antony Lyons 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 138
Thanks Katherine
That Allen paper serves to reinforce the belief (held by many) that water (and sewage) privatisations were a massive swindling of the public...the citizens...by corporations?
There are some rumblings - globally - of counter-movements - such as the re-municipalisations described here:
(Buenos Aires and Paris)

Maybe this topic will be the subject of a presentation/discourse during the Water-City-Bristol project?

On the subject of 'rights', I picked up a copy of 'The Land' today ('an occasional magazine about land rights')

In this issue there's a big section on grass-roots water activism projects:
(I'll digest and write more...)

alex plows 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 158
a contribution to some of the philosophical thinking behind concepts of citizenship which underpin all of this...something which is so "bigger picture" i think we are approaching it with kid glove
hydrocitizenship as we know emerged "organically" during the 3 day Bristol meeting where this project was originally born, following on from discussions of ecological citizenship , as it says on our main website( pasted below here for ease of reference).
i did write around the idea of "why hydrociitzenship?" a little bit a while back for the group and meant to do more, but never got round to it (!), so i will upload the word doc as it stands to the site now- so look for a word doc uploaded on 27th feb  entitled "why hydrocitizenship?".
people may also be interested to know about this academic/legal discussion group which meets every few months to discuss a particular article or approach, in relation to citizenship, and uploads the edited discussion as a podcast.
this is the weblink:
 in one podcast they discuss an article i co authored entitled "troubles with biocitizenship". i actually used ecological citizenship as a baseline of the importance of social and ecological justice when thinking about the rights and duties of citizens, a lot in this article, but they dont pick up on this directly.
 however my thinking around ecological citizenship and biocitizenship is summarised (hopefully clearly) in the word doc "why hydrocitizenship" i'm about to upload.


The term hydrocitizenship has been adopted in reference to the more established notion of “ecological citizenship” which sees transformations in how society works at individual and collective levels as essential if we are to generate more meaningful, ecologically sustainable forms of society. In our project, we put this idea to work within the contemporary contexts of individual and community engagements with water.

Owain Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 1194
Hi Alex - thanks I made a breif commnet on you paper upload. Saying meybe we need to pull a few thing togehter to write a paper based on all this. We are going to make a spece on the other website for 'output' so more formal docs can go there.

Katherine Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 144
The paper that Michael put together on this is a great review of the ecological citizenship idea - I think this would be a good starting point. Can we upload that here? Will ask Michael if he is happy to share it
Sara Penrhyn Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 832
Antony- this is the first time I have seen your 'citizenship' and water images. they are great! They should feature on the main website- absolutely perfect- as one of the banners? Thought-provoking. Have you seen this: http://blog.water-wheel.net There is a call which ends tomorrow! I only found out about it today- but it is a perfect place to upload water-themed art/writing. You could upload your images?
Owain Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 1194

Please not there are two quite substantial statements on hydro / ecological citizenship in the files section as is

Hydrocitizenship and ecological citizenship draft. Owain Jones.  21 04 2015


Why Hydrocitizenship. Alex Plows 27 02 2105


alex plows 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 158
there was an excellent piece on radio 4's 'the world tonight' last night (may 19th)
about water shortages in california. talk about hydrocitizenship!!
the link for the programme is here
the piece starts 18.23 mins in (yes i did manually scroll thu and find it- its that worth a listen-to!)
Katherine Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 144
Just picking up on this from the viewpoint that we as researchers doing 'participatory action research' or some modification thereof might think about our own 'hydrocitizenship' as well as that of other people/organisations/groups. 

