Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai
This chapter demonstrates how the city’s urban government is extended into the region through projects to secure ever-increasing quantities of water from nearby rural areas. It details how rainfall in an agrarian district one hundred kilometers from the city is made Mumbai’s not just through technology and labor but also through discourses of water scarcity that frequently appear in the city’s newspapers. I demonstrate how the loud, relentless discourses of water scarcity hide the city’s underground water resources. These discourses also unmake the lives rural residents when their waters are secured by the city. The chapter concludes by demonstrating how the discourses of scarcity have an afterlife in the politics of the city wherein water is materially and discursively made to be conducive for the performances of xenophobic urban politics.