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Edited by Mara Tignino and Christian Bréthaut

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

This chapter introduces the problem that this book addresses: how do societies come to be constructed in such a way that residents cannot drink the water that is supplied to them? The example of the supply of water to Shanghai is taken as a case through which to examine this question. Shanghai, it is argued, is an assemblage of interacting actors. This book examines the properties and characteristics of four principal actors: the hydro-geological conditions and rivers that provide water; the people, corporations and institutions within Shanghai who use and pollute the water; the institutions of central and other governments that regulate the use of the rivers and the discharges into them; and the infrastructures that governments and corporations have built to manage the river. The chapter concludes by outlining the organisation of the chapters through which the book addresses the question.

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

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Joe Williams and Erik Swyngedouw

The opening chapter of this book makes the intellectual and political argument for a more critical understanding of seawater desalination as an emerging phenomenon of water governance. Its purpose, in this sense, is to politicise seawater. The chapter provides an overview of the historic and contemporary development of desalting technologies and the global desalination industry. We argue that, rather than seeing desalination as a water management ‘solution’, it should instead be understood as a socio-technical and political ecological ‘fix’, which allows cities, regions and countries to overcome some of the hydrological barriers to growth and accumulation, while creating or intensifying other social and ecological contradictions. These contradictions, we demonstrate, revolve around the governance of water, privatisation and commercialisation, the water-energy nexus, and marine ecology. Finally, we summarise the substantive chapters included in the book.

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

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Douglas Fisher

Water in its natural location has traditionally been regarded as a common resource to be used for the benefit of the community in question. The function of legal rules has been to grant access to the resource: for example, by the conferment of individual rights of access according to the common law or by the grant of such rights according to an institutionalized administrative system. In Australia the legacy of the common law favoured the common law riparian doctrine. The recognition of the unique environmental and climatic conditions in Australia influenced the development during the twentieth century of a public domain regime. This chapter analyzes these developments in Australia in the context of their wider doctrinal context. Keywords: Chapter 1 (Fisher): Common Resource, Roman law, Chinese law, public domain regime, riparian doctrine, Australian water law

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Erkki J. Hollo

The introductory note gives on overview of the main characteristics and structures of law relating to water management. The legal roots go far back into ancient cultures. In modern laws water resources are classified as public and private waters. Accordingly, in national laws property rights to waters are regulated differently. The differences are not relevant for planning and decision-making in matters concerning water management projects because here public interests and environmental concerns are decisive. International water law aims at solving conflicts between states concerning transboundary and international waters. This implies certain limitations on state sovereignty and respect for the interests of other parties to a watercourse. The leading principles have to some extent been developed on the basis of national models. One deficiency concerning compliance with international commitments is the lack of efficient control and practical sanctions, in particular in cases of hostile or careless neighbours. Keywords: Introduction (Hollo): International water law, European water law, water rights, basin principle, water governance

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Edited by Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Lisa E. Svensson and Anil Markandya

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Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Lisa Emelia Svensson and Anil Markandya