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Technonatural revolutions: the scalar politics of Francos hydro-social dream for Spain, 19391975
Erik Swyngedouw
In this paper, I seek to document and substantiate the notion of the production of socio-natures by elaborating how Spains modernization process after the Civil War became a deeply and very specific scalar geographical project, articulated through the production of a specific technonatural hydraulic edifice. I shall focus on the momentous transformation of the hydraulic environment during the Franco period (19391975) and seek to reformulate Spains socio-hydraulic reconstruction in the context of a double and partly contradictory scalar politics. Two theoretically interrelated arguments guide this endeavour. On the one hand, Francos ideological-political mission was predicated upon national territorial integration, the eradication of regionalist or autonomist aspirations, and a concerted discursive and physical process of cultural and material national(ist) homogenization and modernization. On the other, the production of the technonatural material infrastructures of this modernizing programme was predicated upon re-scaling the networks of interest on which Francos power rested from a national visionary to an internationalist geo-economic and geo-political imagination, articulated through Spains integration in the US-led Western Alliance. key words technonatures society and nature historical geographical materialism Fascism Spain hydraulic politics

Department of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, Manchester M13 9PL email:

revised manuscript received 13 September 2006

On my shoulders rests . . . the responsibility to make a new Spain. (F. Franco, 29 April 1961)

Contested hydro-social modernization

In 2000, more than 400 000 people gathered in Zaragoza and 250 000 in Madrid and Barcelona protesting against the second National Hydraulic Plan that had been approved by the conservative government of Jos Mara Aznars Partido Popular. In subsequent years, protests spread to many other towns and cities around the country. The movement brought together an often-uneasy alliance of environmentalists, regionalists, socialists and local activists. In their heterogeneous claims and demands, they mobilized a diverse set of human and non-human issues: the rights of fish and

fishermen, the fate of river sediments and sea shorelines, the life of birds and plants, the preservation of wetlands and biodiversity, the protection of local livelihoods and regional cultures, ecological concerns, waters mythical values, and natures or peoples rights to water (Arrojo Agudo 2001 2004; Pons Mria 2003). The activists primary target was the Pharaonic plan to transfer large quantities of surplus water from the Ebro river basin to the deficit basins of the semiarid Southeastern regions of the Levant on the one hand, and to Barcelona on the other. At the other end of the spectrum, irrigation-based farmers, urban boosters, golf course enthusiasts and political elites of regions that would receive the new water raised their voices in dissent against this protest, and manifestations in support of the

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water transfer schemes were organized in cities like Almeria and Valencia. When, on 14 March 2004, Jos Luis Rodriguez Zapatero from the socialist PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Espaol) unexpectedly won the elections (a few days after the train bombings in Madrid), one of the first measures the new government took was to scrap the controversial water transfers. This conflict over the future organization of Spains hydraulic landscape reflects the enduring legacy of the radical socio-environmental transformations engineered during the long dictatorial rule of Franco that lasted from 1939 (the end of the Civil War) until his death in 1975. Under General Francisco Franco Bahamonde, more than 600 dams were built in Spain (Vallarino 1992, 67) leading to a complete retooling of the ten river basins of mainland Spain. Throughout the Franco years, water infrastructures and the transformation of the technonatural edifice of Spain would be continuously mobilized by the propaganda machinery to such an extent that a popular nickname for General Franco was, and still is, Paco Rana (Frankie, the Frog). The most popularly omnipresent image of Franco is he being on water, while inaugurating yet another hydro-technical project. By the time Franco died virtually all river basins were exploited to the full and Spain would have the highest number of dams per capita in the world (29 per million). Southern river basins were used to the last drop of water by water-intensive irrigation agriculture and tourist-based development. As Gomez De Pablos puts it,
[I]t is during the decades after the 1940 Plan when the Spanish rivers were actually created, and the principal hydraulic regulation structures . . . were constructed or initiated. (1973a, 242)

Francos ideological-political mission was predicated upon the creation of a nationally integrated Spain, the eradication of regionalist or autonomist aspirations (Carr 1995) and a concerted discursive and physical process of cultural and material national(ist) homogenization. On the other, Francos modernizing programme required a re-scaling of the networks of interest on which his power rested from an exclusively national(ist) visionary to an international geo-economic and geo-political imagination. This was articulated through Spains integration in the US-led Western Alliance that emerged during the Cold War politics of the second half of the twentieth century. I shall first briefly situate the theoretical concerns that guide the subsequent analysis.

Scalar revolutions: remaking technonatural networks, producing new geographies

I view Spains hydro-social development between 1939 and 1975 as a particular socio-physical process of producing new technonatures, through which symbolic formations are forged, social groups enrolled, and natural processes and things entangled and maintained (see Lwy 1994; Castree 2000 2002; Gandy 2002). Such productions of socio-nature, largely through techno-natural arrangements (Luke 1999; White and Wilbert 2006), are not socially or politically neutral, but express and re-constitute physical, social, cultural, economic or political power relations (Harvey 1996; Castree and Braun 2001; Desfor and Keil 2004; Swyngedouw 2004a; Heynen et al. 2006). Parts of nature become enrolled in and reconstituted through the networks of power that animate this process (Castree 2002 2003; Kirsch and Mitchell 2004). Ultimately, the success or otherwise of such trajectories depends on socio-political struggles and the emergence of a hegemonic dynamic that permits the socio-environmental transformation process to become concrete-in-the-world (Kaika 2005). In other words, the litmus test resides in the mobilization of a sufficiently large and allied group of social elites, together with particular discursive and material enrolments of nature, around a distinct socio-environmental project (Mitchell 1996; Speich 2002). This production of nature is an integral part of a process of producing scale (Smith 1984; Swyngedouw 2003b; Sneddon 2003; Brown and Purcell

So, grappling with the production of Spains fascist technonatures is vital in order to situate contemporary socio-hydrological debates, strategies and projects (see, for example, Bakker 2002). While the early twentieth century has already been documented (see Swyngedouw 1999 2003a), the study of the fascist period needs urgent attention.1 In this paper, I seek to document how Spains hydrosocial modernization process after the Civil War became a deeply and very specific scalar geographical project. I shall consider the transforming hydraulic environment during the Franco period (19391975) in the context of a double and partly contradictory scalar politics. On the one hand,

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2005). I argue that Spains hydrosocial technonatural transformation is predicated upon specific and contradictory scalar re-arrangements. Notwithstanding the theoretical controversies over scale that I cannot rehearse within the context of this paper (see, for example, Marston 2000; Uitermark 2002; McMaster and Sheppard 2003; Purcell 2003; Heynen and Swyngedouw 2004), I start from the view that scale is not ontologically given, but socioenvironmentally mobilized through socio-spatial power struggles. In other words, socio-spatial relations have a scalar constitution as relational networks are forged that produce spatial geometries that are more or less long, more or less extensive. Yet, at the same time, these relational scalar networks articulate with produced territorial or geographical configurations that also exhibit scalar dimensions (Zimmerer 2000a 2000b; Natter and Zierhofer 2002; Sneddon 2003; Swyngedouw 2004b). In the Spanish post-war context, the remaking of Spains hydrosocial landscape was part of an effort to create a socioculturally, politically and physically integrated national territorial scale and to obliterate earlier regionalist desires. Yet, this nationalistic sociophysical remaking of Spain was predicated upon forging networked national and, in particular, transnational socio-political and economic scalar arrangements. I shall briefly document the failure of Spains early twentieth-century hydraulic mission that saw national redemption in embracing a Hydraulic Politics. I shall then outline the fascist hydraulic project that mobilized nature and water in a particular manner. The elite networks on which the nationalist hydraulic vision rested, the enrolment of nature and technology, and their place within the networks of power will be charted, together with the mobilization of cultural-symbolic power and propaganda. In the final part of the paper, I shall explore the changing geo-political and geo-economic matrices and scalar networks that were instrumental in bringing the hydraulic project to fruition.

