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Dams, Markets, and Sustainability: Hydropower Policy and Governance in Chile

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Abstract:

Hydropower development is booming in many parts of the world, driven by concerns about global warming and the need to promote renewable energy. This boom, however, has major impacts on water and energy resources and on the environment, and these impacts are complicated because of the many interactions between water and energy systems – what is sometimes called the water-energy nexus. Because hydropower is a physical nexus between water and electricity systems, simultaneously a use of water and a source of electricity, hydropower dams are governed by both water and electricity laws. These two laws treat water differently and value it for different purposes: on one hand as fuel for power generation, on the other hand as one of several overlapping water uses in a shared river basin. Water and electricity are so different physically that they cannot be marketized or regulated in the same ways or to the same degrees, yet they are physically bound together. This tension leads to a variety of problems for both energy and water regulation, and raises the following question: How are river systems governed under market-oriented water and electricity policies? In this work I attempt to answer this question in the case of Chile. Chile is a good case to study for several reasons: it is a world leader in applying neoliberal policies in both water and electricity sectors; its national economy depends on exporting natural resources and hence relies on ecosystem services; and the national electricity system depends heavily on hydropower.
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Name: The Law and Society Association
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http://www.lawandsociety.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p303399_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bauer, Carl. "Dams, Markets, and Sustainability: Hydropower Policy and Governance in Chile" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado, May 25, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p303399_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bauer, C. , 2009-05-25 "Dams, Markets, and Sustainability: Hydropower Policy and Governance in Chile" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p303399_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Hydropower development is booming in many parts of the world, driven by concerns about global warming and the need to promote renewable energy. This boom, however, has major impacts on water and energy resources and on the environment, and these impacts are complicated because of the many interactions between water and energy systems – what is sometimes called the water-energy nexus. Because hydropower is a physical nexus between water and electricity systems, simultaneously a use of water and a source of electricity, hydropower dams are governed by both water and electricity laws. These two laws treat water differently and value it for different purposes: on one hand as fuel for power generation, on the other hand as one of several overlapping water uses in a shared river basin. Water and electricity are so different physically that they cannot be marketized or regulated in the same ways or to the same degrees, yet they are physically bound together. This tension leads to a variety of problems for both energy and water regulation, and raises the following question: How are river systems governed under market-oriented water and electricity policies? In this work I attempt to answer this question in the case of Chile. Chile is a good case to study for several reasons: it is a world leader in applying neoliberal policies in both water and electricity sectors; its national economy depends on exporting natural resources and hence relies on ecosystem services; and the national electricity system depends heavily on hydropower.


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