Technology and Power

In this lecture, we delve into the intricate relationship between science, technology, and the governance of water resources, illustrating how advancements in these areas have historically been leveraged to exert and project power. Through the lens of the Indus Basin’s transformation and Dutch colonial interventions in Indonesia’s traditional rice systems, we explore the profound impacts of Enlightenment-era scientific breakthroughs on imperial dominance. This session also considers the potential societal upheavals prompted by modern innovations in agricultural water management, including precision agriculture, AI, and satellite remote sensing. Concluding with a discussion on nature-based solutions and the politics surrounding sustainable agricultural adaptation, this lecture aims to unravel the complex interplay between technological advancement, power dynamics, and environmental stewardship in the context of global river basins.