Paco Ranas wet dream for Spain: re-scaling water flows

The contradictions of failed modernization during the early twentieth century
Hydraulic politics, a term coined by Joaquin Costa, emerged in the late nineteenth century at a time that Spain was going through a profound

political, economic and socio-cultural crisis (see Costa Martnez 1975 (1892); Swyngedouw 1999). The end of Spanish colonialism with the disaster of 1898 closed definitively our ultramarine horizons and made us return our gaze to the old lands and to analyse their condition (Gonzalez Paz 1970, 983 4). The hydraulic mission was originally conceived as a strategy and integrated action plan to remedy the national economic and social malaise and disintegration, to redeem and re-generate Spains troubled geography. It aimed at resolving the agricultural crisis and the proliferating social tensions arising from an increasingly discontented, revolting and impoverished peasantry and at addressing the failure to modernize agricultural production from the part of the landed elites (Swyngedouw 1999). Hydraulic interventions and the mobilization of the countrys erratic waters were conceived as a means to rationalize production, to serve as a wedge to permit structural land reform, and to facilitate access to land and water for the landless peasants. However, the early twentieth-century proposals to implement Costas Hydraulic politics failed to make the envisaged impact. The limited achievements of this embryonic democratic hydro-modernization and the resulting deepening of inequalities raised social mobilization, and accentuated social conflict and polarization.2 The outcome of the Civil War (19361939) would turn the tide in favour of the traditional elites. The hydraulic politics of the Franco era would abandon the radical social reforms that were originally part of the regeneracionist platform and concentrate instead on the engineering of reservoir and irrigation water. The regeneracionist discourse of the early twentieth century had opted resolutely for a state-led development of hydraulic works. The availability of water became articulated and experienced as a problem of state voluntarism, rather than resulting from natural scarcity. If problems of scarcity existed, this was simply because of the incapacity of the state to perform its functions adequately. State management of water generated a sense of unlimited potential availability. A natural limit, therefore, became interpreted and scientifically defined as a deficit between the regionally desired volumes and the nationally available quantities. Indeed, from the early twentieth century, the natural distribution of rainfall and water availability was increasingly decried as a disequilibrium that required rectification (Snchez de Toca 1911,

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299 300). And the means to achieve this was to criss-cross the country with an arterial hydraulic system, a national network of dams and reservoirs, and, by doing so, to create Nature (Costa Martnez 1975 (1892), 259; Gmez Mendoza 1992, 241). An internal war against drought had to be fought so that idle rivers would provide drink to the dry lands of Spain by means of a surgical remedy to rebalance the socio-ecological matrix of the nation (Rodrguez Ferrero 2001, 126). It is this constructed mythology that would be effectively captured by Francos regime and elevated to official hydrosocial doctrine.

to explain away socio-economic difficulties. At the same time, creating a new socio-nature that would remedy this persistent drought was staged as one of the vital projects for realizing the fascist utopia (see, for example, Sabio Alcutn 1994). Water issues were constructed as the main collective challenge facing Spain, thereby deflecting attention from issues like social justice or land distribution. The extract below is just one among dozens in which Franco mobilizes water as an integral part of his politics:
Spain hurt us because of its drought, its misery, the needs of our villages and hamlets; and all this pain of Spain is redeemed with these grand national hydraulic works, with this Reservoir of the Ebro and all others that will be created in our river basins, embellishing the landscape and producing this golden liquid that is the basis of our independence. (F Franco, 6 August 1952 in del Rio Cisneros 1964, 1223)

Enrolling water: rectifying natures injustice

In the first National Hydraulic Plan of 1932, Spains hydraulic geography had already been defined as suffering from a hydrological disequilibrium between river basins with a water deficit and those with excess water (Pardo 1999 (1933); Arrojo Agudo 2000, 44). The regions with water shortage suffered an injustice of nature, which demanded that the state dealt with this discrimination by rectifying this natural disorder, resulting from the view that Spain would never be rich as long as its rivers flowed into the sea (Maluquer de Motes 1983, 96). The nationalist hydro-social project became formulated as a hydrological correction of the national geographical problem (Gmez Mendoza 1992, 236) that would make a hydraulic artery system cross the whole country a national network of dams and irrigation channels (Gmez Mendoza and Ortega Cantero 1992, 174). By the late 1930s, this socio-physical construction of water as the source of Spains precarious condition because of its erratic temporalities and uneven spatial distribution, which can be rectified through appropriate technonatural structures, was captured effectively by Franco:
We are prepared to make sure that not a single drop of water is lost and that not a single injustice remains. (F. Franco 1959, 1)

The debate over water and its engineering became squarely structured around the desire to construct a nationally more equitable and just distribution of water resources by means of a grand geographical reorganization of its flows. Inter river basin water transfers would become the backbone of this imagined national grid. The skeleton of this system, the Tajo-Segura transfer, was built during the Franco regime. As Martnez Gil contends, the doctrinal nucleus of the hydraulic imaginary, forged during the long second half of the twentieth century, was:
[t]he thesis of the natural hydraulic disequilibrium in the country, with a dry Spain and an other humid Spain, which resulted in an age-old situation of deficit river basins that lack the water social demand requires, in the face of surplus river basins where the circulating volumes of water are greater than present and future demand. . . . Our treacherous torrential waters are the definitive image of a country in which the Creator has made a mistake. (1999, 110)

The propaganda machinery effectively played on this twin position of water, i.e. as simultaneously the source of Spains problems as well as the thing from which salvation could be wrought. For example, R. Cavestany de Anduaga, minister of agriculture, stated: not a drop of water that we try to get will later be lost to the sea (1958, 192). Franco and his supporters continuously invoked the image of persistent drought (pertinaz sequia)

Rectifying this error, and restoring a national hydraulic balance, demanded the up-scaling of the management and planning of water resources from the scale of the river basin to the national scale, national integration, a centralized hydraulic administration and a strong national state that had centralized and absolute power over the waters of the country, a mission Franco promised to deliver.

