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Spatio-Temporality and Tribal Water Quality Governance in the United States

Department of Natural Resources and Society, University of Idaho, McCall Field Campus, McCall, ID 83638, USA
Department of Geography, mailstop 154, University of Nevada—Reno, Reno, NV 89557, USA
Department of Philosophy and Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Native Environmental Science Department, Northwest Indian College, 2522 Kwina Road, Lummi Nation, Bellingham, WA 98226, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(1), 99;
Received: 10 November 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Governance: Retheorizing Politics)
PDF [229 KB, uploaded 9 January 2019]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality; Indigenous water; spatio-temporal; hydrosocial; water governance water quality; Indigenous water; spatio-temporal; hydrosocial; water governance
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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Cavazos Cohn, T.; Berry, K.; Powys Whyte, K.; Norman, E. Spatio-Temporality and Tribal Water Quality Governance in the United States. Water 2019, 11, 99.

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