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Water grabbing? Focus on the (re)appropriation of finite water resources

Recent large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural production, also known as land grabbing, have attracted headline attention. However, water as both a target and driver of this phenomenon has been largely ignored in the debate. This special issue of Water Alternatives aims to fill this gap and to widen the perspective beyond the limited focus on agriculture-driven resource grabbing. The articles in this collection demonstrate that the fluid nature of water and its hydrologic complexity often obscure how water grabbing takes place and what the associated impacts on the environment and diverse social groups are. The discussed factors combined with the powerful material, discursive and symbolic characteristics of water make water grabbing a site for conflict with potential drastic impacts on the current and future uses and benefits of water.