1st Edition

Water Resources in the Arid Realm

By Clive Agnew, Ewan Anderson Copyright 1992

    Originally published in 1992, this book dispels some of the myths that surround water resource problems of arid lands and the notion that there are simple ‘once and for all’ solutions. Population growth, industrialization, environmental mismanagement and land degradation have led to droughts, poverty and famine with the result that the need for space, food and key natural resources such as water has become the most critical issue in global development. Nowhere is this crisis more apparent than in arid lands, where water resources provide the key to economic and environmental development. The authors argue that as the arid land environment is highly variable the key to success is flexibility. The book is divided into four sections, dealing with the geography of the arid realm; the water resource problems they face: the methods available for enhancing water supplies and finally, management of this resource. The book will be of use to undergraduate and postgraduate student and for those actively engaged in the development of arid land water resources.

    Part 1: Introduction 1. Arid Environments Part 2: Water Resource Problems 2. Variable Water Supplies 3. Climatic Change in Arid Lands 4. Drought 5. Data Collection and Analysis.


    Clive Agnew is Professor Emeritus in Physical Geography, University of Manchester. Clive was appointed to a Chair in Physical Geography (1999-2022) at the University of Manchester.  His research and teaching encompassed the fields of water resources development and applied hydrology. He has worked extensively in both the drylands and the wetlands of Africa, Europe and the Middle East, developing strategies for the management of water shortages at local and regional levels. In 2000 Clive was appointed Head of Geography at Manchester University and from 2004 to 2009 served as Head of the newly created School of Environment and Development. His book, Water Resources and Development, written with Philip Woodhouse, examines stewardship of the water environment to give a balanced treatment of the role of environmental, social and political priorities in the allocation of water. In subsequent years he has been engaged in research projects investigating the management of water and ecosystems in the UK uplands, Bangladesh and Tanzania.

    Emeritus Professor Ewan Anderson was Professor of Geopolitics at the University of Durham. His interests developed from geomorphology and hydrology to economic,social and political geography with an accent on the Middle East. His research ranged from the relationships between rainfall, wadi flow, qanat discharge and well levels and also the uptake of dew by the leaves of Prosopis ciineraria in Oman to the geopolitics of the Tigris-Euphrates region and international boundary settlements in Libya. Since retiring, to these has been added the interrelationship of science and theology and drawing tree portraits.

    Original review of Water Resources in the Arid Realm:

    ‘…an interesting and useful text which provides a timely and instructive pointer to the water resource development problems facing the arid areas of the world. These problems can only increase in importance and severity in the future and the book deserves to be widely read.’ Des Walling, The Geographical Journal, Vol 160, No. 1 (1994).