Land, Water, and Development: Sustainable Management of River Basin Systems

By Malcolm Newson | Go to book overview

Prologue

RIVER BASIN IMAGES

Our perceptions and concepts are increasingly structured by visual experiences. Figures i-viii illustrate a range of published images of river basins. Any hydrologist asked to draw one will produce a prototype hot air balloon, slightly crumpled and with a very simple stream network, possibly second or third order according to Strahler’s (1957) classification (Figure i). This is the small catchment beloved of water supply engineers and one over which land use control is relatively easily practised; it is also the largest scale used by experiments in hydrology—because of the unsuitability of larger units (say >100 km2) for controls and experimental treatments.

If we consider, however, that at another extreme the Amazon river basin may be fourteenth order on the Strahler scale, has a basin area of 5 Mkm2 and is in desperate need of efficient management under changing political and environmental circumstances, the hydrologist’s simplicity of concept may be dangerously illusory. The river manager, even on a small island like

Figure i The geomorphologist’s view of the river basin: ordered stream network within a defined boundary (Leopold, 1974)

-xxviii-

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Land, Water, and Development: Sustainable Management of River Basin Systems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Plates ix
  • Figures x
  • Tables xv
  • Preface to the First Edition xix
  • Preface to the Second Edition xxii
  • Acknowledgements xxvi
  • Prologue xxviii
  • Chapter 1 - History of River Basin Management 1
  • Chapter 2 - Natural River Basins 23
  • Chapter 3 - Land and Water 57
  • Chapter 4 - Managing Land and Water in the Developed World 99
  • Chapter 5 - River Basins and Development 151
  • Chapter 6 - Technical Issues in River Basin Management 214
  • Chapter 7 - Institutional Issues in River Basin Management 281
  • Chapter 8 - Sustainable River Basin Management 321
  • Chapter 9 - Land and Water 351
  • Bibliography 374
  • Name Index 408
  • Subject Index 411
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