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Water 2017, 9(9), 655; doi:10.3390/w9090655

Challenges to Water Security along the “Emerald Coast”: A Political Ecology of Local Water Governance in Nicaragua

Department of Geography & the Environment, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80210, USA
Environmental and Sustainability Studies, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Water Policy Collection)
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Despite being a water-rich country, Nicaragua struggles to secure clean water access for many of its residents. In addition to distributional and water quality issues, a prolonged drought affecting all regions of the country has compounded preexisting governance challenges to ensuring rural water needs. This article focuses on a rural community along the southwest Pacific Coast of Tola, Nicaragua, where tourism development and drought converge to produce and exacerbate water insecurity. This article examines this water insecurity in the context of two recent national water laws in Nicaragua (passed in 2007 and 2010 respectively) that sought to provide a more comprehensive legal framework for freshwater water governance. Drawing upon semi-structured interviews and groundwater and meteorological data, we contend that water laws have not effectively mediated the hydrological effects of prolonged drought and tourism development, resulting in pronounced water insecurity for local populations in Tola. We cast the findings of this research as relevant to other water insecure areas in Latin America where industry development and weak policy implementation impact the creation and resolution of local water security—including insecurity compounded by increased climatic variability. View Full-Text
Keywords: water policy; water insecurity; tourism; drought; governance; political ecology; Nicaragua water policy; water insecurity; tourism; drought; governance; political ecology; Nicaragua

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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LaVanchy, G.T.; Romano, S.T.; Taylor, M.J. Challenges to Water Security along the “Emerald Coast”: A Political Ecology of Local Water Governance in Nicaragua. Water 2017, 9, 655.

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