The conventional approach to river protection has focused on water quality and maintaining some ""minimum"" flow that was thought necessary to ensure the viability of a river. In recent years, however, scientific research has underscored the idea that the ecological health of a river system depends not on a minimum amount of water at any one time but on the naturally variable quantity and timing of flows throughout the year. In Rivers for Life, leading water experts Sandra Postel and Brian Richter explain why restoring and preserving more natural river flows are key to sustaining freshwater biodiversity and healthy river systems, and describe innovative policies, scientific approaches, and management reforms for achieving those goals. Sandra Postel and Brian Richter: explain the value of healthy rivers to human and ecosystem health; describe the ecological processes that support river ecosystems and how they have been disrupted by dams, diversions, and other alterations; consider the scientific basis for determining how much water a river needs; examine new management paradigms focused on restoring flow patterns and sustaining ecological health; assess the policy options available for managing rivers and other freshwater systems; explore building blocks for better river governance Sandra Postel and Brian Richter offer case studies of river management from the United States (the San Pedro, Green, and Missouri), Australia (the Brisbane), and South Africa (the Sabie), along with numerous examples of new and innovative policy approaches that are being implemented in those and other countries. Rivers for Life presents a global perspective on the challenges of managing water for people and nature, with a concise yet comprehensive overview of the relevant science, policy, and management issues. It presents exciting and inspirational information for anyone concerned with water policy, planning and management, river conservation, freshwater biodiversity, or related topics.
The conventional approach to river protection has focused on water quality and maintaining some ""minimum"" flow that was thought necessary to ensure the viability of a river. In recent years, however, scientific research has underscored the idea that the ecological health of a river system depends not on a minimum amount of water at any one time but on the naturally variable quantity and timing of flows throughout the year. In Rivers for Life, leading water experts Sandra Postel and Brian Richter explain why restoring and preserving more natural river flows are key to sustaining freshwater biodiversity and healthy river systems, and describe innovative policies, scientific approaches, and management reforms for achieving those goals. Sandra Postel and Brian Richter: explain the value of healthy rivers to human and ecosystem health; describe the ecological processes that support river ecosystems and how they have been disrupted by dams, diversions, and other alterations; consider the scientific basis for determining how much water a river needs; examine new management paradigms focused on restoring flow patterns and sustaining ecological health; assess the policy options available for managing rivers and other freshwater systems; explore building blocks for better river governance Sandra Postel and Brian Richter offer case studies of river management from the United States (the San Pedro, Green, and Missouri), Australia (the Brisbane), and South Africa (the Sabie), along with numerous examples of new and innovative policy approaches that are being implemented in those and other countries. Rivers for Life presents a global perspective on the challenges of managing water for people and nature, with a concise yet comprehensive overview of the relevant science, policy, and management issues. It presents exciting and inspirational information for anyone concerned with water policy, planning and management, river conservation, freshwater biodiversity, or related topics.
Outlines plans to manage the world's rivers to restore some necessary functions of river ecosystems such as absorbing pollutants, decomposing waste, producing fresh water, and redistributing sediment to create animal habitats.
The conventional approach to river protection has focused on water quality and maintaining some ""minimum"" flow that was thought necessary to ensure the viability of a river. In recent years, however, scientific research has underscored the idea that the ecological health of a river system depends not on a minimum amount of water at any one time but on the naturally variable quantity and timing of flows throughout the year. In Rivers for Life, leading water experts Sandra Postel and Brian Richter explain why restoring and preserving more natural river flows are key to sustaining freshwater biodiversity and healthy river systems, and describe innovative policies, scientific approaches, and management reforms for achieving those goals. Sandra Postel and Brian Richter: explain the value of healthy rivers to human and ecosystem health; describe the ecological processes that support river ecosystems and how they have been disrupted by dams, diversions, and other alterations; consider the scientific basis for determining how much water a river needs; examine new management paradigms focused on restoring flow patterns and sustaining ecological health; assess the policy options available for managing rivers and other freshwater systems; explore building blocks for better river governance Sandra Postel and Brian Richter offer case studies of river management from the United States (the San Pedro, Green, and Missouri), Australia (the Brisbane), and South Africa (the Sabie), along with numerous examples of new and innovative policy approaches that are being implemented in those and other countries. Rivers for Life presents a global perspective on the challenges of managing water for people and nature, with a concise yet comprehensive overview of the relevant science, policy, and management issues. It presents exciting and inspirational information for anyone concerned with water policy, planning and management, river conservation, freshwater biodiversity, or related topics.
This book is a must read for water managers and freshwater and estuarine ecologists contending with ever-changing conditions influencing the flow of water. Angela Arthington is based at Griffith University, Queensland.
