1st Edition

Land, Water and Development
Sustainable and Adaptive Management of Rivers

ISBN 9780415419468
Published October 24, 2008 by Routledge
480 Pages 109 B/W Illustrations

USD $62.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Water is newsworthy: there is, or will be, a world water crisis. Aggravated by climate change, we are approaching the limits of human exploitation of freshwater resources, notably in growing essential food. The complexities and uncertainties associated with improving our management of fresh water take the potential remedies out of the hands of simple, local, hard engineering and into much larger units – the basin, the ecosystem and the global context, and also require longer term perspectives.

The Third Edition follows the same structure as its predecessors, presenting the historical and scientific backgrounds to land-water interactions and establishing the links with development processes and policies. Throughout, its two major messages are that our new philosophy should be one of ‘humans in the ecosystem’ and that the guidance from science, being uncertain and contested, must be operationalized in a participatory system of governance based on participation. Following a review of progress towards these elements in the developed world, the international case studies update the situation in the developing world following the Millennium Development Goals, our new emphasis on poverty and on global food supplies.

This book covers the multitude of scientific research findings, development of ‘tools’ and spatial/temporal scale challenges which have emerged in the last decade. Tensions are highlighted in the current and future role of large dams, country studies are retained (and considerably updated) and development contexts are explored in greater depth as a dividing line in capacity to cope with land and water stress. "Technical issues" have been expanded to cover major droughts, environmental flows and the restoration of rivers and wetlands. A separate chapter picks up these themes under terms of their relationship with uncertainty and the widespread perception that a new ethos of adaptive management is needed in the water sector.

For students of geography, environmental science, hydrology, and development studies this innovative edition provides a reasoned, academic basis of evidence for sustainable, adaptive management of rivers and related large-scale ecosystems using more than 600 new sources. It will also prove invaluable for lecturers and practitioners.

