Blessed with Water: Politicising Resource Management in a Water Rich Area of Upstate New York
Allison Stafford '07, Erin Black '06, Michael C. Ennis-McMillan, Department of Anthropology, and Karen Kellogg, Department of Biology and Environmental Studies Program
Much of the national and international drinking water research to date has focused on arid regions, but our project has allowed us to develop a unique case study on an area "blessed with water" (that phrase is taken from a quote from an interview). In recent years, Saratoga Springs, New York has experienced increased pressure on water resources, as the population increases and as water sources dwindle. As the region becomes more developed, the drinking water supply has taken a more prominent place in community discussions. We analyzed the potentially competing interests of four main stakeholder groups in the Saratoga Springs water issue: (1) civic groups; (2) businesses and corporations; (3) individuals and homeowners; and (4) political officials from the city and county. Data were collected primarily through semi-structured, open-ended and tape-recorded interviews of 23 central players selected from the four stakeholder groups. In addition, we collected data by observing public meetings and by consulting newspapers and government documents. T he fact that there are multiple, viable options for a new and/or supplemental water source for the City of Saratoga Springs seems to have opened the door for discussion, debate and controversy. Despite our location in the water-rich northeast, water is viewed as a very powerful natural resource - a resource that potentially influences development, economic advancement, political positioning, and the City's composition and character.
Full report is not available. Please contact Karen Kellogg for more information.