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Out of Water: From Abundance to Scarcity and How to Solve the World's Water Problems

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Out of Water: From Abundance to Scarcity and How to Solve the World's Water Problems


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The world faces an unparalleled water crisis: one that will directly or indirectly threaten every nation and virtually every individual.

  • Brings the global debate about water resources to a higher level, with authoritative insights into both the crisis and the solutions.
  • Reveals the breadth and depth of the coming water crisis, and its dangerous potential impacts around the world.
  • Offers innovative, proven techniques for improving water use efficiency through better agriculture, engineering, governance, and incentives.
  • Description

    • Copyright 2011
    • Dimensions: 5-3/8" x 8-1/4"
    • Edition: 1st
    • Book
    • ISBN-10: 0-13-136726-9
    • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-136726-5

    From cities to biofuels, competition for water is accelerating. Climate change threatens to intensify the onset and severity of the water crisis in several regions of the developing world: this is already happening throughout much of Asia, the Mediterranean, southwestern Australia, and the southwestern US. Along with water shortages, unsafe water becomes an increasingly widespread problem, too. As water crises trigger food and health crises, billions may slip further into poverty, leading to greater social and political unrest, new wars, and worsening national security. Out of Water doesn't just illuminate the coming global water crisis: it presents innovative solutions in agriculture, engineering, governance, and beyond, including state-of-the art techniques for integrated water management. This book will help raise the level of debate about water to the highest levels of government, and identify workable reforms and incentives to help water users utilize this crucial resource far more efficiently.

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    Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments    xii

    About the Authors    xiv

    Foreword       xvii

    Preface          xxi

    Chapter 1 Not Another Crisis!        1

    Why Is Water Important?          1

    Some Water Facts         4

    Chapter 2 From Abundance to Scarcity in 25 Years        15

    The River Jordan           18

    The South Asian Groundwater Phenomenon       25

    The Murray-Darling Basin         30

    The Colorado River       35

    Lessons from History    40

    Chapter 3 Causes of Water Scarcity          45

    Introduction       45

    Blue and Green Water   48

    Causes of Water Scarcity          48

    Population Growth Impact          50

    Dietary Change 52

    Biofuel Production         53

    Urbanization, Globalization, and Other Factors     55

    Climate Change Impact 56

    Conclusion        57

    Chapter 4 Climate Change and Water       59

    What Are the Most Likely Impacts of Climate Change?  61

    Climate Change Impacts in Asia 66

    Climate Change Impacts in Australia      70

    Does Water Have a Role in Mitigating Climate Change? 72

    Adapting to Climate Change       73

    Conclusion        75

    Chapter 5 Agriculture and Water    77

    Why Is Irrigation So Important? 92

    Virtual Water and Water Footprints        95

    How Can We Achieve More “Drop Per Drop”? 97

    Urban Water Reuse for Agriculture        100

    Conclusion        101

    Chapter 6 Water, Food, and Poverty         103

    The Big Picture–Farming and Poverty  105

    Nature and Poverty       107

    Irrigation and Poverty–Learning from Asia        109

    Groundwater and Poverty          112

    Women, Water, and Food          114

    Water as Welfare          116

    Conclusion        117

    Chapter 7 Integrating Water Planning and Management            119

    Integrated Water Resources Management          121

    Drinking Water and Sanitation in the Developing World   122

    What Happens to Our Waste?   126

    Recycling and Reuse of Wastewater      128

    Multiple Use Water Systems      133

    Conclusion        135

    Chapter 8 Water Governance for People and the Environment           139

    Understanding Water’s Unique Properties          142

    A New Blueprint           144

    Going Local      146

    The Farmers Will Do It for Themselves  148

    The Participation Principle         150

    Recognizing Informal Institutions–The Commons and Community Management   152

    Rivers   153

    Conclusion        155

    Chapter 9 Water Rights and Water Costs 157

    Water Allocation Mechanisms    159

    South African Water Policy       160

    Water Allocation and Pricing in the United States            162

    The Murray-Darling Basin, Australia      166

    The Situation in Other Countries 169

    The Economics of Water           170

    Lessons from Complexity?         176

    Conclusion        178

    Chapter 10 Solving the World’s Water Problems            183

    1. If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It           185

    2. Treasure the Environment      187

    3. Reform Water Governance    189

    4. Revitalize Agricultural Water Use       192

    5. Manage Urban and Industrial Demand            198

    6. Empower the Poor and Women in Water Management            201

    Conclusion        204

    Endnotes       207

    Chapter 1          207

    Chapter 2          207

    Chapter 3          209

    Chapter 4          210

    Chapter 5          211

    Chapter 6          213

    Chapter 7          214

    Chapter 8          215

    Chapter 9          216

    Chapter 10        218

    Index              221


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