Water for the Environment: From Policy and Science to Implementation and Management provides a holistic view of environmental water management, offering clear links across disciplines that allow water managers to face mounting challenges. The book highlights current challenges and potential solutions, helping define the future direction for environmental water management. In addition, it includes a significant review of current literature and state of knowledge, providing a one-stop resource for environmental water managers. Presents a multidisciplinary approach that allows water managers to make connections across related disciplines, such as hydrology, ecology, law, and economics Links science to practice for environmental flow researchers and those that implement and manage environmental water on a daily basis Includes case studies to demonstrate key points and address implementation issues
Water scarcity is spreading and intensifying in many regions of the world, with dire consequences for local communities, economies, and freshwater ecosystems. Current approaches tend to rely on policies crafted at the state or national level, which on their own have proved insufficient to arrest water scarcity. To be durable and effective, water plans must be informed by the culture, economics, and varied needs of affected community members. International water expert Brian Richter argues that sustainable water sharing in the twenty-first century can only happen through open, democratic dialogue and local collective action. In Chasing Water, Richter tells a cohesive and complete story of water scarcity: where it is happening, what is causing it, and how it can be addressed. Through his engaging and nontechnical style, he strips away the complexities of water management to its bare essentials, providing information and practical examples that will empower community leaders, activists, and students to develop successful and long-lasting water programs. Chasing Water will provide local stakeholders with the tools and knowledge they need to take an active role in the watershed-based planning and implementation that are essential for water supplies to remain sustainable in perpetuity.
Managing water resources is one of the most pressing challenges of our times - fundamental to how we feed 2 billion more people in coming decades, eliminate poverty, and reverse ecosystem degradation. This Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, involving more than 700 leading specialists, evaluates current thinking on water and its interplay with agriculture to help chart the way forward. It offers actions for water management and water policy - to ensure more equitable and effective use.This assessment describes key water-food-environment trends that influence our lives today and uses scenarios to explore the consequences of a range of potential investments. It aims to inform investors and policymakers about water and food choices in light of such crucial influences as poverty, ecosystems, governance, and productivity. It covers rainfed agriculture, irrigation, groundwater, marginal-quality water, fisheries, livestock, rice, land, and river basins. Ample tables, graphs, and references make this an invaluable work for practitioners, academics, researchers, and policymakers in water management, agriculture, conservation, and development.Published with IWMI.
Across much of the industrialized world, rivers that were physically transformed and ecologically ruined to facilitate industrial and agricultural development are now the focus of restoration and rehabilitation efforts. River Futures discusses the emergence of this new era of river repair and documents a comprehensive biophysical framework for river science and management. The book considers what can be done to maximize prospects for improving river health while maintaining or enhancing the provision of ecosystem services over the next fifty to one-hundred years. It provides a holistic overview of considerations that underpin the use of science in river management, emphasizing cross-disciplinary understanding that builds on a landscape template. The book frames the development of integrative river science and its application to river rehabilitation programs develops a coherent set of guiding principles with which to approach integrative river science considers the application of cross-disciplinary thinking in river rehabilitation experiences from around the world examines the crossover between science and management, outlining issues that must be addressed to promote healthier river futures Case studies explore practical applications in different parts of the world, highlighting approaches to the use of integrative river science, measures of success, and steps that could be taken to improve performance in future efforts. River Futures offers a positive, practical, and constructive focus that directly addresses the major challenge of a new era of river conservation and rehabilitation—that of bringing together the diverse and typically discipline-bound sets of knowledge and practices that are involved in repairing rivers. It is a valuable resource for anyone involved in river restoration and management, including restorationists, scientists, managers, and policymakers, as well as undergraduate and graduate students.
The overriding lesson from history is that most irrigation-based civilizations fail. As we enter the third millennium, the question arises: Will ours be any different?
For decades now we have wasted and mismanaged the world?s water supplies. Today, 27 countries are short of water, a quarter of the world?s population has no safe water, 46 per cent have no proper sanitation and each year four million children die of water-borne diseases. As most of the world?s major river systems cross several national boundaries, the scope disputes and the threat to international security is becoming more and more real. In The Last Oasis, Sandra Postel examines the economic, ecological and political factors affecting fresh water supply. She confronts the issues of mismanagement and profligacy and analyses and dangers of confrontation, both between nations and between rural and urban users. She also emphasises that the technology and know-how for effective water husbandry does exist. With methods already in use, farmers could cut their demand for water by 40-90 per cent, and cities by one-third, without sacrificing economic output or quality of life. Investing in water efficiency, recycling and conservation help meet rising demands and stave off disaster. But the priority is a common recognition of the gravity of the position, and with that a widespread push for institutions to manage sustainable use of water.