The making of a new Spanish hydraulic world

Spain pioneered the establishment of river basin authorities. As early as 1865, attempts were made to establish river basin based organizations (see

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Cano Garca 1992; Swyngedouw 1999). During the Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (19231930), the powerful Confederaciones Sindicales Hidrogrficas (River Basin Authorities) were gradually established (The Ebro Confederation was the first to be established on 5 March 1926; see Pardo 1930). Five more river basin authorities were set up between 1926 and 1929, one during the Republic (1934), and the remaining four between 1948 and 1961. The initial structure of the Confederations was based on four principles: the unity of the river basin as the proper territorial scale for the management of water resources, the water basin as integrated planning unit, the participation of the water users in the management of the river basin, and the decentralization of State functions to the scale of the river basin (Pardo 1930). However, after the fascist victory, this perspective was replaced by a centralist national territorial vision. Indeed, the political significance of the regional scale became marginalized.3 The originally intended locally organized, democratic, participatory and collective structure of the existing Confederations was abolished in 1942 and replaced by a national technocratic-bureaucratic organization in charge of implementing technically nationally ordered public hydraulic works (Alcarez Calvo 1994). The Confederations became a mere technical appendage of the central Direccin General de Obras Hidrulicas (DGOH) (Prez Picazo 1999), financed and controlled by the national state. The final blow came in 1959 when National Water Commissioners were instituted and put in charge of the very powerful administration of water concessions, policing and allocating irrigation water (Palancar Penella 1960). Hydraulic Politics became a sublimated expression of the political economy of the nation (Frutos Mejias 1995, 185) that turned the hydraulic future of Spain into a national, patriotic, and transpolitical mission (del Moral Ituarte 1996, 181). The DGOH became a well-funded and extraordinarily powerful state department, highly corporatist in ideology and closely associated with key national economic sectors such as engineering offices, construction companies, cement factories, electricity companies, etc. (Martnez Gil 1999, 107). The concrete and steel fever and the obsession to leave not a single river in freedom shaped the actions and strategies of the DGOH, driven by the totalizing vision of the need to engineer the whole of the nations river basins as a single, integrated, unified, national-territorial system. The river basin authorities

lost their judicial autonomy, their representational organization and their integrated planning function. The jumping of scale of the institutional and political powers of water management from the river basin to the national scale reinforced a national geographical perspective at the expense of the regional scale and contributed to the repression of any remaining regionalist aspirations. In the process, all manner of power relations were rekindled and re-networked (see below).

Y hombre cre los ros! (And man created the rivers! Molina 2005)
In 1937, before Franco had even consolidated his power, he had already instructed engineer Alfonso Pea Boeuf (who would become Minister of Public Works after 1939) to prepare a General Plan for Public Works, a large part of which would be dedicated to hydraulic infrastructures. His proposals were officially approved in 1941, and provided the backbone for hydraulic development during the subsequent decades (Pea Boeuf 1955, 615). The proposal re-iterated the outline of the national plan of 1933, but re-oriented its strategy much more decisively to a nationally programmed system aimed at guaranteeing Spains self-reliant development. The disastrous financial and politicaleconomic conditions of autarchy during the early Franco reign prevented, however, the massive hydro-social revolution that had been envisaged. Until the mid-fifties, there literally was not enough steel, concrete, money and machines available to make the waters flow uphill. The only thing that was not in short supply during the early years was a cheap (occasionally free see below), docile, defeated and impoverished working class. As Figure 1 shows, dam and reservoir construction took off during the second half of Francos rule, and Franco would indeed realize his wet dream for Spain. Over the 35 years of his rule, the number of dams grew from about 180 in 1939 to over 800, and reservoir capacity expanded exponentially. There are indeed two phases in the making of the fascist hydro-social landscape. The first period, between 1939 and 1955, was characterized by a sustained rhetoric of the urgent need for dams and irrigation, but with few major achievements. While 106 new dams were built between 1941 and 1955, the capacity of reservoir water only rose from about 4000 hm3 (cubic hectometres) to 8000 hm3. The acceleration of the scalar remaking of Spains hydro-social network would have to wait until a

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Figure 1 Evolution of dams constructed and volume of reservoir water in Spain, 1910 2000 Sources: Diaz-Marta Pinilla (1997 (1969)); Direccin General de Obras Hidraulicas (1990); Toran and Herreras (1977, 25966); Martn Mendiluce (1996, 724); Ministerio de Medio Ambiente (2000b)

repositioning of the geo-political relations and their associated political economic networking. Indeed, flows of capital, expertise and steel would take a radical turn after the secret SpanishUS agreements of 1953 (see below). This moment would prove to be a watershed in terms of permitting the realization of Paco Ranas hydro-vision for Spain. Between 1955 and 1970, 276 dams were built with reservoir capacity skyrocketing to 37 000 hm3 by 1970 and to 42 000 by 1980. Mega-dams built during this period massively increased the regulatory, hydro-electrical and irrigation capacity of Spain. In his speech to

commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Our Movement and The Victory, Franco himself insisted how his great hydraulic and irrigation works are changing the geography of Spain (Franco 1959, 1). The backbone for a nationally integrated system for inter-river basin transfers that would permit considering the hydrosocial cycle as an integral and unitary national cycle (Hernndez 1994, 15) was also under construction at the time of Francos death (the Tajo-Segura water transfer):
If the ideas of Joaquin Costa were based on the unity of the river basin as the framework for the implementation

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of hydraulic projects, Hydrologic Planning [after 1933] extended this framework to the national scale, by advancing as one of its objectives the correction of the existing disequilibria on the Iberian Peninsula by means of interconnecting the river basins. (Melgarejo Moreno 2000, 273)


The political decision to go ahead with the transfer was taken by the council of ministers in 1955, but the actual works did not start before 1968 (Lpez Bermdez 1974). In its first phase, 600 hm3 would be transferred annually to the reservoirs of the Segura river basin with an eye towards irrigation and urban supply in the provinces of Murcia and Alicante. In a second phase, the transferred volume would increase to 1000 hm3/year. When, in 1963, Franco inaugurated the Centre for Hydrographical Studies (Centro de Estudios Hidrograficos) (ROP 1963, 553; Urbistondo 1963), one of its first missions was to undertake preliminary studies for the TajoSegura and other possible water transfers. This vision
announced the end of the old concept of the hermetic boundaries of river basins. Water was from now onwards considered to be a national good that has to be taken to where it is most productive and most scarce. (Saenz Garcia 1967, 190)

Of course, this achievement depended crucially on the loyal support of a series of powerful interlocked national and international networks of interests and coalitions (Melgarejo Moreno 1995, 7). They often overlapped partially, were occasionally antagonistic and required careful massaging and managing within an overall Falangist programme and ideology. I shall now turn to these national networks of interests that supported and consolidated the Franco regime, and together with the mobilization of water, produced the assemblages that would render the socio-hydraulic edifice possible and, in a Latourian sense (Latour 1996), permit it to stand and endure.

