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Deanna Polic

Protecting invisible water bodies: The case of the Cape Flats Aquifer

Deanna’s Masters project is concerned with protecting invisible bodies of water in the context of climate change, concentrating on the case of the Cape Flats Aquifer in the Cape Town drought between 2015 and 2018. She explores multiple ‘ways of knowing’ the Cape Flats Aquifer and engages in a critical watershed ethnography in which the aquifer becomes both the site (place) and participant (body) in her observations. By tracing the layers and lenses that articulate these invisible waters, she argues that, to achieve both social and ecological justice, we must move environmental protection beyond relationships of exploitation and towards care and respect, where we value water as intrinsic and understand humanity as part of a larger earth community. 

Deanna has a BSocSci (International Relations & Philosophy) and a BA Hons (Political Science). Her research interests are the protection, agency and representation of more-than-human nature, including legal environmental personhood and wild law, with specific focus on underground water, aquifer infrastructures and recharge patterns.