1st Edition

Rivers and Society Landscapes, Governance and Livelihoods

    258 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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)