The Science and Politics of Water Quality

  • Javier Arce-Nazario


Water quality is a complex resource to analyze in the context of environmental justice, and so specific frameworks and proxies have been developed which in turn have become the basis for governmental regulations and compliance standards. A Critical Physical Geography approach applied to examples from small rural community water systems in Puerto Rico demonstrates how enacting environmental justice through water quality regulation can be counterproductive and even unjust, and reveals the risk in exporting regulations conceived for the United States to systems in its ecologically distinct territories. The case study leads to the conclusion that assessments of water quality and resulting disparities in access should be grounded in a critical understanding of biophysical and social processes.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Arce-Nazario
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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