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Published on April 26, 2017

Reflections on Water and Politics

UConn Professor Veronica Herrera challenging students on their views on water and politics during her talk about her new book on Mexico.

Last March, I had the opportunity to attend a talk on the water crisis in developing urban cities by UCONN Political Science Professor Veronica Herrera, author of Water and Politics: Clientelism and Reform in Urban Mexico. As a political science student, I enjoy the Pizza and Politics events organized by the department because it gives students the chance to learn about topics within the field that we might not get the chance to throughout our time at Eastern. In my experience, I have not studied the concept of water systems and the political implications associated with them in great depth and was not fully aware of the connection it had prior to the presentation. The speaker was able to present the issue in a way that was easily understood by discussing her qualitative research approach performed throughout eight Mexican cities. She analyzed the effect that water distribution had on the citizens' lives and found significant results. I discovered that within those Mexican cities, political corruption is rampant and can affect citizens' daily lives. For instance, the occurrence of water being shut off to part of the urban area due to a lack of votes for a specific candidate is not uncommon. The basic need of water is distributed unevenly and unfairly and has severely affected the populations based on the political conditions in place. I believe this topic is essential for students to be aware of and I strongly urge fellow students to engage in these great opportunities offered by the department.

Written by Lindsey Berube