Producing networks of interest

The socio-economic and religious alliances that Franco forged generated a maze of power relations that supported the regime and secured its longevity. After his victory, Franco eliminated through execution, imprisonment or exile the most activist parts of the oppositional movements, while securing the loyalty of many royalists, nationalists, the church hierarchy, the military and significant parts of the national industrial bourgeoisie. The Falange became the only legal political party and the conduit for Francos political support.4 The strong stateeconomy linkages would cement a corporatist state structure that could count on an endogenous capitalist sector, whose success and profit was closely tied up with the states investment flows. The importance of some of these regimesupporting networks has been well documented.5 However, in the context of this paper, I shall concentrate on those networks that have been neglected in the literature, yet were vital for revolutionizing Spains hydro-social geography. These were networks of key ideologues and practitioners that provided the technical, scientific and discursive support that would build and maintain, both materially and symbolically, the expanding national and integrated networks of dams, pipes, hydro-machinery and irrigation systems in a unified and fascist Spain. These groups are the large landowners, the electricians, the engineers and the media.

On 30 July 1966, the government ordered the preparation of a transfer project proposal (Martn Mendiluce and Pliego 1967). On 5 February 1968, the project was formally approved, and the Council of Ministers approved the beginnings of the works on 13 September of the same year (Gonzalez Paz 1970, 987). Water is pumped over a height of 300 metres and flows over a distance of 286 kilometres, with 69 kilometres tunnelled (of which 32 through the Sierra de Helln, which separates the Jcar and Segura basins, at a depth of 300 metres), 11 kilometres in aqueduct and the remainder in an open-air canal (Gomez De Pablos 1972, 471). In 1971, the then Minister of Public Works, Gonzalo Fernndez de la Mora, invoked again the metaphor of hydraulic surgery to refer to these most important works in the hydraulic history of Spain (Fernndez de la Mora 1971, 338, 339). The Chairman of the Spanish and International Commission on Large Dams saluted Franco, in 1971, in a speech presented to him, as
the great builder of great dams and an example, unique in the world, of a statesman who creates the hydraulic foundations for the progress of his people. (Torn 1971, 314)

Water for the latifundistas

While the rise of popular movements early in the twentieth century raised the problem of peasant labourers and their right to land and water, the

Paco Rana had indeed directed and overseen the complete socio-hydraulic revolution of his fatherland.

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outcome of the Civil War solidified the interests of the large landowners (latifundistas), particularly, but not exclusively, in southern Spain (Bernal 1990; Ort 1994, 243). While there was a technocraticengineering continuity, the socially reformist republican agenda was radically altered. In particular, the defeat of the Left in the Civil War had broken the relationship between social reform and hydraulic infrastructure development (del Moral Ituarte 1991, 508; 1994), thereby restoring the hegemony of the landowners (del Moral Ituarte 1999, 1867). Major land redistribution programmes stopped. The Instituto de Colonizacin (INC), set up originally to provide land to landless peasants, became a great propagandistic tool, but realized relatively little. Ultimately, the INC acquired only 149 358 hectares of irrigated land and settled 24 047 colonists on these lands between 1939 and 1975. Another 323 385 hectares of non-irrigated land were acquired, which were offered to a total of 23 773 peasants (Ortega 1975, 240). Yet, an estimated total of 1635 million hectares of newly or improved irrigated lands were serviced by the state during the Franco era (Ortega 1975, 223). Indeed, the earlier socially motivated hydraulic regeneracionism was transformed into an ultraprotectionism of the latifundistas (Acosta Bono et al. 2004, 112; Ort 1984). As Snchez-Albornoz maintains,
the land owners received the double gain of both an increase in production from irrigated lands as well as the revalorization of their land, without much counterpart other than to support the regime, something they unfailingly offered. (2004, xxv)

Irrigating the south, hydro-electrifying the north

However, a closer analysis suggests that the emphasis on irrigation was actually only one aspect of a much larger and arguably more important project, the hydro-electrification of Spain (Gomez De Pablos 1973b, 338; Simpson 1995, 261). Indeed, between 1940 and 1963, 322 dams were constructed, of which only 132 had irrigation as their principal goal (Melgarejo Moreno 2000, 302; Barciela Lpez and Lpez Ortiz 2003, 65). Until the late 1950s, more than 75 per cent of the energy needs of Spain were generated through hydro-electrical power. Between 1939 and 1957, installed hydro-electric capacity increased from 1400 MW to 5200 MW, generating a total production of 2844 million kWh in 1939, expanding to 18 790 million kWh in 1957. The bulk of the expansion took place after the mid-1950s, representing a total value of approximately US$458 million (in 1957 parity terms) (Garrido Moyron 1957). After 1964, the relationship between irrigation and hydraulic works was further severed in favour of hydro-electrical developments. Only 96 (38.2%) of the dams constructed between 1964 and 1977 were destined for irrigation purposes, while 57.6 per cent of the created capacity was earmarked for energy generation. In addition, 29 hyper-dams were constructed, many of which were also vital for the regulation of electricity production (Vera Rebollo 1995, 313). By the end of Francos rule, total energy capacity was over 25 000 MW and production had reached 82 000 GWh (Antoln Fargas 1997, 202). Although the contribution of hydroelectricity had fallen from 78 per cent in 1949 to a still significant 46.9 per cent in 1975, hydro-energy was absolutely vital for Spains modernization (see Figure 2). Moreover, the industrialization of the north, in particular in the Basque country and Catalonia, required substantial energy inputs. This development, in turn, fostered migration from the rest of Spain to the north and diluted further the remaining anti-fascist regionalist cultures in these two regions. The electricity production sector was closely allied with the network of interests that produced the fascist polity (Nez 2003). The immediate post civil war period saw an intense process of vertical and horizontal integration of electricity companies and an interlacing of the state with the oligopolistically organized companies (Buesa 1986; Antoln 1999). The geographical integration of capital and organizational structures was paralleled by a national territorial physical integration of the

Indeed, the state covered the cost of infrastructure, while the landowners reaped the benefits, with an estimated 12002000 per cent improvement of their economic return (Bernal 2004, xxxvi). It is hardly surprising that large landowners became one of the social pillars on which Francos political and sociocultural edifice would rest. While internal colonialism (Ortega 1975) and the social land problem would still be rhetorically mobilized, Francos hydro-politics has to be characterized as an agricultural counterreform that guaranteed the long-term stability of the latifundia system (Martinez Alier 1968). However, while large landowners would be able to expand their irrigated land, rhetorical attention paid to the social mission of the states hydraulic project6 served primarily as part of the propaganda machinery mobilized to legitimize grand hydraulic infrastructures (Daz-Marta Pinilla 1997, 73).

