chapter  5
The right to bring waters into being
WithJamie Linton
Pages 14

This chapter reconciles the concept of the right to water with recent academic work exploring the political dimensions of water’s ontological status. It draws from recent research in science and technology studies (STS) and anthropology as well as geography to explain the notion of “multiple ontologies” and explores how this notion of multiple ontologies applies to water. Arguing that ontologically different waters result from different material practices and engagements, the chapter contrasts the modern idea and form of water emerging from scientific and managerial practice (“modern water”) with alternate understandings and forms of water produced through the hydrosocial relations of First Nations peoples in Canada. Given that “modern water” is hegemonic in the sense that it dominates most discourses and practices of water resource management in Canada and elsewhere, it is argued that extending the right to water to include the right to bring (alternate) waters into being offers a means of countering this hegemony.