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.
"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)
Chapter 1: Introduction: the rivers and society debate revisited
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?
Chapter 4: Arid Lands, Saline Lands: Water in the form of a major river under stress, the Murray-Darling System in Australia
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
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
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
Chapter 13: Hydrocitizenship: Concepts and Insights from the Lee Valley, UK
Chapter 14: River Tourism
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