Lucy Rodina

Photo credit: Graham McDowell


Research interests:
Water governance, urban water systems, resilience, human right to water, urban political ecology, South Africa

Dr. Lyudmila (Lucy) Rodina completed her PhD (2018) work under the supervision by Leila Harris, from the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES). She was also a Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, and International WaTERS Graduate Fellow. In October 2018, she moved to Ottawa and is now working as a Policy Analyst in the Policy and Results Branch at Infrastructure Canada, working on resilience, green infrastructure and environmental quality files.

In her doctoral work, Dr. Rodina addresses the gap in empirical and theoretical understanding of how resilience thinking is applied in the context of water governance, broadly defined. More specifically, she studies the intersection of water governance, resilience and environmental justice in urban contexts. Lucy studies the nascent challenges to urban water governance in the face of global environmental change and their implications for transformation in the urban water sector. She engages critically with resilience, evaluating the various ways in which resilience thinking and planning agendas are (re)shaping urban water governance across different scales. With a specific focus on a case study from South Africa, she theorizes and develops a situated understanding of water resilience – attentive to specific biophysical environments, lived experiences, socio-political and governance contexts, power and marginalization – for water experts and decision-makers on one hand, and residents of impoverished, peri-uban and informal settlements on the other. Her work further informs the possibilities for addressing equity and social justice concerns within a resilience framework, by investigating the discursive and practical manifestations of questions of poverty, inequality and differentiated water-related vulnerabilities in water governance. Ultimately, this project aims to engage with resilience thinking critically by investigating the different dimensions in which resilience can be evaluated.

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Peer-reviewed publications:

Rodina, L. (2019). Planning for water resilience: Competing agendas among Cape Town’s planners and water managers. Environmental Science & Policy, 99: 10–16.

Rodina, L. (2018). Defining “water resilience”: Debates, concepts, approaches, and gaps. WIREs Water 6(2), e1334: 1–18.

Shah, S. H. and L. Rodina. (2018). Water ethics, justice and equity in social-ecological systems conservation: Lessons from the Queensland Wild Rivers Act. Water Policy 20(5): 933-952. DOI: 10.2166/wp.2018.016

Harris, L.M., McKenzie, S, Rodina, L. Shah, S.H., & N. Wilson. (2018) Water justice: key concepts, debates and research agendas. In: R. Holifield, J. Chakraborty, and G. Walker (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice. London and New York, Routledge: pp. 338-349

Harris, L.M,  Kleiber, D., Rodina, L, Yaylaci, S., Goldin, J., & G. Owen (2017). Water Materialities and Participatory Governance: Implications of water quality and access for participatory engagement in Accra Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa. Society & Natural Resources 31(1):89-105.

Rodina, L., Baker, L A., Galvin, M., Golden, J., Harris, L M., Manungfala, T., Musemwa, M., Sutherland, C., & G. Ziervogel (2017). Water, equity and resilience in Southern Africa: future directions for research and practiceCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 26-27: 143-151.

Ziervogel, G., Pelling, M., Cartwright, A., Chu, E., Deshpande, T., Harris, L., Hyams, K., Kaunda, J., Klaus, B., Kavya, M., Pasquini, L., Pharoah, R., Rodina, L., Scott, D. and P. Zweig. (2017) Inserting rights and justice into urban resilience : a focus on everyday riskEnvironment and Urbanization 29(1): 123-138. DOI:10.1177/0956247816686905

Rodina, L. (2017). Reflections on water ethics and the human right to water in Khayelitsha, South Africa. In: R. Ziegler and D. Groenfeldt (Eds). Global Water Ethics: Towards a global ethics charter. London and New York, Routledge: pp. 167-183

Rodina, L & L. M. Harris (2016). Water Services, Lived Citizenship, and Notions of the State in Marginalised Urban Spaces: The case of Khayelitsha, South Africa. Water Alternatives 9(2): 336-355.

Rodina, L. (2016). Human right to water in Khayelitsha, South Africa – Lessons from a ‘lived experiences’ perspective. Geoforum 72: 58-66. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.04.003

Harris, L., Rodina, L. &  C. Morinville (2015). Revisiting the Human Right to Water from an Environmental Justice LensPolitics, Groups and Identities 3(4): 660-665.

Rodina, L. (2014) Implementation of the Human Right to Water in Khayelitsha, South Africa – lessons from a ‘lived experiences’ perspective. IRES Working Paper Series.

Morinville, C., & L. Rodina. (2013). Rethinking the Human Right to Water: Water Access and Dispossession in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game ReserveGeoforum, 49: 150-159.

Anderson, E.,  Findlater, K. M., Freeman, O. E., Levine, J., Morinville, C., Peloso, M., Rodina, L., Singh, G., Tesfamichael,  D., Harris, L & H. Zerriffi (2012). Bridging Disciplinary and Professional Divides to Improve International Development Research at Universities. In: W. Leal Filho (Ed). Sustainable Development at Universities: New Horizons. Frankfurt, Peter Lang Publishers: 753-770.

Rodina, L. (2010). Burns Bog: Power Relations in the Social Production of Nature. UBC Journal Of Political Studies, March 2010: 67-75.

Awards and scholarships*:
Les Lavkulich Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service, 2018
Liu Institute For Global Issues Bottom Billion Research Award, 2016
SSHRC Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, 2016
International WaTERS Graduate Fellowship, 2015
Resilience 2014 Conference Travel Award, 2014
Les Lavkulich Scholarship for Resources and Environment, 2013
SSHRC-CGS Doctoral award, 2013
UBC Four Year Doctoral Fellowship, 2013
UBC Graduate Student International Research Mobility Award, 2012
College for Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Award, 2011
Faculty Women’s Club Jubilee Scholarship, 2011
*monetary values withheld

l.rodina (at)

Follow Lucy Rodina on Twitter,, and ResearchGate, or visit her personal website


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