The hydropolitics of dams – engineering or ecosystems?
Mark Everard / Zed Books / Paperback £21.99 / ISBN: 978–1–78032-540–8
In this perceptive and accessible book, Mark Everard charts the history of “our cavalier disregard for rivers and their ecosystems” and builds his case for a more integrated approach to water management that rises above the simplistic “engineered versus green dichotomy”.
Based on his practical experience and using informative case studies from China, the US, India and South Africa, Everard aims to bridge the gap between two clashing cultures – the technocentric and ecocentric approaches to developing water resources – arguing that, in practice, we need both.
The inconvenient truth, he notes, is that neither a heavy engineering approach nor ecosystem-based management offer the answer if considered in isolation. There is, he suggests, no “right technology” choice, but there are ways for thinking through the options.
With its clearly argued central theme, well-researched summaries of technically complex areas, and “real world” emphasis, this book should help.
Lucie Ponting is a writer on health, safety and the environment.