Always considered a classic renewable resource, after a hundred thousand years of farming and industry, rivers in many parts of the world are running dry and the groundwater is over pumped. In addition, the rate at which water sources are becoming contaminated with waste from humans, industry, and agriculture is truly alarming. Do these factors add up to a water crisis that merits drastic, large-scale action?
Not necessarily say the editors of Water Crisis: Myth or Reality. They challenge this pessimism, concluding that while there are serious global water issues to be considered, the concept of a global water crisis is largely overstated. The book examines the issues and explores which conditions are permanent and unchangeable and which are remediable and changeable. The chapters explore when and where severe regional and local water problems occur and make suggestions about how they may be solved in a deliberate, non-crisis manner.
The book covers recent breakthroughs in desalination technologies, the eco-sanitation revolution, international trade in agricultural products, methods of governance and negotiation in water allocation, and pricing and devolution of property rights and the roles they play in solving water issues. The editors, along with a panel of world-renowned experts, suggest that water issues can be solved over the next few decades using new technologies and processes.
Table of Contents
Part I: Water Policy and Management 1. Water Governance, Water Security and Water Sustainability P. Rogers 2. Water for Growth and Security W.J. Cosgrove 3. Collective Systems for Water Management: Is the Tragedy of the Commons a Myth? E. Schlager & E. López-Gunn Part II: The Economic Value of Water 4. The Economic Conception of Water W.M. Hanemann 5. The Value of Water and Theories of Economic Growth M.S. Aguirre Part III: Irrigation 6. Irrigation Efficiency, a Key Issue: More Crops Per Drop K.D. Frederick 7. Irrigation Efficiency, a Key Issue: More Crops Per Drop, Observations and Comments P. Arrojo Part IV: Virtual Water 8. Virtual Water – Part of an Invisible Synergy that Ameliorates Water Scarcity J.A. Allan 9. Virtual Water – Part of an Invisible Synergy that Ameliorates Water Scarcity: Commentary J. Ramirez-Vallejo Part V: Groundwater 10. Significance of the Silent Revolution of Intensive Groundwater Use in World Water Policy M.R. Llamas & P. Martínez-Santos 11. Is Intensive Use of Groundwater a Solution to World’s Water Crisis? A. Mukherji Part VI: Water and Poverty Alleviation 12. Water and Poverty Alleviation: the Role of Investments and Policy Interventions R. Bhatia & M. Bhatia 13. Do Investments and Policy Interventions Reach the Poorest of the Poor? C.A. Sullivan Part VII: Water and Nature 14. Water and Nature: The Berth of Life F. García Novo & F. García Bouzas 15. Water and Nature: a Critical Link for Solving the Water Management Crisis G. Bergkamp Part VIII: New Technologies to Cope with Water Scarcity 16. Water Recycling – A Relevant Solution? T. Asano 17. Urban and Industrial Watersheds and Ecological Sanitation: Two Sustainable Strategies for On-Site Urban Water Management D. del Porto 18. Potential Paper of Desalination J. Uche, A. Valero & L. Serra 19. Potential Role of Desalinization: Comments E. Custodio
Peter P. Rogers, of Harvard University in the United States, is a member of the World Commission on Water for the 21st Century. He has served as a consultant on water resources to various government agencies in India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Morocco, and Costa Rica. He has also consulted widely with the UN system, the World Bank, UNIDO, WHO, FAO, UNDESP, ADB, and many domestic US agencies.
M. Ramón Llamas is Emeritus Professor of Hydrogeology at the Complutense University of Madrid. A Fellow of Spain’s Royal Academy of Sciences, Professor Llamas chairs the Academy’s Section of Natural Sciences. He is a former President of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (1984-1989), Vice-president of the International Water Resources Association (2001-2003) and Coordinator of the UNESCO Working Group on the Ethics of Freshwater Uses (1998-1999).
Dr. Luis Martínez-Cortina is a researcher at the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME) with research interests in hydrogeological studies and groundwater flow numerical models. He has worked on a number of European Union Research Projects, as well as the Groundwater Project of the Marcelino Botin Foundation. He has served as Coordinator of the Spanish Groundwater Users Association (AEUAS).