TA3 originated from the work of a group of researchers that started the WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network through their participation in a number of collective and individual projects that produced monographic studies of social struggles over the access to water in urban areas of Latin America in the 1990s. Another important initiative that brought together these researchers was the METRON Project (1998-2000), funded by the European Union, which involved studies of water management in metropolitan areas of Europe (Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) and the Middle East (Israel), which produced some seminal contributions to the political ecology of urban water.
However, TA3’s founding project, which also triggered the creation the creation of the WATERLAT-GOBACIT Network, was PRINWASS (2001-2004)
, a study of privatization policies in Africa (Kenya and Tanzania), Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Mexico) and Europe (Finland, Greece, and the United Kingdom), alsofunded by the European Union, which produced a series of publications by members of the Network and external collaborators. After the conclusion of PRINWASS in 2004, a group of the project’s researchers decided to create the GOBACIT Network, which later would become WATERLAT-GOBACIT. TA3 grew over the next few years with the incorporation of new researchers, students, public sector specialists, and representatives of social organizations, labour unions, and other civil society groups, especially in Latin America and Europe. Another important contribution of TA3 to the Network’s development and consolidation was the DESAFIO Project (2013-2015)
, also funded by the European Union, which included partner institutions from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and the United Kingdom. DESAFIO helped the Network to launch its Working PapersSeries
TA3 covers two large fields of research, teaching and practical intervention. The first is the “urban water cycle”, involving the processes of water abstraction, production, circulation, use, and return to the water sources in their multiple dimensions and forms. The second field intersects with the first but also includes processes that are located outside the urban milieu, as it addresses the question of essential public services based in one way or another on the use of water, including the distribution of water for human consumption, wastewater management, management of urban rainwater, etc. This field also has intersections with other Thematic Areas, including TA5 Water and Health
, TA6 Hydrosocial Basins, Territories, and Spaces
, and TA8 Water-related Disasters