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Aqua Vitae

Unraveling the Story of Water in Latin America

  • Book
  • Sep 2024


  • Presents key insights into how human activity has impacted water resources and vice versa
  • Provides a unique blend of historical context, technical knowledge, and socio-cultural insights
  • Illustrates the complexities of water's role in society and how it is woven into the fabric of everyday life

Part of the book series: The Latin American Studies Book Series (LASBS)

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About this book

This comprehensive book presents an analytical journey through the relationship between water and Latin American societies, offering an engineering perspective on historical water resource utilization. The book unravels the integral role water has played in the cultural, technological, and socio-economic development of the region, providing a foundational reference for engineers, academics, and researchers.

The book's exploration into water's perception and usage throughout history provides key insights into how human activity has impacted water resources and vice versa. It presents a meticulous examination of water as both a natural and cultural phenomenon, identifying its essential role in sustaining life and ecosystems, as well as its potential for causing devastation through disease and natural disasters. We delve into the complexities of water's role in society, illustrating how it is woven into the fabric of everyday life, religious ceremonies, and global events. The book also underscores the varying significance and implications of water across different regions within Latin America.

The narrative unfolds across three major sections: Technology, Water Management, and Socio-Cultural-Economical Impact. The 'Technology' section examines the evolution of water-related technologies and their significant socio-economic implications. The 'Water Management' part offers a holistic perspective on water resource management practices, both historical and contemporary. The final section delves into the societal implications of water use, including conflicts arising from political and economic decisions related to this crucial resource.

Designed for engineers, environmental scientists, and policy-makers, this book provides a unique blend of historical context, technical knowledge, and socio-cultural insights. It offers an invaluable resource for those seeking to understand the interplay between engineering practices, water resources, and societal developments in Latin America. It serves as a springboard for further research and informed decision-making in water resource management and policy, fostering a greater understanding of the myriad ways in which water influences and is influenced by human activity.


  • Latin American societies and water throughout history
  • Indigenous groups
  • Water management systems of the ancient Mayas, Incas, Aztecs
  • Integrated Water Resources Management
  • Social-Cultural-Economical
  • Water's profound impact on Latin America's past and present
  • How water use facilitated economic growth

Editors and Affiliations

  • IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands

    Gerald Augusto Corzo Perez

  • Dept. of Land and Water Management, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands

    Laszlo G. Hayde

  • Facultad de Ingenieria Civil, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico

    Rabindranarth Romero-López

  • Facultad de Economía, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico

    Arturo Jiménez Palacios

About the editors

Dr. Gerald A. Corzo is a senior researcher with extensive knowledge on ICT and its applications in water resources problems. He has completed civil engineering with studies in teleinformatics, and he has a Master and PhD in hydroinformatics applications using machine learning models. Gerald has postdoctoral experience using Big Data analytics for Climate Change extremes at Wageningen University. His primary areas of expertise are in hybrid machine learning and process-based modelling. He has worked with spatiotemporal analysis of extreme events under climate change scenarios, and contributed to the area of pattern recognition and tracking of extremes. Gerald produced more than 40 high impact journal publications, various book chapters, journal special issues and book editorials. In 2012 he won the Tison award from the International Association for Hydrological Science (IAHS). He participated invarious EU and international projects and developed a trajectory in spatial statistics. He coordinated the statistics of the Climate change inventory of adaptation and mitigation actions for Latin-America, presented at the World Water Forum in 2012. He also wrote the report 43 on future extremes from the WATCH EU forcing data set and a big data.

Dr. Laszlo G. Hayde is Programme Manager of the Water and Sustainable Development Master Programmes and Senior Lecturer in Irrigation Engineering at IHE Delft. Since 2012 he is Honorary Associate Professor of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and member of the General Directorate of Water Management - Scientific Advisory Council in Hungary since 2019. Dr. Hayde is Vice President Honorary of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), member of the ICID Working Group on History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control, and Associate Editor of the Journal of ICID: ‘Irrigation and Drainage’, published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd. He is also member of the International Water History Association (IWHA), established and has run courses on ‘History of Hydraulic Engineering’ and ‘World History of Water Management’. In 2020 he received the Major Award for the Advancement of Surface Irrigation of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

Dr. Rabindranarth Romero-López is a Civil Engineer with a master’s degree in Engineering in the area of Integrated Water Management, Doctor in Environmental Sciences, with a postdoctoral stay at the École de Technologie Supérieure, in Montreal, Canada. Creator and founder of the Specialized Research Unit in Hydroinformatics and Environmental Technology (HITA). His lines of specialty include hydraulics, hydrology, Water management, climate variability and sustainability. He has given around 50 national and international conferences and has written around 40 publications including articles in national and international magazines, conferences, and books.

Arturo Jimenez Palacios currently is a student of a master program on environmental and ecological economics. He has a bachelor’s in economics and international business. His current line of research is on water resources and environmental economics, valuation of environmental quality, economics of climate change, water resources governance and circular economy. Also, he is a founding member of the Circular Economy Club in Xalapa-Enriquez, Veracruz.


Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Aqua Vitae

  • Book Subtitle: Unraveling the Story of Water in Latin America

  • Editors: Gerald Augusto Corzo Perez, Laszlo G. Hayde, Rabindranarth Romero-López, Arturo Jiménez Palacios

  • Series Title: The Latin American Studies Book Series

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Earth and Environmental Science, Earth and Environmental Science (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-57730-7Due: 05 October 2024

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-57733-8Due: 05 October 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-57731-4Due: 05 October 2024

  • Series ISSN: 2366-3421

  • Series E-ISSN: 2366-343X

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: VIII, 158

  • Number of Illustrations: 14 b/w illustrations, 33 illustrations in colour

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