Water Resources and Development

By Clive Agnew, Philip Woodhouse

© 2010 – Routledge

346 pages | 68 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415451390
pub: 2010-11-01
US Dollars$46.95
Hardback: 9780415451376
pub: 2010-10-25
US Dollars$145.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Since the start of the twenty-first century there has been an unprecedented focus upon water as a key factor in the future of both society and environment. Water management lies at the heart of strategies of development as does the added the hazard of climate change.

Water Resources and Development provides a stimulating interdisciplinary introduction to the role of water resources in shaping opportunities and constraints for development. The book begins by charting the evolution of approaches to water management. It identifies an emerging polarization in the late twentieth century between ‘technical’ and ‘social’ strategies. In the past decade these two axes of policy debate have been further intersected by discussion of the scale at which management decisions should be made: the relative effectiveness of ‘global’ and ‘local’ governance of water. A variety of case studies elaborate this analytical framework, exemplifying four key development challenges: economic growth, poverty reduction, competition and conflict over water, and adaptation to climate change. Current ‘best practice’ for water management is examined, addressing strategies of water supply augmentation, the ecological implications of intensified use, and strategies of demand management guided by economic or political principles. It is argued defining ‘successful’ water management and best practice requires first the establishment of development goals and the implicit trade-offs between water consumption and conservation.

This engaging and insightful text offers a unique interdisciplinary analysis by integrating scientific, engineering, social and political perspectives. This is an essential text for courses on development studies, geography, earth sciences and the environment.


"In this meticulous volume Agnew and Woodhouse…review water scarcity issues and analyze the links between water resources and development in wealthy societies and developing countries."—B. F. Hope, California State University, Chico, Recommended Review, CHOICE

Table of Contents

1. Water Management Best Practice in the Twenty-First Century 2. Economic Growth, Environmental Limits and Increasing Water Demand 3. Climate Change and Fresh Water Resources 4. Water Resources in Colonial and Post-Independence Agricultural Development 5. Water Supply 6. Water Demand 7. Catchments and Conflicts 8. Water Management. Conclusions

About the Authors

Clive Agnew is a Professor of Physical Geography at the School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, UK. He is a physical geographer working on problems of environmental degradation and water management and has worked on the management of water scarcity across Africa and the Middle East. Over the last ten years he has been Head of Geography and Head of the School of Environment and Development at the University of Manchester.

Philip Woodhouse is Senior Lecturer in Environment and Rural Development, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, UK. He is trained as an agricultural scientist and has worked for more than thirty years on land and water management in developing countries. His recent research has focused on the interaction between political, economic and technological factors in changing land and water use, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

About the Series

Routledge Perspectives on Development

Routledge Perspectives on Development provides an invaluable, up to date and refreshing approach to key development issues for academics and students working in the field of development, in disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, international relations, politics and sociology.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Historical Geography
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography