The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

SOCIALISHED: UNVEILING THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF A WATERSHED, SAN MIGUEL RIVER CASE STUDY IN SONORA, MEXICO

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Speaker: Luis Alan Navarro, COLSON, Mexico
 
Date:  Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
 
Time:  3:00-4:00 pm
 
Location:  ENR2, Room S107
 
Abstract: The San Miguel River is a tributary of the Sonoran river located in Northwest Mexico. The San Miguel river Watershed (SMW) is rural, cattle ranching is the main economic activity and the major water consumer, its final outputs are: milk, cheese, and weaned calves. In México, water management is centrally controlled by the Federal Government (FG) based on a watershed or aquifer jurisdiction. The SMW represents both, an aquifer and a watershed administratively delineated by the FG. Also, the Federal Law of Nation’s Waters (2004) mandates a watershed‐based Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). IWRM, requires cooperation, communication and social contact among the people inhabiting a watershed. A main challenge to IWRM the social integration of local actors managing water – geographically distant, separated on the social map, and sometimes with rivalries and diametrically divergent interests. This study took advantage of the relatively compact and homogeneous SMW and used social network science to unveil its social structure. The concept of “socialshed” (Berg, 2013) was adapted to represent the social connectedness of the watershed territory, a network formed by people sharing concerns, beliefs, awareness, and water management practices. This study demonstrated that, locally water management is socially embedded in dense, multilayered networks. Nevertheless, these local networks are in general isolated. The social construction of the SMW is far from being a reality. The connectivity of local leaders or representatives with their peers elsewhere out of the municipality was almost nonexistent.
 
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