Hydrosocial spatio-temporalities—aspects of water belonging to space, time, or space-time—are central to water governance, providing a framework upon which overall hydrosocial relations are constructed, and are fundamental to the establishment of values and central to socio-cultural-political relationships. Moreover, spatio-temporal conceptions may differ among diverse governing entities and across scales, creating “variability” through ontological pluralism, as well as power asymmetries embedded in cultural bias. This paper explores spatio-temporal conceptions related to water quality governance, an aspect of water governance often biased toward technical and scientific space-time conceptions. We offer examples of different aspects of spatio-temporality in water quality issues among Tribes in the United States, highlighting several themes, including spatiotemporal cycles, technological mediation, and interrelationship and fluidity. Finally, we suggest that because water is part of a dynamic network of space-times, water quality may be best governed through more holistic practices that recognize tribal sovereignty and hydrosocial variability.
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