Improving water governance in the Andes is one of Peru's biggest challenges. This article examines the state's role in the water supply of an Andean community. Thirty years ago the community resisted the state's interference in its water management but now it has adopted a state model. The present article examines this change in the context of 2 occasions: the Peruvian state's investment in a new channel in the area and the community's confrontation with the state to gain access to this infrastructure. In the article, it is suggested that rather than viewing the confrontation as a form of resistance against the state's interference in Andean irrigation, we can see it as a way of opposing the state's water policy that privileges Peru's coastal desert at the cost of the country's highlands. It argues that, paradoxically, the community's success in challenging this policy and gaining rights to new water sources has prompted it to recognize the state as a legitimate water governor. The article concludes that, to overcome Andean communities' distrust of the state, the state must allow communities to play an active role in water management and assure water equity in Peru.
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