The gender aspects of water scarcity through tourism development have
rarely been explored. In June 2013, Equality director Dr Stroma Cole and
researcher María Díaz Madrigal conducted more than 40 interviews with a
variety of local people to examine the tourism-water-gender nexus in
Tamarindo, a resort on Costa Rica’s north Pacific coast. They found that
over-development through tourism has lead to a variety of problems in
terms of water supply and sustainability. In terms of gender, women are
more strongly affected by the quality of the water supply due to cultural
expectations around women’s domestic roles. This highlights how gendered power relations are at work in the intersection between tourism
development and water. This research is currently being developed – in
collaboration with Equality director Dr Lucy Ferguson – into an article
for a special issue of the journal Tourism Geographies on the Political
Economy of Nature.