Keywords: Non-material dimensions, arts based, water insecurity, Brazil, South Africa
It is well established that water insecurity impinges on a range of important considerations, from public health, to educational achievement, social status and gender equity. Studies and interventions related to Household Water Insecurity (HWI) rely heavily on material metrics and proxies (e.g., distance to infrastructure, coverage area). Few studies attend to non-material aspects of hydro-social relations, focusing on socio-political and emotional-affective dimensions (e.g. stress, worry, or senses of exclusion), that might impinge on, or result from, water insecurities. Our project aims to address this gap to better capture and understand non-material aspects that might be important as ‘conversion factors’ to enable capabilities and entitlements to overcome household water insecurity, while also connecting an extended understanding of HWI to linked debates on participation and engagement. Our research design relies on visual, narrative, participatory methods in a multi-sited case study framework. Building on longstanding work in South Africa, Brazil and water insecure locales in British Columbia (likely including for First Nations), we aim to: (1) Advance conceptualization and empirical evidence for non-material elements of water insecurity (2) Examine theoretical and empirical linkages between household water (in)security and citizen engagement and participation across case study sites (e.g. South Africa, Brazil, Canada). (3) Develop and extend narrative, visual, and comparative methods for water insecurity studies.
Funding Source: Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada