This chapter concentrates, in particular, on the multi-scalar networks within which local user communities and organizations are embedded and through which they mobilize to advance and defend their water interests. It looks at their ‘scalar capabilities’ and alliance strategies since these are critical

to their capacity to defend and promote local water access and control rights (Hendriks, 2002; Perreault, 2005; Assies and Gundermann, 2007). As Swyngedouw (2004, pp26-27) rightly argues: ‘the success or effectiveness of social and political strategies for empowerment is related to the ways in which geographical scale is actively considered and mobilized in struggles for social, political, or economic resistance or change’. The politics of dominant players (trying to align user communities to their frames, rules and regulations or to take over their water access rights), as well as the resistance strategies of local user groups (aiming for the localization of water access and decision-making power), are fundamentally related to their power to compose or manipulate patterns of multiple scales (Perreault, 2005; Boelens, 2008a).