In this post, Cristian Olmos Herrera, Linnea Beckett, Kira Cragun-Rehders, Anna Geiger, Katia Hise and Alyssa Najera, of the Transformations to Groundwater Sustainability (T2SGS) project, share updates on the horizontal learning-based approach being taken across the different case studies, and on how the project website is being redeveloped as a place for interaction and exchange in order to support cross-learning.
Undergraduate research group study water justice and water governance in central California
This year, the undergraduate research group from the University of California, Santa Cruz, participated in a set of modules which have been centered around issues of water justice and water governance, taught from anti-colonial feminist perspectives. As a way of reflecting, the students have been working on a digital platform, creating a virtual space for conversation and collaboration in the T2SGS project. The students both reflected on how power directs water distribution and flows, and how historical power disparities shape the way modern water flows in central California, and worked on the T2GS website, which documents fieldwork experiences, visualises local narratives of groundwater governance, and supports cross-learning between the project’s case studies as well as between students and international T2GS scholars.
Internal workshops emphasize the importance of a horizontal learning process anchored in people’s practices on the ground
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project team have conducted four internal workshops. The first concerned the literature review, and the key principles of the project, and anchored reflections and theorizations of groundwater governance in practices of people instead of starting from an overarching framework. It reinforced the emphasis of the project as a horizontal learning process focused on people’s practices on the ground.
The second and third workshops were dedicated to presentations by the California and Algeria teams and discussions about learning across case studies of the project in reflection of their narratives.
The fourth workshop was framed around tools and methods to create visibility for groundwater narratives on the project website. From being a place to gather relevant information about the project, the website has started to turn into a place for online interaction, conversation, exchange and remote connections between team members, ultimately seeking to make the variety of narratives of groundwater governance of team members more visible.
You can find out more about the activities mentioned above and discover the new-look website here.
All images courtesy of Cristian Olmos Herrera.