Synopses & Reviews
Rivers and their watersheds constitute some of the most dynamic and complex landscapes. Rivers have sustained human communities, and human societies have utilized and altered river flows in a number of ways for millennia. However, the level of human impact on rivers, and on watershed environments, has become acute during the last hundred years or so.
This book brings together empirical research on the changing conditions of a range of river basin environments in the contemporary world, including the history and culture of local societies living in these river basins. It provides theoretical insights on the patterns and nature of the interaction between rivers and their use by human communities. The chapters are written from a variety of positions, including environmental science, hydrology, human ecology, urban environments, the politics of water use, historical geography, cultural anthropology, and tourism studies. Some notable riverine case study areas are included: the Nile, Ganges, Murray-Darling, Mekong, and Amazon. Others, including from Europe, Central Asia, USA and Japan, are used to illustrate our understanding of the various impacts upon such systems.
The discussion is set within a framework that highlights the impact of climate change, transboundary issues, the uses of river water, pollution and restoration, tourism and the socio-economics and politics of river governance.