In Lefebvre’s approach, the world would appear to be completely urbanized. The anthropocenic categorization of the current global epoch would also appear to be an accurate one. All of the earth’s resources are under human control, but perhaps that control is not as universal or complete as we initially believed. If we take a look at today’s water infrastructure around the world we can observe a global tendency of cities towards poor water management - an actual lack of control. For instance, western and well-developed countries are developing their water systems around potable and clean water for all kinds of uses related to human activities. Shower, cleaning, agriculture - the whole systems are using clean water as a standard and anything else is relegated as wastewater. In many developing countries, the rich populations are converted to this western doctrine, monopolizing clean water for themselves while the rest of the population has to deal with non-filtered water sources for their survival.
This point is essential, because regarding the tension around fresh water today, the distribution of these resources tends to be controlled and vertically distributed in many parts of the globe. In the opposite way, wastewater is running in a totally unlocked and horizontal distribution system. Even in the least developed areas, canals, drains, trenches, are indispensable informal infrastructures collecting wastewater. Alongside oil, water is quickly shaping up to be a resource of geopolitical conflict that will determine the course of the 21st century.3 However, this next crisis is mostly caused by our lack of infrastructure surrounding the use and reuse of water. Regarding the clear division between two distribution paradigms; solutions for our future are maybe already running in our streets and down our buildings and factories.
The poor management of water around the world is heightened by climate change as already dry places become deserts and wet places become floodlands, forcing people to move from what would traditionally be considered as rural areas to city centers. With a changing climate and the consequences it has brought and continues to bring, the Anthropocene perhaps deserves a slightly different definition. Rather than an era of human dominion over the environment, it is instead that all events within the environment have a direct causation from human action. Human dominion implies an ability to control, whereas we seem to be witnessing a lack of human control as major nations depart from international efforts to affect environmental change.