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Figure 2 Evolution of installed electricity generation capacity and production in Spain, 1915 1975 Sources: Garca Alonso and Iranzo Martn (1988, 344 5); Vallarino Cnovas del Castillo and Cuesta Diego (1999, 200); Ministerio de Medio Ambiente (2000a, 311)

electricity network through the production of a national high-voltage grid (Puente Diaz 1949). The acute energy shortages during the autarchic period of development did not stop the electricity companies (and their banking allies) to be among the most profitable businesses in the country. The states policies and interventions generated a significant transfer of state capital from the public to the private sector, either indirectly through constructing hydraulic capacity that permitted continuous production, or through subsidies, cheap loans and cross-capitalizations (Antoln Fargas 1997). Although the private companies did invest in the construction of dams and electricity generation under concession from the state, this contribution covered only a small part of the total cost of regulating the flow of water. For example, massive regulatory dams were constructed by the state that

permitted the electricity companies to build their own infrastructures downstream. Some of the largest energy oligopolies were created in Spain during this period, with the public works and industrial policy administrations as their main protagonists (Nez 1995). A symbiotic relationship developed between the state and the energy producers, something openly presented as a mutually beneficial undertaking (see Vicens Gomez-Tortosa 1961, 438 9). While much of the rhetoric concerning hydraulic works centred on the irrigation needs of the south, in practice, as Table I suggests, the largest number of dams during the 1950s and 1960s were constructed in the north, which had the greatest hydro-electrical potential. The regeneracionist discourse of agricultural modernization through irrigation played a powerful ideological role to

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18 Table I
River basin Norte Duero Tajo Guadiana Guadalquivir Sur Segura Jucar Ebro Total

Erik Swyngedouw Dams constructed, by river basin

<1940 11 9 37 27 15 8 8 13 59 187 19411955 22 15 21 3 11 0 1 9 24 106 19561970 67 29 51 15 28 2 7 16 61 276 19711980 25 5 52 28 16 8 7 4 8 169 19811986 11 3 20 15 3 7 1 0 16 76 Total 136 64 184 85 86 25 24 42 168 814

Source: Direccin General de Obras Hidraulicas (1990, 334)

legitimize large-scale hydraulic engineering, yet a significant share of the actual works were directly related to increasing energy production.

A Faustian pact: the Corps of Engineers hydraulic sensitivity

The civil engineers would of course become key protagonists of the preparation and implementation of the regimes hydro-political agenda (Gil Olcina 2003, 56). The quest for a newly manufactured national hydraulic geography by means of the rebirth of public works and the success of an efficient hydraulic politics (Snchez Rey 2003, 26) propelled the engineering fraternity (they were all men) to the forefront of Spains fascist modernization. The pages of the Revista de Obras Publicas (ROP), the mouthpiece of the Corps of Civil Engineers, reflected the views and visions of the Corps in relationship to the social, political and engineering themes of the time (see Songel Gonzlez 2003, 83). Right from the beginning of the twentieth century, the civil engineers embraced the need for a hydraulic renewal and actively defended a modernizing politics that would replace the old traditional order, its corrupt elites, and their conservative longing to recover a transcended past (ROP 2003a). However, they were hostile to the radical and revolutionary movements that swept through Spain in the 1920s and the 1930s. During these two decades of revolutionary zeal and reactionary counter-currents, the editors of the ROP would regularly voice political opinion, while insisting on technocratic neutrality and administrative service to the state. They cautiously welcomed the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera in 1923 (ROP 1923), but in an editorial to mark the end of the dictatorship in 1929, they

celebrated the accomplishments of the dictatorship and the grand works undertaken by its minister of development, de Conde de Guadalhorce (ROP 1930). With the inauguration of the Republic in 1931, the Revista published a formal and not excessively enthusiastic endorsement of the newly established democratic regime (ROP 1931). The Popular Front government of 1936 was welcomed with even less enthusiasm (Senz Ridruejo 2003, 11). The engineers, as much as any other segment of society, were politically divided during the Civil War. After the beginning of the Civil War, the engineering school and its associated Revista was taken over briefly by members of the left Union of Architecture and Engineering. In an editorial of 15 August 1936 (ROP 1936), entitled Establishing positions, they called for closing ranks in fighting off the fascist enemy and for building a modern and civilized Spain (ROP 1936, 1). Under their editorship only six, reduced in size and badly distributed, issues of the Revista appeared in 1936. However, when official publication resumed on 1 March 1940, ranks had closed hermetically around the fascist triumph. Indeed, by early 1940, the engineering profession had rallied solidly around the new regime. Never before had the Spanish engineers endorsed and unequivocally supported a political regime with such unmitigated enthusiasm. A special issue, dedicated to the Spanish Crusade 19361939, was published, with a portrait of General Franco on its front page, subtitled FRANCO! FRANCO! FRANCO! The articles paid homage to colleagues that had fought and died during the brilliant campaign of liberation on the side of the Generalisimo (ROP 1940a 2003b, 53), celebrated the new regime, and pledged unconditional support to the nationalist cause. The issue also

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Technonatural revolutions Table II The nine dam construction companies and their workforce in Spain, 1961
Manual workers (average) 10 207 2072 888 6335 10 944 7300 3952 197 2780 44 675


Name of company Agroman Empresa Constructora S.A. Termac Empresa Constructora, S.A. Cimentaciones Especiales S.A. Agrupacin para Estudios y Proyectos de Obras Dragados y Construcciones Empresa Auxiliar de la Industria S.A. (AUXINI) Obras y Construcciones Industriales S.A. San Roman S.A. Helma S.A. Empresa Constructora Total Source: NN (1961)

Active since 1927 1943 1936 1953 1941 1945 1942 1943 1952

Engineers 101 12 16 60 80 52 15 4 18 358

Other technical staff 300 51 33 267 169 187 45 12 100 1164

Administrative staff 394 78 47 716 379 117 60 29 92 1912

Total 11 002 2213 984 7378 11 572 7656 4072 242 2990 48 109

reproduced a speech delivered by Civil Engineer Toms Garca-Diego de la Huerga on 17 October 1937 as emblem of the ideological principles to be followed. He stated the need to:
recuperate the imperial vocation of Spain. . . . Against the false dogmas of the rotten democracies, the mottos of our Golden Age, now embodied by the Generalissimo. Against freedom, service. Against equality, hierarchy. . . . a brotherhood which presupposes the common paternity of God. (ROP 1940a, 51)

The first official issue of the revamped engineering journal of 1940 also opened with a portrait of the Chief of State and confirmed the Corps of Engineers support of the falangist cause in restoring the eternal Spanish tradition (ROP 1940b, 1). Those amongst the engineering fraternity who were not exiled, jailed or killed would put their collective efforts in modernizing the country within the collective national enterprise shaped by the new regime. Public Works became one of the pillars of the regime in Francos words an excellent means of protection and a stimulator of its prosperity (ROP 1940b, 2). Indeed, the Corps of Engineers constituted consequently one of the most solid supports of the policies of the new regime (Songel Gonzlez 2003, 84). During the following 45 years, no explicit political statements were made by the Corps of Engineers, but their journal filled many of its pages with celebratory

articles extolling the virtues of dam constructions, recounting the technical details and achievements of newly built dams, providing annual summaries of dam constructions and progress in the execution of grand hydraulic projects, and providing detailed celebratory and hagiographic reports of Franco or other government dignitaries visiting and inaugurating major water projects. In the issue of June 1961, for example, in a selfcongratulatory hymn to the virtues of the Spanish hydraulic engineers, Jos Luis Mendoza Gimeno offered a poetic evocation of how the Spanish hydraulic engineers, serving the national(ist) cause, possessed a
hydraulic sensitivity, a sort of sixth sense, that permits to intuit the comportment of water and its movements . . . to be a good hydraulic engineer one has to know, see, hear, touch the water with the eyes, the ears, the hands . . . To all those, those who have passed and those that today continue their work so brilliantly, the gratitude of Spain is theirs. (1961, 3647)

