Water Finance and Financialization in Latin America

When? 4pm CEST 22 June 2022

Where? Register for this class on Zoom using this link – https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkd-qtrz4rHdUqUQYYtBfvZSoU3UG8B3kK

Water is a natural monopoly, a basic service, and a human right (Loftus, et. Al.; 2019). The provision of drinkable water in cities is one of the biggest challenges of the XXI Century in the context of the climate crisis impacts on freshwater sources (Jiménez Cisneros, Et. Al., 2014) and with urban water infrastructure globally remaining incomplete (United Nations, 2021). Freshwater is a very scarce liquid essential for the survival of human and non-human life, of all water on the Planet, only 2.5% is freshwater suitable for human consumption (USGS, 2018). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) projected the decrease of freshwater basins in mid-latitude and dry subtropical regions, from Mexico to Uruguay, and from Argelia to South Africa. Therefore, the financing, building, and control of water provisions and the protection of watersheds are strategic under these climate scenarios for the viability of urban conglomerates, especially in the tropical and subtropical areas of the World, where most of the developing countries are located.

In this scenario, the finance and financialization of water management has increased and become more relevant. Therefore, the aim of this interdisciplinary panel is to look at the finance and financialization of water management in Latin America, particularly in Colombia and Mexico, paying special attention to historical and financial trends, and to actors and their interactions. 


Stephanie Garcidueñas Nieto

Stephanie Garcidueñas Nieto is a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Development Policy (IOB) at the University of Antwerp. Her research is a comparative North-South study with a focus on Green Municipal Bonds creation and implementation with a Climate Justice perspective which stems from a deep interest in cities’ complexity. She holds a B.S. in Economics from the Michoacana University of San Nicolas de Hidalgo (UMSNH) in Mexico and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Vienna. She interned at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) researching smart cities and the interconnection between the financial and mining sector. Her research led to a publication about emerging smart cities (DOI: doi.org/10.5585/riae.v20i1.15793).

Héctor Herrera

Héctor Herrera is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Development Policy (IOB) of the University of Antwerp in Belgium. His research focuses on Green City Bonds of Water Infrastructure with an Intersectional Climate Justice perspective. He holds a Law degree from the University of the Andes in Colombia. He has a Master’s in Public Policy from Colombia’s National University. He worked with the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) as a legal adviser, and as coordinator of the Network for Environmental Justice in Colombia. He is also co-founder of the Observatory for Marine and Coastal Governance in Colombia.

Carlos A. López-Morales

Carlos A. López-Morales (Ph.D.). Professor-researcher at the Center for Demographic, Urban and Environmental Studies at El Colegio de México. He studies water use from the perspective of economic systems and the urbanization process guided by questions about ecological sustainability, the role of technological options, social inequalities, and public policy. Currently focused on developing economic models to study the economics of water, including for wastewater treatment and reuse processes at urban, regional, and national scales. Usually attends the conferences of the International Input-Output Association, the International Society for Ecological Economics, and the International Society for Industrial Ecology. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UNAM (2003), a Master’s degree in Economics from CIDE (2006), both in Mexico, and a doctorate in Ecological Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2010), in the United States. He wrote his theses on environmental macroeconomics, the economics of natural resources and on the sustainability of the economic use of water. He did a CONACYT postdoctoral stay (2013-2015) at the Global Institute for Sustainability of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, He worked in the Integrated Watershed Management area of the now National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (2012-2013), and he was coordinator of the area of economic theory in UNAM’s School of Economics (2015-2016). He is professor of economic theory, economic-environmental valuation, water economics, and urban political economy. He has participated in consultancies for UNEP, IDB, World Bank and INEGI on topics about green economy, ecosystem services and economic-environmental accounting.

Jeimy Alejandra Arias Castaño

Jeimy Alejandra Arias Castaño is a Ph.D. candidate in Geography at University of Montreal.  Her research focuses mainly on the history of credit and debt in the configuration of urban spaces, analyzing the interconnections between infrastructures and housing projects in Bogotá, Colombia. Jeimy As part of the project “Historicizing southern urbanisms: Water supply development in Colombia 1910 – 2014”, she has participated in the production and analysis of databases on laws, archives and press related to water regulation in Colombia. Jeimy holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Political Studies from the National University of Colombia. She is a former recipient of a scholarship from the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP). His Ph.D. is funded by a grant from the Colombian’s Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation – Beca Colciencias para doctorados en el exterior and from the Fonds de recherche du Québec Société et Culture – Doctoral Research Scholarship (FRQSC).

Recommended reading:

Furlong, K. (2020). Trickle‐down debt: Infrastructure, development, and financialisation, Medellín 1960–2013. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 45(2), 406-419. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12352

García-Lamarca, M., & Ullström, S. (2020). “Everyone wants this market to grow”: The affective post-politics of municipal green bonds. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 251484862097370. https://doi.org/10.1177/2514848620973708

Bigger, P., & Millington, N. (2020). Getting soaked? Climate crisis, adaptation finance, and racialized austerity. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space3(3), 601–623. https://doi.org/10.1177/2514848619876539

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