Hydraulic Heritage in Ibero-America


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Series: Cultural Studies in the Third Millennium
BISAC: SOC002010

The hydraulic heritage and water culture in Ibero-America result in a man-made cultural landscape, century after century, where the legacies of several peoples are superimposed. Water is here an element of landscape differentiation and constitutes, therefore, as a distinctive mark in the territory and local memory. The approach to the theme of water from the patrimonial point of view as a material and immaterial good, whose cultural manifestations, derived from its use and application by the peoples, require efforts for its conservation and diffusion. In this context, this work intends to understand the past, present and future of Water Heritage and Culture in its interrelationship with multiculturalism and to promote the investigation of the processes of constitution of memory, identities and local values in Ibero-America.

“Claiming water as a world heritage and also as a fundamental human right” is a statement included in the European Union’s 2000 Water Framework Directive which serves as a motivation in the presentation of this work highlighting the patrimonial nature of water associated with culture of the people. Water as patrimony is an inexhaustible subject of studies that exceeds the pretensions of this work. The approach to the theme of water from the patrimonial point of view as a material and immaterial good, whose cultural manifestations, derived from its use and application by the peoples, require efforts for its conservation and diffusion.

This work will be supported by the research characterized by the difficulty to find the information and to deepen the knowledge related to the water heritage and culture. The explanation lies in the scarcity of materials elaborated on this subject and the difficulty in accessing the respective files and sources.

The cultural heritage associated with water is immense. There are innumerable objects associated with water heritage, not least the offices of those who work with this resource in traditional occupations, which only remain in the memory of older people or in cultures that keep their traditions alive. For centuries, human intervention has harnessed the resources and natural environments related to water, resulting in a series of high quality heritage elements that contain important cultural, environmental, landscape and socio-economic values.

The consideration of water as heritage includes both material culture: objects, technologies, places, infrastructures … and the immaterial culture that has been appearing throughout history. Water forms part of the territory. It determines the so-called landscapes of water, defined by the physiognomy of the territory with its natural and anthropogenic elements linked to the emotions that awaken its contemplation. Water landscapes have gained notoriety and, at times, exclusive spatial prominence, given that they are cultural footprints present in many of the municipalities of the Ibero-American countries that are still less well perceived and considered by social collectives.

The development of a civic conscience on the conservation of water heritage and culture, which presses to declare them as goods of Community interest and to include them in the heritage of the Ibero-American regions, is therefore absolutely necessary and falls within the scope of this work

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Studies on the Hydraulic Heritage in Spain
(Jesús R. Navarro-García, School of Hispanic American Studies, Spanish National Research Council, Seville, Spain)

Chapter 2. Notes on the Hydraulic Heritage in Portugal
(José Manuel Lopes Cordeiro, Department of History, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)

Chapter 3. Hydraulic Heritage, Material Cultures and Cultural Landscape
(Simonne Teixeira, Laboratório de Estudos do Espaço Antrópico, Centro de Ciências do Homem, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brasil)

Chapter 4. Past and Present Hydrosocial Landscapes in the Colombian Caribbean
(Natalia Hoyos, Alejandro Camargo, Javier Rivera-Sandoval, José Manuel Espinosa, Katherine Bonil-Gómez and Juan Guillermo Martín, Department of History and Social Sciences, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia, and others)

Chapter 5. An Ancient Water Technological System: El Platanal Irrigation Ditch, Andes of Merida, Venezuela
(Marelis Arriojas and Enrique La Marca, School of Geography, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela)

Chapter 6. The Waters of Cantareira: The Hydraulic Heritage of the City of São Paulo
(Dalmo Dippold Vilar and Filomena Pugliese Fonseca, Facultade de Historia Pos-doutoral, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil)

Chapter 7. The Olo River Hydroelectric Power Plant, Amarante: Heritage Worth Exploring, Heritage Worth Valuing
(José Manuel Lopes Cordeiro, Francisco Silva Costa and António Vieira, Department of History, CICS, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, and others)

Chapter 8. Multifunctionality of Ancient Water Infrastructures: The Case of Levada de Piscaredo
(António Vieira, Francisco Costa and Renato Silva, CEGOT, Department of Geography, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal, and others)

Chapter 9. Hydraulic Heritage of a Mining City: The Refunctionalization of a Water Current
(Evelyn Alfaro Rodríguez, José Antonio Garamendi Hernández and Efrén Zapata Martínez State Academic Unit of History, Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico)

Chapter 10. Mills, Landscape and Society in Catalonia in the Middle Ages
(Jordi Bolòs, Department of History, Universitat de Lleida, Lleida, Catalonia)

Chapter 11. Socavones in Pica Oasis and Canchones in Pampa del Tamarugal: Hydraulic Heritage and Agricultural Activity in the Atacama Desert (Tarapacá, Peru-Chile 19th and 20th Centuries)
(Luis Castro Castro, Department of Historical and Geographical Sciences, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica, Chile)

Chapter 12. Agriculture, Industry and Heritage in the Area of the Canal de Pinyana – 20th Century
(Enric Vicedo-Rius, Department of History, University of Lleida, Lleida, Catalonia, Spain)

Chapter 13. Hydraulic Heritage and the Control of Malaria in the Aragón and Catalonia Canal, Urgell Canal and the Irrigation System of Alto Aragón, Spain
(Jesús R. Navarro-García, and Jorge L. Chinea, EEHA, CSIC, Seville, Spain, and Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA)


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