As the vast expanses of natural forests and the great populations of salmonids are harvested to support a rapidly expanding human population, the need to understand streams as ecological systems and to manage them effectively becomes increasingly urgent. The unfortunate legacy of such natural resource exploitation is well documented. For several decades the Pacific coastal ecoregion of North America has served as a natural laboratory for scientific and managerial advancements in stream ecology, and much has been learned about how to better integrate ecological processes and characteristics with a human-dominated environment. These in sightful but hard-learned ecological and social lessons are the subject of this book. Integrating land and rivers as interactive components of ecosystems and watersheds has provided the ecological sciences with impor tant theoretical foundations. Even though scientific disciplines have begun to integrate land-based processes with streams and rivers, the institutions and processes charged with managing these systems have not done so successfully. As a result, many of the watersheds of the Pacific coastal ecoregion no longer support natural settings for environmental processes or the valuable natural resources those processes create. An important role for scientists, educators, and decision makers is to make the integration between ecology and con sumptive uses more widely understood, as well as useful for effective management.
This study provides a hydrology based assessment of (surface) water resources and its continuum of variability and change at different spatio-temporal scales in the semi‐arid Karkheh Basin, Iran, where water is scarce, competition among users is high and massive water resources development is under way. The study reveals that the ongoing allocation planning is not sustainable and essentially requires reformulation, with consideration of spatio‐temporal variability and observed trends in the streamflows regarding flood intensification and decline in low flows. The development of innovative methods for quantification of the hydrological fluxes (i.e., regionalization of model parameters based on similarity of the flow duration curve and the use of areal precipitation input in the hydrological modeling) helped better understanding and modeling the basin hydrology. The investigation of scenarios for upgrading rain-fed areas to irrigated agriculture, using SWAT, recommends the promotion of in-situ soil and water conservation techniques. Conversion of rain-fed areas to irrigation causes significant reduction in the downstream flows, and requires additional considerations such as less development in the upper catchments, practicing supplementary irrigation and developing water storage. The knowledge generated is instructive for hydrological assessment and its use in water resources planning and management in the river basin context.
Water scarcity is spreading and intensifying in many regions of the world, with dire consequences for local communities, economies, and freshwater ecosystems. Current approaches tend to rely on policies crafted at the state or national level, which on their own have proved insufficient to arrest water scarcity. To be durable and effective, water plans must be informed by the culture, economics, and varied needs of affected community members. International water expert Brian Richter argues that sustainable water sharing in the twenty-first century can only happen through open, democratic dialogue and local collective action. In Chasing Water, Richter tells a cohesive and complete story of water scarcity: where it is happening, what is causing it, and how it can be addressed. Through his engaging and nontechnical style, he strips away the complexities of water management to its bare essentials, providing information and practical examples that will empower community leaders, activists, and students to develop successful and long-lasting water programs. Chasing Water will provide local stakeholders with the tools and knowledge they need to take an active role in the watershed-based planning and implementation that are essential for water supplies to remain sustainable in perpetuity.
It is zero hour for a new US water policy! At a time when many countries are adopting new national approaches to water management, the United States still has no cohesive federal policy, and water-related authorities are dispersed across more than 30 agencies. Here, at last, is a vision for what we as a nation need to do to manage our most vital resource. In this book, leading thinkers at world-class water research institution the Pacific Institute present clear and readable analysis and recommendations for a new federal water policy to confront our national and global challenges at a critical time. What exactly is at stake? In the 21st century, pressures on water resources in the United States are growing and conflicts among water users are worsening. Communities continue to struggle to meet water quality standards and to ensure that safe drinking water is available for all. And new challenges are arising as climate change and extreme events worsen, new water quality threats materialize, and financial constraints grow. Yet the United States has not stepped up with adequate leadership to address these problems. The inability of national policymakers to safeguard our water makes the United States increasingly vulnerable to serious disruptions of something most of us take for granted: affordable, reliable, and safe water. This book provides an independent assessment of water issues and water management in the United States, addressing emerging and persistent water challenges from the perspectives of science, public policy, environmental justice, economics, and law. With fascinating case studies and first-person accounts of what helps and hinders good water management, this is a clear-eyed look at what we need for a 21st century U.S. water policy.