The same issue included a catalogue of all dams constructed, together with a list of all the companies that had contracted hydraulic works (see Table II). All but one of these companies was established during the dictatorship and they worked almost exclusively for state-funded Public Works programmes. In addition to providing a detailed list of the companies technical capacities,

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the data also show the importance of hydraulic works for employment. Nine companies provided jobs for 358 engineers and a total of more than 48 000. The sector made an important contribution to the economy, particularly during the early period, when jobs were a scarce commodity. In 1971, the chairman of the Spanish Committee for Large Dams, saluted, in front of Franco, the engineering contribution
of raising the flag, the Spanish flag of grand dams, sustained by 20 years of glorious history, and adorned by the ribbons of 360 battles [i.e. newly constructed dams] that your Excellency succeeded in winning. (Torn 1971, 315)

This self-congratulatory, state-centred and Francoadoring style of the Revista continued for another 17 years, together with the uncritical defence of major public works programmes and the relentless support for the further consolidation of the hydraulic project for Spain.7 Only from 1992 onwards would a more critical and socially engaging style gradually begin to emerge (Nrdiz Ortiz 2003, 104), although the steel and concrete fever, fed by the drive to restore Spains hydraulic equilibrium by constructing more, remained an obsessive theme.

available to the wider public. In his analysis of the content of NO-DOs reels, Rodrguez (1999, 223 4) points out that above all, inaugurations filled the screens. A symbiotic relationship was systematically instilled between Franco and the great national public hydro-electrical and irrigation mission. NO-DO publicized widely Francos procession of inaugurations and the spectacle was also covered in great hagiographic detail in magazines, newspapers, and in the specialist engineering and professional journals. On each occasion, Franco was presented as the victorious Caudillo of Spain, welcomed by the grateful and admiring masses that celebrated the enormous social works and the great technical achievements of the country. The following off-screen text from the reel of 8 March 1943 (reel Number 10) is symptomatic of such exaggerated exaltation:
The Caudillo of Spain, who during the hours of the war led our troops to Victory, is also the soul of this labour of reconstruction, with which Spain heals its wounded, saving Spain from all the difficulties that the current international circumstances pose against her.

Galvanizing the nation: propaganda and hydraulic works

As in Germany and Italy (see Caprotti 2004), in Francos Spain too, sophisticated propaganda machinery was quickly put in place after the fascist victory. The tried tactic of controlling and censoring the press was implemented swiftly, together with the establishment of NO-DO (Noticiario Espaol Cinematogrfico), an official state institute for documentary film-making. Grafted on the popular cultural success of cinema, NO-DO produced news and general interest film reels that were obligatorily screened in the countrys cinemas. Highly subsidized, this propaganda instrument served to celebrate the regime personalized by Franco, galvanize the enthusiasm of the people for the regimes efforts, extol the virtues of Spanish traditional cultural values, and mythologize the crusade for a new, re-invigorated, conservative and catholic Spain (Rodrguez 1999). Between 1943 and 1981, when NO-DO was finally abolished, about 3925 documentary reels were produced. Until 1956 (when television entered the scene), it was the main cinematographic information source

Inaugurations, the deployment of the regimes activities and the support of the people fused together in NO-DOs reels, which resembled a monographic documentary, a festival of laudatory images and commentaries. Inaugurated dams became the most iconic image associated with Franco (hence the nickname Paco Rana), who oversaw the new hydraulic landscape, listened to the adulations of his entourage and received graciously the ovations of the grateful masses. Francos frequent public appearances suggested a leader close to the pulse of the nation and attentive to the transformations taking place in the country (Tranche and Snchez-Biosca 2002, 215). NO-DOs newsreels conveyed an image of inauguration sites and rites as geographical symbols of and material referents to the unmitigated success of the fascist project, embodiments of a technocratic developmentalism8 and emblems of the beauty, unity and tradition of the Spanish landscape. The newsreel images celebrated the solidaristic, spiritual and moral values of traditional Spain, the tenacity of its workers, the power of the regime and the virtues of technical modernization (see Tranche and Snchez-Biosca 2002). Newspapers and other print media were equally marshalled to espouse the virtues of the regime and its achievements. On a daily basis, the press

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would report ecstatically about yet another great speech from the Caudillo as yet another sublime achievement was inaugurated. The quote below offers a sample from a typical speech by Franco given on 1 July 1959, inaugurating yet another transcendental grand hydraulic project:
We have come to visit your province, to inaugurate various important works . . . and with this to satisfy the thirst of your fields, to regulate your irrigations, which shall increase your welfare and multiply production . . . The whole of Spain has to be redeemed, sealing the brotherhood between the land and the men of Spain. (F. Franco, inauguration of the hydraulic works in Lrida, Diario ABC, 1 July 1959, 1)

The reproduction of Francos speeches in the newspaper was invariable accompanied by equally exalted, triumphant and jubilant commentary by journalists:
[W]e are tightening the siege against the misery and the thirst of Spanish men and lands, because against the old sterility of the rivers, Francos program built walls of steel to bring light, and veins of concrete to canalise the water and to take it to fulfil its irrigation mission, redeeming the old peasant thirst. And the peasants, full of joy, offer Franco today the expression of their unlimited gratitude and their unconditional allegiance. (Del Corral 1959, 12)

This heroic mission, thus visualized and narrated, was spread throughout the country through print media and cinema, galvanizing the hearts and minds of the Spanish people and urging them to embrace the remaking of the Fatherland and thus widen the networks of interests that would solidify and maintain the fabric of the fascist modernizing cause.

