Rivers and Society : Landscapes, Governance and Livelihoods book cover
1st Edition

Rivers and Society
Landscapes, Governance and Livelihoods

ISBN 9781138930902
Published December 14, 2017 by Routledge
272 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Rivers and their watersheds constitute some of the most dynamic and complex landscapes. Rivers have sustained human communities, and human societies have utilized and altered river flows in a number of ways for millennia. However, the level of human impact on rivers, and on watershed environments, has become acute during the last hundred years or so.

This book brings together empirical research and theoretical perspectives on the changing conditions of a range of river basin environments in the contemporary world, including the history and culture of local societies living in these river basins. It provides theoretical insights on the patterns and nature of the interaction between rivers and their use by human communities. The chapters are written from a variety of positions, including environmental science, hydrology, human ecology, urban studies, water management, historical geography, cultural anthropology and tourism studies.

The case studies span different geographical regions, providing valuable insight on the multifaceted interactions between rivers and our societies, and on the changing riverscapes in different parts of the world. Specific detailed examples are included from Australia, Brazil, France, India, Iran, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, UK and USA.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: the rivers and society debate revisited

Abhik Chakraborty

Chapter 2: Rivers as Socioecological Landscapes

Abhik Chakraborty and Shamik Chakraborty

Chapter 3: Rivers and Communities: Can We Drought Proof a Catchment or an Entire Country?

Ronnie Mackenzie

Chapter 4: Arid Lands, Saline Lands: Water in the form of a major river under stress, the Murray-Darling System in Australia

Malcolm Cooper

Chapter 5: Life, Identity and Work in an Arid River Basin: The Case of the Zayandeh-Rud (Life-Giving River) in Central Iran

Kazem Vafadari Mehrizi

Chapter 6: Rivers and Water Security: Supply adaptation strategies in the City of Chennai, India

Sharanya Sethuram and Malcolm Cooper

Chapter 7: The Velho Chico: perceptions and conflicts

Lucigleide Nery Nascimento

Chapter 8: Rivers as Vernacular Landscapes: place and experience in making the Clutha River, New Zealand

Andrea Farminer

Chapter 9: Keep it Flowing: The Restoration Ecology of Indigenous Culture and Language Along the Missouri River

Dean P. Good Eagle Fox and Alesia Maltz

Chapter 10: The End of the Los Angeles River: A paradox

T.S. McMillin

Chapter 11: The River’s Embrace: The Rhine-Meuse Delta (Re)Imagined

Eveline R. de Smalen

Chapter 12: Art Custodians of Our Rivers: Basia Irland, Daniel McCormick and Mary O'Brien

Valerie Behiery

Chapter 13: Hydrocitizenship: Concepts and Insights from the Lee Valley, UK

Graeme Evans

Chapter 14: River Tourism

Malcolm Cooper

Chapter 15: Social landscape and environment: the Herault River in Southern France

Jeremy S. Eades

Chapter 16: Concluding remarks and the way forward

Shamik Chakraborty, Abhik Chakraborty and Malcolm Cooper

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Malcolm Cooper PhD is Emeritus Professor, College of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan.

Abhik Chakraborty PhD is Lecturer in the Center for Tourism Research, Wakayama University, Japan.

Shamik Chakraborty PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, United Nations University, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, Japan.


"this book offers a very diverse perspective on river systems, management, and linkage of cultural systems. In the latter perspective of linking cultural river landscape perspectives—this book is unique. Also of great value is the international range of river systems covered within one book. This book would be useful as an upper level undergraduate, beginning graduate level geography, environmental studies course on river systems and society, or anyone interested in a wide scope of studying river systems for a societal perspective." - Richard Smardon in Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (2018)