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Special Issue "Critical Water Resource Geography "

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Daanish Mustafa

Department of Geography, King's College London
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +44 (0)20 7848 1667
Interests: Critical water resource geographies; Environmental hazards and climate risk; Critical geographies of violence and terror; Problematising the environment and development
Guest Editor
Dr. Sarah J. Halvorson

Department of Geography, University of Montana, Missoula, United States
Website | E-Mail
Phone: (406) 243-2793
Interests: Community water security; environmental risks and hazards; gender and development; geography education; glacier governance; human dimensions of climate change; hydro-social systems; mountain geography; qualitative methods; regional geography (African Sahel, Central and South Asia, Rocky Mountain West); rural livelihoods and resilience; transboundary water governance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water resource geography has undergone a considerable transformation since its original moorings in engineering and the pure sciences. From earlier pragmatist engagements to subsequent political economic, cultural, post-structural and materialist turns, the conceptual repertoirs of water resource geographers and the spatial scales at which they engage have become very diverse. This Special Issue is a call to highlight the ‘critical’ aspects of water resource geography across conceptual approaches. Being chronologically newer does not imply being conceptually richer, more insightful or contributing to human emancipation. Following Blomley (2009), we posit that the critical in critical geography implies anti-positivist epistemologies pressed into the service of contributing to social justice and human liberation from oppression. Critical implies a politicised practice of scholarship with a sharp eye towards questions of power and the struggles of those with less power against the powerful. Within the above understanding of critical, we also include concerns with the non-human world, insofar as the non-human too is deeply embedded and constitutive of human societies.

We invite contributions in the critical geography tradition that speak to how questions of class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and race are contribtive towards access to water and differential vulnerability to water related hazards. We hope that all contributions will be alive to the question of scale and how power politics as scalar politics may speak to critical-water-related concepts, e.g., hydro-social cycles, waterscapes, hydro-hazardscapes, hydro-hegemony, the infra-structural turn, the materialist turn, range of choice, and so on. We welcome agenda-setting contributions that expand the present repertoir of critical concepts in use across a range of water resource inquiries, from domestic water supply to irrigation to water ecologies.

Dr. Daanish Mustafa
Dr. Sarah J. Halvorson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • critical geography
  • human/non-human interactions
  • access
  • scale
  • social power

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Linking Water Scarcity to Mental Health: Hydro–Social Interruptions in the Lake Urmia Basin, Iran
Water 2019, 11(5), 1092; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051092
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
PDF Full-text (1114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Alterations of water flows resulting from the manifestation of powerful hydro–social imaginaries often produce an uneven distribution of burdens and benefits for different social groups or regions, reflecting their social and political power. Marginalized regions can suffer manufactured territorialized water scarcity, which disturbs [...] Read more.
Alterations of water flows resulting from the manifestation of powerful hydro–social imaginaries often produce an uneven distribution of burdens and benefits for different social groups or regions, reflecting their social and political power. Marginalized regions can suffer manufactured territorialized water scarcity, which disturbs the natural, economic and socio-political order of water users, and as this article shows, inevitably affects their psychological wellbeing. Set in the context of the surroundings of Lake Urmia in Iran, once one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world and now a severely degraded ecosystem mainly as a result of water overuse in its watershed, this article explores how and through which pathways this manufactured water scarcity impacted the mental health of the water users in the region. The research findings reveal that alterations in this local hydro–social territory and the resulting biophysical, financial and social changes, as well as impacts on physical health of water users, relate to chronic psychological stress, social isolation, intra-community conflicts, despair, hopelessness, depression and anxiety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Water Resource Geography )

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