Reworking the nation, re-scaling the networks of interests

Almost a quarter of a century has passed since a great and brave nation begun, under the leadership of a soldier-statesman, its heroic and successful campaign to repel for ever all the roots of communism. I am referring to Spain, our friend and ally, and its leader and Chief of State, Generalissimo Franco. (US Senator Studes Bridges, Diario ABC, 18 July 1959, 35)

Autarchy and geographical integration: blood, sweat and tears in the pursuit of a wet dream
Enrolling the flow of water within a new technonatural hydrostructure that would achieve

the restoration of a great Spain required more than just a determined dictator, popular appeal, engineering plans, corporate support and Gods will. Concrete, steel, machinery, capital and specialist know-how were equally vital for securing success. However, the early Franco era was economically one of relative paralysis, enduring shortages, untold misery for many and sluggish accumulation. As Figures 1 and 2 show, up until the mid-1950s, very little of what was promised was actually implemented. This changed dramatically after 1953. This shift coincided with a profound re-scaling of the political-economic networks on which the stability of Francos regime rested. The political-economic vision of the political elites around Franco was one that centred on national autarchic development by means of the mobilization of endogenous resources. The rhetoric and practice of a nationally integrated development became incorporated in the permanent ideal of autarchy (Carr 2001, 156). A strictly regulated market, frozen wages and the control of the labour force were the response to Spains imposed international isolation because of Francos war-time support for the Axis powers. The regime turned this isolationism into virtue. Self-reliant development and international trade restrictions were seen as the way to restore Spains lost grandeur. In the context of this autarchic vision of development, rapidly increasing irrigation and mobilizing Spains national hydropower potential were considered to be absolutely vital (Sudra 1997). However, absence of materials, energy, equipment and, above all, capital made progress in constructing the desired autarchic landscape excruciatingly slow. Electricity blackouts were rampant until the mid-1950s (Prez 1999, 649). Madrid suffered from a disastrous water shortage in 1948 9. Irrigation progressed slowly (Barciela Lpez and Lpez Ortiz 2000, 362). The speed of new dam constructions was far below expectations, food was rationed, peasants became even poorer and migrated (Reher 2003). The average income per capita fell from index 100 in 1935 to 82 in 1950 (Gallo 1974, 1923). The only commodity not in short supply was labour power. Salaries were only a fraction of what they had been before the war and any kind of protest was quickly smothered by ruthless repression. Tens of thousands of socialists, communists, anarchists and assorted other undesirables were held as political prisoners in concentration camps and forcibly put to work, primarily in Public Works

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22 Table III

Erik Swyngedouw Documented use of political prisoners for the construction of hydraulic works (selection) (1936 1962)
Number of workers and (year of reference) 140 70 54 138 ? 50 50 134 180 20 50 68 40 250 123 50 62 94 30 70 400 50 170 65 50 60 555 88 258 100 ? 105 42 50 342 300 ? 135 95 11 (1944) (1944) (1949) (1950) (1942) (1945) (1944) (1948) (1962) (1943) (1954) (1954) (1945) (1949) (1944) (1958) (1961) (1952) (1955) (1952) (1944) (1944) (1949) (1955) (1956) (1958) (1961) (1943) (1949) (1953) (1954) (1944) (1942) (1941) (1944) (1945) (1959)

Location Villatoya (Albecete) San Adrin del Bess Celis (Cantabria) Celucos (Cantatbria) Plmaces de Jadraque (Guadalajara) Irn (Guipzcoa) Barasona (Huesca) Guara (Huesca) Madiano (Huesca) Barrios de Luna (Lon) Buitrago del Lozoya (Madrid) Escorial, El (Madrid) Patones (Madrid) Cenajo, El (Murcia) Orense Reinoso de Cerrato (Palencia) Anguiano (La Rioja) Mansilla (La Rioja) Ortigosa de Cameros (La Rioja)

Documented period 1944 1944 19491950 1949 19421946 1944 19461949 1962 19431955 19521955 19441952 1944 19571960 19521957 19521953 1944 n/a 19491958 19531962

Controlling organization Cimentatiaciones y Obras Cimentatiociones y Obras Dragados y Construcciones Private: ECIA Ferrocarriles y Construciones ABC Cimentaciones y Obras Vas y Riego; Dragados Herederos de Gins Navarro State Private: San Romn Construccin AMSA Construcciones Civiles, SA Dragados y Construcciones Cimentaciones y Obras Construcciones ABC Ingeniera y Construcciones Marcor, SA Ereo y Cia., SA

Type of work Construction of bridge Construction of bridge Hydro-electrical Hydro-electrical Dam construction Canal Dam construction Dam construction Dam construction Tunnel for dam hydro-electricity Dam construction Water supply Water supply Dam construction Dam construction Bridge over river Dam construction Dam construction Dam construction

Arroyo (Santander) Revenga (Santander) Segovia Puebla del Rio (Sevilla) Castillejo (Toledo) Puerto del Rey (Toledo) Talavera de la Reina (Toledo) Chelva (Valencia) Valladolid Rentera (Vizcaya) Freson de la Rivera (Zamora) Tauste (Zaragoza)

19431949 19471950 ? 19521955 1954 1944 1942 1941 ? 1944 19451946 19561959

Vas y Riegos State ? State and Private Cimentataciones y Obras Hnos. Nicols Gmez Hnos. Nicols Gmez Portols y Cia. Construcciones ABC Don Ramn Echave Bernal Pareja SA

Dam construction Dam construction Dams and irrigation Agricultural transformation Bridge over Tajo Canalization Dam construction Dam construction Dam and irrigation canals Canalization Irrigation Irrigation

Source: Based on Acosta Bono et al. (2004, 6575)

(Lafuente 2002; Molinero et al. 2003). For example, for the construction of the Canal del Bajo Guadalquivir in Andalucia, over 2520 political prisoners were mobilized between 1940 and 1962 (Acosta Bono et al. 2004), very often under inhuman conditions. Prisoners were not only used by the state, but also put at the disposition of large farmers and private public works companies. Some of the great

construction companies (see Table II) established during the Franco period also used political prisoners. Table III summarizes the available information (which is only now gradually emerging) on the mobilization of political prisoners in the realization of Francos wet dream for Spain. However, Spains autarchic political-economic model did not generate enough capital and equipment to move the earth

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and enrol the powers of its waters. While many hands dug canals and built dams, lack of capital proved a major stumbling block. For that, the regime had to turn elsewhere and re-arrange the coordinates of its geo-political spatial imagination, its networks of interests and its scalar articulation.

Yankee dollars: weapons and dams

By the early 1950s, the rhetoric of national autarchy sounded increasingly hollow as the countrys socio-economic conditions continued to deteriorate (Catalan 2003; Miranda Encarnacin 2003). Spains political and economic elites realized that opening up new spatial links and pursuing the geo-political insertion of Spain into the Western Alliance was vital in order to secure not only the modernization of Spain, but also the longer-term sustainability of the dictatorial regime. Strategically re-scaling the networks of interests on which the regime rested was pivotal to pursue the project envisaged for Spain. The modernizing economic elites grasped the potential for Spain of the consolidating geo-political order choreographed by Cold War strategies and looked towards the US, whose geo-political gaze also gradually turned to Spain as a possible ally in their geo-political strategizing. Indeed, between 1950 and 1953, the institutionalization of the Cold War permitted a rapprochement between the US and Spain. The US chose to forget its earlier hostility towards fascism, and conservative forces within the US gradually began to play the role of Spains ambassador in international forums. In 1952, Spain scored its first international diplomatic victory when she was admitted to UNESCO. In December 1955, Spain entered the UN. The most significant moment was undoubtedly the signing of the secret Pact of Madrid in September 1953 by Alberto Martn Artajo, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and James Dunn, US ambassador, in which Spain agreed to let the US use parts of Spains territory for military bases in exchange for economic, military and technical aid (Vias 1981; Guirao 1998; Liedtke 1998). After that, US financial aid and investment started to flow into Spain. This pact secured the financial bedrock for the years of rapid growth and modernization of the late 1950s and the 1960s (Nio 2003). Indeed, while primary materials and industrial equipment used to be scarce, the inflow of US aid permitted the rapid development of infrastructure after the mid-1950s. Dam construction also skyrocketed. The end of Spains geo-political isolation and its insertion into

