Latin American Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-18-2020


A preliminary assessment of the first five years of implementation of Ecuador’s new Ley Organica de Recursos Hidricos, Usos y Aprovechamiento de Agua (LORHUyA, 2014), exlploring its impact on small irrigators communities, through the lens of Buen Vivir. A communication-based action research and political ecology of water in Ecuadorian marginalized Campesino communities, elucidating the repercussions of state-centralized water policy on the customary water management systems, and the disconnect between policy as determined nationally vs implemented locally. This research investigates the gap between Ecuador’s plurinational recognition of cultural rights, epistemic diversity, citizens’ participation and community control outlined by Buen Vivir, and de facto practices of policy implementation around water. In the face of the Western superiorirty biases that still persist within the new Ecuadorian water law, the results of the case-study in the self-identified Indigenous and Mestizo Comuna of Oyacoto of the rural parish of Calderon (Pichincha, Ecuador), challenge social science research that expect marginalized communities to either resist or reproduce social hierarchies and systems of domination, pointing instead to a much more complex reworking of Ecuador’s social formations in the era of Buen Vivir.

Project Sponsors





Ecuador, Buen Vivir, LORHUyA, customary water systems, participation, plurinationality.

Document Type


Degree Name

Latin American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Latin American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Claudia Isaac

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Tucker

Third Committee Member

Dante Di Gregorio

Fourth Committee Member

Kimberly Gauderman


Fifth Comittee member: Dr. Maria Lane

Available for download on Wednesday, July 31, 2024