Water Resources

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In this concise introduction to water resources, Shimon Anisfeld explores the fundamental interactions between humans and water, including drinking, sanitation, irrigation, and power production. The book familiarizes students with the current water crisis and with approaches for managing this essential resource more effectively in a time of rapid environmental and social change. Anisfeld addresses both human and ecological problems, including scarcity, pollution, disease, flooding, conflicts over water, and degradation of aquatic ecosystems. In addition to providing the background necessary to understand each of these problems, the book discusses ways to move towards better management and addresses the key current debates in the water policy field.


In the past, water development has often proceeded in a single-sector fashion, with each group of users implementing its own plans without coordination with other groups, resulting in both conflict and inefficiency. Now, Anisfeld writes, the challenge of water management is figuring out how to balance all the different demands for water, from sanitation to energy generation to ecosystem protection.

For inquiring students of any level, Water Resources provides a comprehensive one-volume guide to a complex but vital field of study.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice Magazine - E. Gomezdelcampo

"Water is a vital resource that is continuously threatened by structural and nonstructural human actions. Thus, a book that combines relevant science and policy issues is a welcome reference for anyone interested in water in any type, shape, or form. In this brief but comprehensive work, Anisfeld (Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies) tries to explain the global water crisis and offer possible solutions. The book's target audience is quite ambitious: lay readers, students, and professionals. And in some chapters, this ambitious reach shows by its lack of depth. However, the array of topics covered compensates for this. They range from the typical water resources topics such as floods and droughts to the not-so-typical subjects of sustainability and growth, and cooperation and conflicts. Each chapter includes a list of recommended readings and a shoft list of discussion questions. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through graduate students, professionals/practitioners, and general readers."
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Dr. Shimon Anisfeld is Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist in Water Resources and Environmental Chemistry at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His articles have appeared in major journals, including Environmental Science and Technology, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, and Estuaries.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Past, Present, and Future: Introduction to the Water Crisis 1