a new scalar gestalt of Atlantic geo-political and geo-economic networks contributed thus to the territorial rescaling of the countrys hydraulic cartography. The financial support of the US was earmarked as follows: 10 per cent for administrative expenses, 60 per cent for military bases and 30 per cent for financial aid. From 1958 onwards, 90 per cent of the funds would take the form of financial aid (Fernndez 1984, 72 3). Between 1951 and 1963, more than 1.3 billion aid dollars were granted to Spain (Calvo 2001). The assistance of the US permitted to modernize the country militarily, opened up the economy and consolidated the regime while demoralizing and further marginalizing internal opposition and the international anti-fascist movements (Nio 2003, 26 7). From the mid-1950s onwards, modernizing and internationalizing elites, often recruited from Spains conservative, mainly Opus Dei led, catholic universities, would gradually take over the commanding heights in the state apparatus. Liberal economic doctrine would fuse seamlessly with Francos authoritarian rule (Preston 1995; Termis Soto 2005). For the US, the economic stabilization of Spain would further entrench the power of Franco and ensure the continuing anti-communist stance of Spain. A significant share of the financial aid went to agricultural machinery, steel, electrical equipment and infrastructure, while most of the Spanish counterpart funding was directed to agricultural irrigation projects, railroads and hydraulic works (Fernndez de Valderrama 1964; Puig 2003, 114). Americans and Spaniards wove and strengthened social networks with local, national and international reach (Puig 2003, 117). The scalar extension of Spains political and financial networks facilitated and nurtured the hydrosocial transformation of Spains physical and socio-economic geography. Spain modernized quickly during the 1960s and early 1970s, a process that further ensured the longevity of the regime. Francos death in 1975 announced the end of what was one of the most repressive and lasting dictatorial-fascist regimes Europe has known.

Conclusions: surviving Franco and re-networking Spains technonature

This paper attempted to bring together two theoretical perspectives that have been largely treated separately in the literature. It mobilized relational and territorial notions of scale in the

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context of an analysis of the socio-natural production of nature. The historical-geographical reconstruction of the production of specific fascist technonatural assemblages that fuses the mobilization of nature and technology together with the social networks of power that shaped and maintained Francos reign showed not only how every political project is also an environmental project, but also how such socio-environmental projects are predicated upon scalar tactics and strategies. The political and the technical, the social and the natural, become mobilized through socio-spatial arrangements that shape distinct geographies and landscapes; landscapes that celebrate the visions of the elite networks, reveal the scars suffered by the disempowered and nurture the possibilities and dreams for alternative visions. The revolutionary geographical re-ordering of Spain, articulated through the remaking of its hydraulic technonatural landscape, mobilized discursive, symbolic and material processes and enrolled H2O in a specific manner. This process was made possible and held together through producing particular national and international social networks. The networks of landowners, large industrialists, engineers and media produced a unitary national territorial complex, and eliminated dissenting political voices, regionalist impulses and alternative configurations. The extension of these scalar arrangements after 1953 secured the capital flows that would sustain rapid hydro-modernization. These national and international scalar configurations would both implode and explode after Francos death, although his legacy proved resilient to change as vested interests and existing elites tried to hold on to their powers. The hydraulic engineers and bureaucracy, and the agricultural and southern elites wished to perfect the system initiated by Franco, but, of course, the voices, scales and actors around the hydrosocial nexus began to multiply as democracy took root after 1978. The voices of regionalists, the actions of environmentalists, the financial might and regulatory order of the European Union (rather than the US) are increasingly entangled with newly enrolled actants such as birds, wetlands, sediments and local cultural rights, demanding new and different scalar organizations and forcing new networked arrangements, around which radically different socio-environmental and technonatural projects crystallize (see, for example, Fundacin Nueva Cultura del Agua 2005).

Spains hydrosocial and technonatural landscapes that produce many of the strawberries, tomatoes or salads we consume in the rest of Europe and sustain the landscapes of recreation on the Spanish Costas are simultaneously heroic achievements of a modernizing desire, new geopolitical arrangements and products of the legacy of a brutal authoritarian regime. It is on this edifice that contemporary socio-ecological movements, innovative political visions, new scalar arrangements and alternative socio-technical projects are debated and framed. But this is another story.

I would like to thank the British Academy for funding the research on which this paper is based. My Spanish friends and colleagues have provided invaluable help and support. In particular, I would like to thank Leandro del Moral, Juan Martinez Alier and David Saur for their hospitality and advice. Esteban Castro, Michael Ekers, Maria Kaika, Sarah Gonzalez, Josep Gar, Federico Caprotti, Nik Heynen, Alex Loftus and Ame Ramos Castillo commented on earlier versions of the paper and helped to shape the argument. Of course, they are not to blame for any remaining errors of fact or reasoning. These are mine only.

1 In Swyngedouw (1999) I argued that the political incoherence and turmoil during the first decades of the twentieth century stalled Spains hydromodernization. Francos political project succeeded in bringing together disparate political, cultural and socio-economic forces, producing a hegemonic vision and galvanizing a modernizing project that permitted the realization of the grand hydromodern dream. In this sense, this paper implicitly argues against Wittfogels thesis (1957) that assumes a necessary relationship between grand hydraulic infrastructures and despotic rule. The Spanish case, although apparently fitting the Wittfogelian thesis, suggests the central importance of political struggle rather than a necessary link between despotism and large-scale hydromodernization. The paper is therefore also intended as a critical engagement with Worsters magnificent work on US hydropolitics (Worster 1985). 2 For a detailed analysis, see Swyngedouw (1999). 3 For a more detailed discussion of the politics of scale around the provincial, river basin and national scale, see Swyngedouw (2003b). 4 The Falange (Falange Espaola Tradicionalista y de las JONS) was the unified (by Franco) and unitary party

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consisting of the fascist parties, traditionalist and ultra-catholic carlist movements. For detailed analysis of these alliances and consolidating networks, see among others the magisterial books by Preston (1995), Preston and Lannon (1990), Carr (1995 2001), Fusi and Palafox (1989), Gallo (1974). Most of the literature on hydraulic policies during Franco focuses on irrigation and internal colonization. Expanding those was indeed the refrain endlessly repeated by state officials and Franco himself. For reviews, see, among others Ortega (1975), Gil Olcina and Morales Gil (1992), Barciela Lpez and Lpez Ortiz (2000), Rodrguez Ferrero (2001), Melgarejo Moreno (1995 2000). See, for example, Martn Mendiluce (1996). See, for example, Kaika (2006) on Greece, or Caprotti (2004) on Italy.

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