Sustainable Management of Headwater Resources: Research from Africa and India

Sustainable Management of Headwater Resources: Research from Africa and India

Sustainable Management of Headwater Resources: Research from Africa and India

Sustainable Management of Headwater Resources: Research from Africa and India

Synopsis

River headwaters are the primary source of fresh water for millions of people downstream, particularly in Africa and India. Acting as drainage basins for water runoff from the surrounding land, headwaters are threatened by runoff pollutants, erosion, and reduced drainage caused by overdevelopment. Sustainable Management of Headwater Resources provides both an overview and scientific analyses of local and regional headwater issues in India and Africa. The authors analyze the current situation through field experiments that provide reliable information on the status of headwater resources in these regions.The book discusses current and future problems, including those caused by land degradation, natural hazards, and the development processes. It offers ideas for developing better land management, environmental protection, and landscape regeneration practices and policies. The authors also address the many challenges that remain, such as fostering community participation, the role of education, effectiveness and limits of current technology, and the sustainability of current activities.

Excerpt

This book is a compilation of selected papers presented at the International Conference on Sustainable Management of Headwater Resources held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 5–8 September 2002. The major objective of the conference was to bring in case studies from the most fragile headwater areas in India and Africa and to focus on the major problems facing these regions. The Nairobi conference was also able to bring in researchers from various parts of the developing world and thereby give them an opportunity to share scientific and technical knowledge.

The book defines the concepts of headwater resources and later explains the engineering and technical aspects in sustainable management of various headwater resources in India and Africa. The introductory chapter by the editors explains the paradigms of sustainable management of headwater resources, policies, and prospects in various countries and finally the Headwater Declaration, which was one of the major outcomes of the conference.

The book also explains about local communities in the Nile interacting in developing sustainable management practices using indigenous knowledge of wetlands. Population growth, globalization, and state policies have threatened the headwaters of the Nile and have damaged their hydrological functions. It explains that indigenous knowledge must evolve in order to face the challenges of growing local and external pressures on wetlands, and indigenous knowledge within the wetland communities is mandatory for carrying out sustainable development practices in these areas.

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