Water Management in Islam

Water Management in Islam

Water Management in Islam

Water Management in Islam

Synopsis

In the Middle East and North Africa, water is rapidly becoming the key development issue. The region has one of the highest population growth rates in the world and scarce natural water supplies. In this region and others, policy makers have often proposed or even tried to implement policies such as higher water tariffs or privatization without considering local culture and values. Yet culture, including religion, clearly influences how people perceive and manage a resource, such as water. In addition to supporting large minorities following various faiths, the region is home to 300 million Muslims. Therefore, developing an understanding of the Islamic perspective on proposed water management policies is a key for sustainable and equitable development for Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and elsewhere.This volume presents Islamic perspectives on a number of proposed water-management policies, including water demand management, wastewater reuse, and higher tariffs. The book opens avenues for a wider dialogue amongst researchers working at identifying the most promising water management policies, adds to our knowledge of some of the influences on formal policy and informal practice, and makes these ideals available to a broader public. It serves as a concrete example of the benefit of examining development in the context of values and culture. Its also dispels common misconceptions about the Islamic view on water management practices such as selling water and wastewater reuse.

Excerpt

This book explores the Islamic perspective on a number of proposed water management policies, such as lifeline water tariffs, water conservation, wastewater reuse, community-based water management, fair pricing, and water markets. These measures are generally accepted, with certain provisos, to lead to more equitable, efficient, and sustainable water management. By studying these issues in the context of Islam, workshop participants were able to derive Islamic water management principles that were in harmony with currently accepted principles of sustainable water management.

The book is primarily based on the findings of the Workshop on Water Resources Management in the Islamic World, held in Amman, Jordan, in December 1998. The workshop was organized by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), with support from the International Water Resources Association (IWRA), and the Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Demand and Management (INWRDAM). However, the discussion and conclusions presented reflect the consensus and interpretations of the participants in the workshop. They do not reflect official policies of IDRC, IWRA, or INWRDAM.

The mission of the IDRC, a Canadian Crown Corporation, is “empowerment through knowledge,” and its mandate is to initiate, support, and conduct research to help communities in the developing world find solutions to their social, economic, and environmental problems. One IDRC program, entitled “People, Land, and Water,” focuses on research . . .

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