This book focuses on three major concepts and approaches that have gained currency in policy and governance circles, both globally and regionally—scarcity and crisis, marketization and privatization, and participation. It provides a historical and contextual overview of each of these ideas as they have emerged in global and regional policy and governance circles and pairs these with in-depth case studies that examine manifestations and contestations of water governance internationally.
The book interrogates ideas of water crisis and scarcity in the context of bio-physical, political, social and environmental landscapes to better understand how ideas and practices linked to scarcity and crisis take hold, and become entrenched in policy and practice. The book also investigates ideas of marketization and privatization, increasingly prominent features of water governance throughout the global South, with particular attention to the varied implementation and effects of these governance practices. The final section of the volume analyzes participatory water governance, querying the disconnects between global discourses and local realities, particularly as they intersect with the other themes of interest to the volume.
Promoting a view of changing water governance that links across these themes and in relation to contemporary realities, the book is invaluable for students, researchers, advocates, and policy makers interested in water governance challenges facing the developing world.
Leila M. Harris is an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and in the Institute for Gender, Race and Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. She is also Co-Director of the Program on Water Governance (PoWG). Her work focuses on nature-society questions including inequality and environment and political ecology, particularly through investigation of water politics, access, and governance in the Global South.
Jacqueline Goldin is the SADC WaterNet Chair for Water and Society and Associate Professor at the Institute for Water Studies, University of the Western Cape where she heads the Anthropology of Water (AoW) Research Group. The research group focuses on food and water security and the interface between human and ecosystem well-being, with attention to institutional settings as mediators between people and nature.
Chris Sneddon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth College. His research and teaching focus on conflicts over water at multiple spatial scales, with a primary regional focus on the Mekong River basin of Southeast Asia.
Irrigation productivity rose dramatically over the past 40 years as a result of the Green Revolution. However, even if we disregard the environmental impacts caused by that revolution, we are no nearer to achieving global food security than we were 40 years ago, as every time we come close to filling the food production gap population growth and ecosystem decline associated with water diversions to human purposes set us back. Our natural and agricultural ecosystems are trying to tell us something.
This book pursues these overarching themes connecting to water and food production at global and regional scales. The collection offers a comprehensive discussion of all relevant issues, and offers a wide-ranging discussion with the aim of contributing to the global debate about water and food crises.
Rather than focusing on a specific river or particular geographic region, the book analyzes numerous rivers, dictated by the large number of treaty observations, and is able to test several hypotheses, devising general conclusions about the manner in which states resolve their water disputes. Policy implications are thereby also gained. While the book simultaneously considers conflict and cooperation along international rivers, it is the focus on negotiated agreements, and their embodied side-payment and cost-sharing regimes, that justifies the use of particular independent variables.
Following an overview of the ways climate change is affecting three cities in Africa, Water and Climate Change in Africa: Challenges and Community Initiatives in Durban, Maputo and Nairobi discusses the equity and climate justice implications, and then gives examples of ways in which a range of local community organizations are extending their current activities to address these challenges through innovative new programs and initiatives at the grassroots. This approach has implications for communities worldwide; it is a process of building on existing organizations’ aptitudes and strengths in the light of local knowledge of climate challenges, and creating partnerships to build equity-enhancing new methods of protecting people’s subsistence.
This book should be of interest to climate change scholars, activists and policy-makers, as well as development studies researchers and practitioners.
Socially efficient water use does not generally coincide with private decisions in the real world, however. Examples of mechanisms designed to incentivize efficient behavior are drawn from agricultural water use, municipal water regulation, and externalities linked to water resources. Water management is further complicated when information is costly and/or imperfect. Standard optimization frameworks are extended to allow for coordination costs, games and cooperation, and risk allocation. When operating efficiently, water markets are often viewed as a desirable means of allocation because a market price incentivizes users to move resources from low to high value activities. However, early attempts at water trading have run into many obstacles. Case studies from the United States, Australia, Europe, and Canada highlight the successes and remaining challenges of establishing efficient water markets.
"Reduce, reuse, recycle" urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as this provocative, visionary book argues, this approach perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world?
In fact, why not take nature itself as our model? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, "waste equals food" is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for something new-either as "biological nutrients" that safely re-enter the environment or as "technical nutrients" that circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles, without being "downcycled" into low-grade uses (as most "recyclables" now are).
Elaborating their principles from experience (re)designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, William McDonough and Michael Braungart make an exciting and viable case for change.
In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America's urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America.
Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world's middle class through globalization have produced a dangerously unstable planet--one that is "hot, flat, and crowded." In this Release 2.0 edition, he also shows how the very habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets and the Great Recession. The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy. And it could inspire Americans to something we haven't seen in a long time--nation-building in America--by summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenge--and the promise--of the future.