The University of Arizona

Water driven Palestinian agricultural frontiers: the global ramifications of transforming local irrigation

Julie Trottier, Jeanne Perrier

Abstract


In agricultural transformations, small scale farmer driven processes interact with globally driven processes. Donor-led or foreign investor-led irrigation development systematically interacts with local, farmer-led irrigation development. This article harnesses Kopytoff's concept of 'interstitial frontier' to study such interactions. It discusses the shape an agricultural frontier may have and its interactions with local forms of water and land tenure. It discusses the manner in which changing access to water may spur the development of agricultural pioneer fronts. It distinguishes surface water driven, groundwater driven and wastewater driven agricultural frontiers. It then explores the manner such frontiers are transforming water tenure in the West Bank. This is an important aspect of the globalization of Palestinian society. The method this article develops is applicable elsewhere.  Within interstitial frontiers, investors, whether local farmers or outsiders, enroll a globally maintained scientific discourse of efficient water use to secure donor funding. Meanwhile, they try developing clientelist ties with the authorities to secure their new access to water. The impacts on neighbouring, peasant-run irrigated systems, food security, housing security and many other mechanisms that sustain a society, are important and too often neglected.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2458/v25i1.22759

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