1.1 The Past: A Brief History of Water Resource Management 2

The Twentieth Century 2

Dams 3

Canals 4

Wells 5

1.2 The Present: A Water Crisis 5

1.3 The Future: An Emerging Approach to Water Management 6

1.4 Structure of This Book 10

Chapter 2 Quantity and Quality: Introduction to Water Resource Science 11

2.1 Following the Hydrologic Cycle 11

Precipitation 11

Evapotranspiration 13

Percolation and Groundwater 13

Streamflow 14

2.2 Watersheds and Issues of Spatial Scale 17

Definition 17

Watersheds and Water Budgets 18

Nested Watersheds and Stream Size 20

USGS Hydrologic Units and the Problem with Watersheds 22

2.3 Introduction to Water Quality 25

Types of Pollutants 26

The Clean Water Act and Pollution Permits 30

2.4 Introduction to Fluvial Geomorphology and Aquatic Ecology 32

2.5 Conclusion 34

Chapter 3 Supply and Demand: Water Availability and Water Use 35

3.1 Global Water Resources 35

Stocks and Flows 35

Spatial Variability in Water Availability 38

Water Availability at the Country Scale 42

Temporal Variability in Water Availability 45

3.2 Water Use 47

Defining Water Use 47

Water Use at the Global Scale 50

Water Use at the Country Scale 53

Water Footprints 55

Water Use in the United States 58

3.3 Conclusion 63

Chapter 4 Water, Water, Everywhere: Dealing with Floods 64

4.1 Defming Floods 64

4.2 Flooding Impacts and Trends 68

4.3 Flood Management 69

Vulnerability 70

Flood Management Over Time 71

Flood Control in the United States 72

The Future of Flood Management 75

4.4 Conclusion 76

Chapter 5 Nor Any Drop to Drink: Water Scarcity 77

5.1 Defining Scarcity 77

Falkenmark Indicator 77

WTA Indicator 78

5.2 Assessing Water Scarcity at Different Scales 79

Global 79

Country Scale 80

Grid Scale 81

River Basin Scale 83

Economic Water Scarcity 84

5.3 Groundwater Overdraft 86

5.4 Drought 89

Defining Drought 89

Paleoclimatology and Drought Frequency 91

Drought Management 92

5.5 Conclusion 95

Chapter 6 The End of Stationarity: Water in an Era of Global Change 96

6.1 Population Growth and Climate Change 96

Population Growth 96

Climate Change 97

Forecasting the Combined Effects of Climate and Population 100

Climate Change, Droughts, and Floods 102

Climate Change and Coastal Flooding 103

6.2 Land Use Change 104

Deforestation 104

Urbanization 107

Land Use Change and Coastal Flooding 108

Desertification 109

6.3 Conclusion 111

Chapter 7 Soft and Hard: Technologies for Sustainable Water Management 113

7.1 Large Dams 113

Technical and Financial Performance 114

Dam Safety and Maintenance 115

Ecological Impacts 116

Social Impacts 118

Positions on the Dam Debate 118

7.2 Small Dams 119

Dam Removal 120

7.3 Canals and Water Transport 122

7.4 Virtual Water Trade 123

7.5 Desalination 128

7.6 Wastewater Reclamation 130

7.7 Rainwater Harvesting 132

7.8 Choosing Appropriate Technology 134

7.9 Conclusion 135

Chapter 8 Humans and Ecosystems: Finding the Right Balance 137

8.1 Human Modifications to Aquatic Ecosystems 138

8.2 Hydrologic Alteration 141

River Flow Regimes 143

Characterizing Hydrologic Alteration 144

Environmental Flow Requirements---Defining the Question 146

Environmental Flow Requirements---Methods 149

The Global Extent of Hydrologic Alteration 150

8.3 Physical Alteration 151

8.4 Chemical Degradation: Water Quality 152

8.5 Biotic Degradation 153

8.6 The Urban Stream Syndrome 153

Impervious Surfaces 154

Hydrology 156

Geomorphology 157

Water Quality: Urban Runoff 157

Water Quality: Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) 158

Biotic Impacts 159

Managing the Urban Stream Syndrome 159

8.7 Protecting Aquatic Ecosystems: The Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act 161

CWA Water Quality Standards and Assessment 161

Impairments and TMDLs 164

The Status of America's Waters 166

Endangered Species Act 167

8.8 Conclusion 168

Chapter 9 Overconsumption and Underconsumption: Water for Households and Health 170

9.1 Water and Health 170

9.2 Water and Sanitation: The Standard Model in Developed Countries 171

Water Supply 174

Safety of Drinking Water 175

Sanitation and Waste Treatment 179

9.3 Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries 180

Millennium Development Goals 180

The Burden of Disease 182

Costs and Benefits 187

Reducing Water-Related Disease 188

9.4 Alternatives for Sanitation 190

9.5 Natural Contaminants 193

Arsenic 193

Fluoride 195

9.6 Bottled Water 196

9.7 Household Water Conservation 197

Current Use 197

Tools for Conservation 200

Effectiveness 202

9.8 Conclusion 204

Chapter 10 Crops and Drops: Getting More from Less in Agricultural Water Use 205

10.1 Agriculture as a Water User 205

10.2 The Green Revolution and Its Limits 208

10.3 Water Productivity 211

Diet 212

Footprints and Efficiency 213

10.4 Agricultural Pollution 218

10.5 Conclusion 220

Chapter 11 Growth and Sustainability: Using Water More Wisely in Industry 221

11.1 Water and Energy 222

Water for Energy: Fossil Fuel Extraction 222

Water for Energy: Thermoelectric Power Plants 223

Water for Energy: Hydropower 225

Water for Energy: Bioenergy 228

Energy for Water 228

11.2 Water and Industrial Production 229

Improving Efficiency 229

Water Risks and Opportunities 230

Industrial Pollution 230

Forestry 232

11.3 Conclusion 234

Chapter 12 Basic Need and Economic Good: The Contested Role of Economics in Water Management 236

12.1 The Economic Perspective 237

12.2 Laws and Markets for Allocating Water 239

Legal Doctrines for Water Allocation 240

Water Markets for Improved Allocation 242

Regulated Riparianism for Improved Allocation 245

12.3 Pricing for Conservation, Cost Recovery, and Fairness 246

Theory 246

The Argument for Higher Prices 248

The Current Pricing Picture 249

The Equity Problem 251

12.4 Privatization 252

The Opposing Positions on Privatization 252

Moving Forward: A Middle Ground 255

12.5 Cost-Benefit Analysis 258

Equity 259

Unquantifiable Factors 259

Pork Barrel Politics 260

12.6 Conclusion 262

Chapter 13 Conflict and Cooperation: Transboundary and Intersectoral Water Management 263

13.1 International Water Conflict and Cooperation 264

International Law 264

Water Wars or Water Treaties? 266

Factors Affecting Water Interactions 268

Tools for Moving Toward Cooperation 270

Game Theory 271

Water Conflict and Cooperation in the Jordan River Basin 274

13.2 Water Conflict and Cooperation in the US 278

The Law of the River 278

Klamath River 280

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) 282

13.3 Conclusion 283

Chapter 14 Conclusion: The Imperative of Better Management 284

Discussion Questions 287

Glossary 291

References 299

Recommended Readings 317

Index 321

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