9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN12 Environment and Society

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Governance of Water Building I, Auditório 4

The water flows of island Dugi otok: Governing, managing and using water on the small Adriatic island

The paper addresses several topics regarding water management in the community of Sali on island Dugi otok. Due to prevalent geomorphologic characteristic, i.e. scarcity of natural water resources, and Mediterranean climate with dry and hot summers, the populations that inhabited the island since the early days were compelled to manage fresh water very carefully. Therefore, besides establishing what cultural technology of collecting water exists in the local ?water culture?, three more interesting points are to be answered, preferably from both perspectives ? diachronic and synchronic: Firstly, by whom local water resources are governed? Traditionally they were of communal possession and governed by local community, yet in the imperial and national past there were always tendencies to regulate natural goods of strategic importance, including fresh water ? its use and proper management ? that today are fully regulated by national laws. Secondly, by whom local resources are managed? Traditionally water management (fetching and transporting water to the household, maintaining the local well or private reservoir ?) was firmly in the domain of women, however highly developed modern technology of collecting, transporting and distributing this liquid good put in the domain of men ? engineers, policy makers, maintenance workers ... And finally, by whom fresh water is actually used? Traditionally local resources were supposed to meet only the local household and agricultural needs. Nevertheless, modern and complex life on the island also introduced more complex consumers of water: fish processing and tourist industry. All three fields bare potential contradictions between "traditional" and "modern" groups; and precisely these contradictions and accompanying local discourses the paper seeks to point out.