Across the United States, municipalities, counties, and states grapple with issues of ensuring adequate amounts of water in times of high demand and low supply. Instream flow programs aim to balance ecosystem requirements and human uses of water, and try to determine how much water should be in rivers. With its range of river and ecosystem conditions, growing population, and high demands on water, Texas is representative of instream flow challenges across the United States, and its instream flow program may be a model for other jurisdictions. Three state agencies-the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)-asked a committee of the National Research Council (NRC) to review the Programmatic Work Plan (PWP) and Technical Overview Document (TOD) that outline the state's instream flow initiative. The committee suggested several changes to the proposed plan, such as establishing clearer goals, modifying the flow chart that outlines the necessary steps for conducting an instream flow study, and provide better linkages between individual studies of biology, hydrology and hydraulics, physical processes, and water quality.
Filling a long-standing need for a desk reference that synthesizes current research, Land Use Effects on Streamflow and Water Quality in the Northeastern United States reviews and discusses the impact of forest management, agriculture, and urbanization. The book provides a gateway to the diverse scientific literature that is urgently needed to understand and solve ubiquitous watershed management problems. The authors use an in-depth approach that focuses on the science behind sound management principles and practices. The book begins with a summary of the scientific principles and processes that define and govern the interactions between activities on land and conditions in streams, lakes, and estuaries. Building on these principles, later chapters progress from basic science to small-scale, controlled field experiments to landscape-scale studies and their watershed management implications. This nested format parallels the development of watershed management projects and solutions. The deliberate integration of land use history, ecology, hydrology, chemistry, and resource management avoids the artificial separation of inter-related watershed characteristics and tracks causes and effects over realistic time scales. The authors present the hydrologic and water quality principles on which to construct management plans for water supply watersheds across a wide range of sizes, configurations, and time scales. Rigorously reviewed by a distinguished panel of scientists and watershed managers, the book benefits from their collective experience across the full range of watershed science and management. It provides a diverse audience with the opportunity to update and expand their knowledge in critical areas of watershed science and management.
Law's ideas of nature appear in different doctrinal and institutional settings, historical periods, and political dialogues. Nature underlies every behavior, contract, or form of wealth, and in this broad sense influences every instance of market transaction or governmental intervention. Recognizing that law has embedded discrete constructions of nature helps in understanding how humans value their relationship with nature. This book offers a scholarly examination of the manner in which nature is constructed through law, both in the 'hard' sense of directly regulating human activities that impact nature, and in the 'soft' manner in which law's ideas of nature influence and are influenced by behaviors, values, and priorities. Traditional accounts of the intersection between law and nature generally focus on environmental laws that protect wilderness. This book will build on the constructivist observation that when considered as a culturally contingent concept, 'nature' is a self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing social creation.
We have disrupted the natural water cycle for centuries in an effort to control water for our own prosperity. Yet every year, recovery from droughts and floods costs billions of dollars, and we spend billions more on dams, diversions, levees, and other feats of engineering.These massive projects not only are risky financially and environmentally, they often threaten social and political stability. What if the answer was not further control of the water cycle, but repair and replenishment? Sandra Postel takes readers around the world to explore water projects that work with, rather than against, nature'srhythms. In New Mexico, forest rehabilitation is safeguarding drinking water; along the Mississippi River, farmers are planting cover crops toreduce polluted runoff; and in China, "sponge cities” are capturing rainwater to curb urban flooding. Efforts like these will be essential as climate change disrupts both weather patterns and the models on which we base our infrastructure. We will be forced to adapt. The question is whether we will continue to fight the water cycle or recognize our place in it and take advantage of the inherservices nature offers. Water, Postel writes, is a gift,the source of life itself. How will we use this greatest of gifts?
China is home to half of the world's large dams and adds dozens more each year. The benefits are considerable: dams deliver hydropower, provide reliable irrigation water, protect people and farmland against flooding, and produce hydroelectricity in a nation with a seeimingly insatiable appetite for energy. As hydropower responds to a larger share of energy demand, dams may also help to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, welcome news in a country where air and water pollution have become dire and greenhouse gas emissions are the highest in the world. Yet the advantages of dams come at a high cost for river ecosystems and for the social and economic well-being of local people, who face displacement and farmland loss. This book examines the array of water-management decisions faced by Chinese leaders and their consequences for local communities. Focusing on the southwestern province of Yunnan—a major hub for hydropower development in China—which encompasses one of the world's most biodiverse temperate ecosystems and one of China's most ethnically and culturally rich regions, Bryan Tilt takes the reader from the halls of decision-making power in Beijing to Yunnan's rural villages. In the process, he examines the contrasting values of government agencies, hydropower corporations, NGOs, and local communities and explores how these values are linked to longstanding cultural norms about what is right, proper, and just. He also considers the various strategies these groups use to influence water-resource policy, including advocacy, petitioning, and public protest. Drawing on a decade of research, he offers his insights on whether the world's most populous nation will adopt greater transparency, increased scientific collaboration, and broader public participation as it continues to grow economically.

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