Melissa Leonard


This article discusses the Guaraní Aquifer System, which is a vast groundwater source that spans across Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. The Guaraní Aquifer System is located beneath the ancestral homelands of the Guaraní indigenous peoples, yet it is exclusively managed by nation states. The Guaraní indigenous peoples have been deprived of their ancestral land and have no say in the utilization or management of the Aquifer. This article discusses social and legal theory relating to water management and governance, as well as Guaraní social organization, belief systems, and customary environmental law in the context of “postcolonial” water management. This article explores international transboundary water law, relying on United Nations conventions and the Bolivian Constitution to provide examples of indigenous participation in decision-making processes.



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