The story told in this chapter is one of imbalances of power between local communities and local, regional and national institutions; and of the conflicts and accountability problems related to these imbalances. The tensions that arise between these actors centre on the right to water; who exercises it and how; and the barriers to realising that right. A key issue that emerges in this case is the difficulty in realising the right to water and establishing accountability over how watersheds are managed, given the complex sets of actors and overlapping institutions and histories involved. Research for this chapter was carried out in the watershed of the Huazuntlán river (a tributary of the Coatzacoalcos) in southern Veracruz on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, an area that provides 75 per cent of the water for industrial and human use in two petro-industrial urban areas with over half a million inhabitants, Coatzacoalcos and Minatitlán.
Owing to copyright restrictions, only the first 3 pages are attached, together with a link to the book at Zed Books.
Pare, L.; Robles, C. Managing watersheds and the right to water: Indigenous communities in search of accountability and inclusion in Southern Veracruz. In: Rights, Resources and the Politics of Accountability.. Zed Books, London, (2006) ISBN 9781842775547