Managing Water Resources in a Time of Global Change: Mountains, Valleys and Flood Plains

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Global change possesses serious challenges for water managers and scientists. In mountain areas, where water supplies for half of the world population originate, climate and hydrologic models are still subject to considerable uncertainty. And yet, critical decisions have to be taken to ensure adequate and safe water supplies to billions of people, millions of farmers and industries, without further deteriorating rivers and water bodies. While global warming is known to cause glaciers' retreat and reduced snow packs around the world, it is not clear that mountain discharge will be lower. What is widely recognised is that water management must be adapted to accommodate significant regime changes. However, this inevitably involves managing transboundary rivers, adding further complexity to putting principles in practice.

This book takes global warming and the importance of mountain areas in world water resources as the starting point. First, it provides detailed reviews of the processes going on in several rivers systems and world regions in Europe
(Rhône and Ebro), North America (Canadian Rockies, Western US and Mexico), the Middle East (Jordan), Africa (Tunisia, Kenya and South Africa). These contexts provide case studies and examples that show the difficulties and potential for adaptation to global change. Land-use, economics, numerous modeling approaches are some of the cross-cutting issues covered in the chapters. The volume also includes the views of water practitioners, with two chapters authored by members of the US-Canada International Joint Commission, an industrialist from Western Canada and an environmental leader in Spain.

By combining a rich set of contexts and approaches, the volume succeeds in offering a view of the global challenges faced by water agencies, international donors and researchers around the world. A case is made in some chapters to seek adaptive strategies rather than trying to reduce or control resources variability. This requires factoring in land-use, social and economic aspects, especially in developing countries. Another conclusion is that complex problems can and must be posed and negotiated with the help of models, mapping techniques and science-based facts. However complex these may be, there are ways to translate them to easily interpretable and visualisations of alternative scenarios and courses of action. This book provides numerous examples of the potential of such approaches to draft environmental programmes solve transboundary disputes and reduce the economic consequences of droughts and climate instability.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Alberto Garrido is Associate Professor in the Economics department at the Technical University of Madrid.

Ariel Dinar is a Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy, and Director Water Science and Policy Center, University of California, Riverside, USA. This book was prepared while he was Lead Economist of the Development Research Group at the World Bank, USA. His research focuses on international water and cooperation, approaches to stable water allocation agreements, water and climate change, economics of water quantity/quality, and economic aspects of policy interventions and institutional reforms. His most recent undertaking is the RFF book series "Issues in Water Resource Policy" that aims to produce publications on contemporary water policy issues in various countries and states.

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Table of Contents

Series editor’s preface, Henry Vaux, Jr, 1. High Water, Low Water, No Water: Upland Water Resource Management in times of Global Change, Ariel Dinar and Alberto Garrido, Part I. Mountain and upland areas, 2. Mountains of the World — Water Towers for the 21st Century, Bruno Messerli, Daniel Viviroli and Rolf Weingartner, 3. Upland Watershed Management and Global Change — Canada’s Rocky Mountains and Western Plains, Dave Sauchyn, Michael Demuth and Alain Pietroniro, 4. System Hydrology Tools To Support Water Policy: The Case Of Lake Kinneret Watershed, Israel, Alon Rimmer, 5. Combined impacts of development and climate change on the Rhône river (Switzerland, France), Jean-Paul Bravard, Part II. Managing Opportunities in the face global challenges, 6. Adaptive Management of Upland Rivers Facing Global Change: General Insights and Specific Considerations for the Rhone, Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Ger Berkamp and Katharine Cross, 7. Climate Change and Water Resources: Potential Impacts and Implications, Richard M. Adams and Dannele E. Peck, 8. Policy and Adaptation in the Jordan Valley, Yousef Hasan AYADI, 9. Upland Watershed Management in Developing World: The Case of Tunisia, Sihem Benabdallah, 10. Challenges In Upland Watershed Management: The Green-Blue Water Approach, Holger Hoff, Part III. The view of practitioners and stakeholders, 11. Factors for success: Public and Private Sector Roles in Securing a Safe and Reliable Water Supply, Don Lowry, 12. The International Joint Commission: A Case Study in the Management of International Waters, Dennis Schornack and John Nevin, 13. An overview of the IJC, Jack Blaney, 14. Water management in alpine regions, Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, Conclusions, 15. Overcoming the Constraints for a more Integrated and Adaptive Water Management: a New Agenda for Upland Waters , Alberto Garrido and Ariel Dinar.

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