What prompted this is that I just became aware of the Marine Conservation Society running a plastic-free challenge: https://www.mcsuk.org/plasticchallenge/index.php/. Given Owain's post above about micro-plastics (on a side note, here's a very, er, American short about them: http://storyofstuff.org/movies/lets-ban-the-bead/) and the ways in which "Ecological citizenship is, in part, about becoming more aware of our embeddedness in the environment , and the implications that everyday actions have on the environment and others in it" I wonder whether all of us hydrocitizenship researchers shouldn't in fact be taking on a plastic-free challenge to reflect on our own embeddedness in these processes. In fact, perhaps we should all be keeping journals about how participating in this research project is affecting our own senses of 'hydrocitizenship' and what kind of 'action' it might be prompting at a personal level. I'm up for it, anyone else?
Julian Jones 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 22
Some great points being made here. A few additional ad hoc aspects on

Ecological Citizenship and Water


We follow Agenda 21 (LA21), that provide a sensible framework for voluntary action in respect of sustainable development, particularly water.  Chapter 18 contains the provisions for water <http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?documentid=52&articleid=66>.  Our experience, since 1993, with this non-mandatory UN protocol is that has been very poorly applied in UK.

Elements of LA21 are incorporated in statutory legislation (particularly the public participation principle which we represent and also the need to consult locally), eg the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Flood & Water Management Act 2010 - again these are poorly applied.

(We have just succeeded in preventing an intensive poultry farm proposal, Broadheath nr Presteigne, by applying WFD criteria to critique a proposal that was being waived through by the authorities; however this was only at Judicial Review stage - and also significantly achieved by technical support of a united community that was working without any party political make up or engagement, they had given up on politicians.  The implications of this are that WFD could now be used to prevent most further intensive UK animal husbandry proposals).

The clear focus that critical issues in the Water Cycle have long provided for remedial action (public health, flood, drought etc) have not been effectively or even honestly addressed by the authorities (preferring to deny problems or blatantly misrepresent) but it should also be noted that similarly, grassroots activism has also been sometimes ineffective or misinformed, or tainted by party political affiliations.

The social and other problems all impinging here are myriad - in terms of best practice, there have long been great examples, that for a variety of reasons are overlooked.  There do appear to be many answers within traditional and indigenous cultures, in terms of engineering & ethos :
The work of Rajendra Singh in restoring traditional Rajasthan water storage infrastructure to benefit is similar to our own efforts to restore traditional land and water management in Gloucestershire - here in Stroud the effects of filling in over 1000 acres of millponds, combined with similarly reckless farming practice meant that flood & drought are an inevitability.

We work with an inter-generational transfer of knowledge and the validation of this.  Trying to understand 'the whole story', rather than at any one single moment (as many municipal studies and plans seem) provides a more robust approach.  It also mirrors the shamanic processes used in other traditional cultures most successfully for environmental management.

Our 'disconnect' from nature has been a progressive process during, and since, we ceased our hunter gatherer origins.  Convenience & short term gain (at longer term loss) appear to be a major factor in this, but many others too, notably gender inequality.

The types of environmental awareness are significant too - the way such consciousness often arises from selfish considerations (eg the water we drink and air we breath) and can evolve into a greater altruistic sense of consideration for all in these respects.

Recent essay looks at some water aspects : http://www.water21.org.uk/1692/the-water-proxy-an-empirical-approach-to-eradicating-ecocide/

alex plows 3 years ago
ActivityRank: 158
have just written a blog for the site which relates to this thread

Katherine Jones 3 years ago
ActivityRank: 144
I recently re-read Michael's synopsis of the ecological citizenship literature, a major critique of which has been that it focuses excessively on the individual citizen and measurements like ecological footprint, ignoring powerful corporate and political forces at play. Corporations in particular enjoy certain rights of citizenship, access to the services that are provided by national governments, infrastructure, roads, etc. They have rights, and they also have responsibilities to abide by government legislation - though increasingly such legislation seems to be too lax, and quite different from what might be applied to an ordinary citizen. It seems that producing a lot of wealth, even if that wealth is not shared with a nation through taxes for instance, gives corporations special citizenship rights and fewer responsibilities. What does this mean for the possibility of moving towards a more ecological future? What would it mean if corporations acted more responsibly, in accordance with their own scientific understandings of the impact of their actions on the future of the planet for instance? I found some thoughts on that here: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/33439-how-will-we-reach-an-ecological-civilization-and-who-will-build-it, interested to know what others make of this in light of our project. Are we also with the view on ecological citizenship focusing excessively on the responsibilities of individuals and groups and ignoring the responsibilities of governments and in particular industries with regards to looking after water? Or have we incorporated adequately an understanding and critical view on this into our project?  

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