What is it about?

We used MuSIASEM methodology to study the water metabolism of Cuenca's (Ecuador) territory. Cuenca´s territory has a medium size city, an important rural area, and key biodiversity conservation areas. The paper describes our results, which have unexpected revelations.

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Why is it important?

On one hand, MuSIASEM applied to water metabolism studies reveals hidden processes by non-systemic single-level studies. In our case study, apparently, Cuenca's water metabolism is sustainable at a macro level. But at medium and micro levels it is not. MuSIASEM shows what other methodologies couldn't: that systemic multilevel studies can bring light to what is normally dark. On the other hand, we show that societal metabolism studies are fundamental to discussing and studying sustainability. These studies have the potential to be one of the numerous pillars that can sustain the overcoming of the market economy dictatorship. Societal metabolism studies can reveal, from an ecological economics perspective, the truly real economy.


I think that is fundamental to building a new non-monetary economy. Ecological economics and feminist economy could be the basis for that task. Within those frameworks, societal metabolism studies reveal the truly real economics links between societies and their territories.

Antonio Malo Larrea
Universitat de Girona

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Looking inside the Blackbox: Cuenca’s water metabolism, PLoS ONE, September 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0273629.
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