In some attempt to understand the science behind the subject matter I’m studying, I attended the International Association of Hydrogeologists International Congress in Rome this September. Amongst the plethora of technical ‘hard science’ presentations, I apologised to an audience – solely constituting hydrogeologists – of the comparatively ‘soft’ presentation I was about to give, not just on law and governance but the hugely elusive concept of environmental justice.
My oral presentation, ‘Is Justice Blind to Hidden Water? Transboundary aquifer governance: a challenge for environmental justice,’ explored the concept of environmental justice as a tool that can be operationalised in order to identify structures of injustice, which can inform policy-makers of asymmetries between groups.
My poster presentation, ‘Do Oil and Water Mix? The need for a coherent law of transboundary aquifers,’ compared the different international legal regimes governing the constituent parts of transboundary aquifers and oil and gas reserves in order to establish lessons for the future development of international law governing transboundary aquifers.