Table of Contents

1. A ‘World Water Crisis’? Assessing its significance against the history of water management  1.1 Hydraulic cultures and religious codes: management in advance of science  1.2 Engineering and science: the rise of hydraulics and hydrology  1.3 Monks, mills and mines: coordination (but abuse) of rivers in England  1.4 Urbanisation and industrialisation: a steep deterioration  1.5 Environment, the current ‘crisis’ and challenges of a sustainable future  2. The river basin ecosystem: basic biophysical dynamics, natural and modified  2.1 Flow of water and transport of sediment  2.1.1 Elementary fluvial sediment transport  2.1.2 Slopes, channel, storage zones  2.1.3 Timescales of river basin dynamics and concepts of ‘stability’  2.2 Channel morphology: indicating process and state?  2.2.1 ‘’Stable’/’unstable’ channels and ‘natural’ channel change  2.2.2 Catchment sediment flux, channel change and development impacts  2.2.3 Hydraulic geometry, regime and channel design  2.3 Floodplains  2.3.1 Floodplain formation and functions: floods, aquifers  2.3.2 Floodplain modifications in the Anthropocene  2.4 Sediment ‘delivery’ at the basin scale: sources, pathways and targets  2.4.1 Sediment budgets  2.4.2 World sediment yields  2.5 Incorporating the basin sediment system in ecosystem management  2.5.1 Fitting together water, sediment and biota  3. Land-water interactions: the evidence base for catchment planning and management  3.1 Vegetation, soils and hydrology: a humid climate perspective  3.1.1 The hydrological cycle in nature and the role of vegetation: ‘green’ and ‘blue’ water  3.1.2 Important vegetation canopy processes  3.1.3 Patterns of soil hydrological processes  3.2 Groundwater exploitation and protection  3.3 Runoff modifications in developed river basins  3.3.1 Modifications to runoff volume  3.3.2 Modifications to runoff timing  3.3.3 Regulated rivers, an introduction  3.4 Land and water use/management: off-site impacts on water quality and biota  3.4.1 Land use and the fine sediment system  3.4.2 Solute processes and basin-scale pollution problems  3.5 Conclusions: towards water body ‘pressures’  4. Managing land and water in the developed world. An international survey  4.1 Development and the river basin  4.2 River basin management in the USA  4.2.1 Exploration, exploitation  4.2.2 The Colorado basin  4.2.3 The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)  4.2.4 Dams and development in the USA: from solution to problem  4.2.5 The rise of land-use issues in US river management  4.2.6 Flood and drought measures  4.2.7 Land-use planning in river basin units  4.2.8 Cultural, political, legal attitudes  4.3 Canadian river basin management  4.3.1 Water transfers: a Canadian speciality  4.3.2 Land-use issues in basin development  4.3.3 Improving the integration of policies  4.4 Australia: lessons learned late and the settler legacy  4.4.1 The rise of planning and the use of economics  4.4.2 The Murray-Darling basin and its management  4.5 New Zealand: Resource management conditioned by hazard  4.5.1 Catchment Authorities: an early New Zealand lead  4.6 Conclusions: national priorities in the developed world  5. River basins and development  5.1 New millennium, new tensions: incorporating poverty and health in the water agenda  5.1.1 The water and sanitation crisis  5.1.2 ‘Solutions’ to the water and sanitation crisis?  5.2 Characteristics of water development projects in the 20th Century: ‘gigantism’  5.2.1 Damaging development: the dilemma of urbanisation  5.3 A development focus: food, power and trade in drylands  5.3.1 Desertification  5.4 River basin management in Iran: the Zayandeh Rud  5.5 The Nile – a definitive case of hydropolitics  5.5.1 Egypt: product of the river  5.5.2 ‘Hydrosovereignty’ – control of the river  5.5.3 Aswan and Lake Nasser: plus and minus  5.5.4 Basin planning: sharing knowledge but not water  5.6 River basin development authorities: experience elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa  5.6.1 The Awash Valley Authority, Ethiopia  5.6.2 The Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority, Kenya  5.6.3 Nigeria’s RBDAs  5.7 South Africa: a unique water management experiment  5.7.1 Starting from scratch: the 1998 Water Act  5.7.2 Land, water and ‘the Act’  5.7.3 Stealing or sharing? Facing basin closure in South Africa  5.8 Land use writ large (or not?): Himalayan headwaters and the GBM  5.8.1 Nepal: a rush to judgement under a theory of Himalayan degradation  5.8.2 GBM international: India’s drought stress, Bangladesh’s flood hazards and headwater development  5.8.3 Watershed development in India  5.9 Dams and alternatives  5.9.1 The case against large dams and associated developments  5.9.2 Respect for tradition: ‘bottom-up’ development in drylands  5.9.3 ‘Water wars’ and ‘hydrosolidarity’: international river basin management  5.10 Development and rivers: broad trends  6. Technical issues in river basin management  6.1 Soil erosion  6.1.1 The physical processes of erosion: identifying controls to design protection  6.1.2 Sophistication laid low: a realistic role for research  6.1.3 Social science and erosion  6.1.4 Tropical deforestation: a particular erosion problem  6.2 A stressed global food supply – ‘Water for food, Water For life’  6.2.1 The water we eat  6.2.2 Irrigation: land, water and people  6.2.3 Social dimensions and alternatives  6.2.4 Drought  6.3 Dams and development: sedimentation, environmental flows, impact assessment  6.3.1 Dams and reservoirs: an introductory environmental assessment  6.3.2 Soil erosion and reservoir sedimentation  6.3.3 Regulated rivers below dams  6.3.4 Improving regulation efficiency and releasing ‘environmental flows’  6.3.5 The future for large dams: impact and inclusiveness  6.4 Conservation and restoration of river channels and wetlands  6.4.1 River channel restoration  6.4.2 Beyond the channel: wetland, floodplain, riparian restoration  6.5 Climate change and river basin management  6.5.1 Can we believe data and models?  6.5.2 Uncertain answers from IPCC and other research  6.5.3 River basin impacts: reconstructing past changes and modelling future scenarios  6.5.4 Change, management and resource stress  6.5.5 Mitigation and adaptation: global approaches  6.6 Conclusions  7. Institutional issues in river basin management  7.1 Delivering IWRM/IRBM within contexts of rights and governance  7.2 Can basin authorities work? From TVA to CMAs and RBDs  7.3 Case study: the evolution of basin institutions in England and Wales  7.4 River basin units of management in England and Wales  7.5 Basin-scale regulation of resources and pollution  7.6 Private or public: economics and environment  7.7 Demand management and water efficiency  7.8 Integration with development plans: flooding leads again  7.9 The spotlight of sustainable development  7.10 River basin institutions and developing nations  7.11 Institutions for international river basin management  7.12 Sustainability and subsidiarity: scale-sensitive institutions which can plan basin development  8. Sustainable river basin management with uncertain knowledge  8.1 Science in the ‘new environmental age’ and the ‘risk society’  8.2 The (uncertain) environmental sciences  8.3 ‘Science speaks to power’ – uncertain science empowers?  8.4 Uncertain science and river basin management: How did we get to here?  8.5 Uncertain science and river basin management: Where now?  8.6 The land-use hydrologist’s stock-in-trade: catchment research  8.7 Science and policy: land-use management in river basins  8.8 Implementation: land-use controls in river basins  8.9 Broadening horizons: more knowledge needed, more knowledge accessed: people speak to science  9. Adaptive land and water management through participation and social learning: hydropolitical decisions  9.1 The contexts for future land and water development, urban and rural  9.2 Scale-sensitive governance, information flows and decision-support  9.3 Experiences in public participation: stakeholders and ‘Joe’  9.4 Is social learning an improvement on ‘research’?  9.5 The cauldron of hydropolitics  9.6 Formalities of adaptive management  9.7 Outside the box: globalized water, hydrocentricity and hydrosolidarity – exclusive ‘solutions’?

View More



Malcolm Newson is former Professor of Physical Geography at Newcastle University. He specialises in fluvial geomorphology and professional training for the Environmental Agency. He worked for 16 years at the NERC’s Institute of Hydrology (now CEH) on the Flood Study and then at the Plynlimon experimental catchments. He is currently Director of the Tyne Rivers Trust, a community charity promoting sustainable catchment management.