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Products for grant FEL-272966-21

Landscapes of a National Natural Resource in Lesotho, the World’s First Water-Exporting Country
Colin Hoag, Smith College

Grant details:

The Fluvial Imagination: Landscapes of Lesotho's Water-Export Economy (Book)
Title: The Fluvial Imagination: Landscapes of Lesotho's Water-Export Economy
Author: Colin Hoag
Abstract: For a century, the enclave state of Lesotho acted as a labor reserve for South Africa’s mining industries. As mining employment collapsed in the 1990s, Lesotho signed a treaty with South Africa to build a series of dams and divert water to arid Johannesburg, the subcontinent’s economic epicenter. Lesotho had become the world’s first “water-exporting country.” As water rose in national importance, however, its very nature came into question, inciting debates about how it flows across the landscape. Conservation experts worry that soil erosion and reservoir sedimentation might imperil this massive project, but the extent and causes of erosion are contested. Whether blame should lie with rural livestock production or with changes in Lesotho’s rainfall regime, what is clear is that Lesotho’s water-export economy has exposed a crisis of environmental interpretation. A fluvial imagination, Hoag shows, is crucial to navigating water issues in the Anthropocene.
Year: 2022
Publisher: University of California Press
Type: Single author monograph
Copy sent to NEH?: No