Many dryland regions contain archaeological remains which suggest that there must have been intensive phases of settlement in what now seem to be dry and degraded environments. This book discusses successes and failures of past land use and settlement in drylands, and contributes to wider debates about desertification and the sustainability of dryland settlement.
Water is newsworthy: there is, or will be, a world water crisis. Aggravated by climate change, we are approaching the limits of human exploitation of freshwater resources, notably in growing essential food. The complexities and uncertainties associated with improving our management of fresh water take the potential remedies out of the hands of simple, local, hard engineering and into much larger units – the basin, the ecosystem and the global context, and also require longer term perspectives. The Third Edition follows the same structure as its predecessors, presenting the historical and scientific backgrounds to land-water interactions and establishing the links with development processes and policies. Throughout, its two major messages are that our new philosophy should be one of ‘humans in the ecosystem’ and that the guidance from science, being uncertain and contested, must be operationalized in a participatory system of governance based on participation. Following a review of progress towards these elements in the developed world, the international case studies update the situation in the developing world following the Millennium Development Goals, our new emphasis on poverty and on global food supplies. This book covers the multitude of scientific research findings, development of ‘tools’ and spatial/temporal scale challenges which have emerged in the last decade. Tensions are highlighted in the current and future role of large dams, country studies are retained (and considerably updated) and development contexts are explored in greater depth as a dividing line in capacity to cope with land and water stress. "Technical issues" have been expanded to cover major droughts, environmental flows and the restoration of rivers and wetlands. A separate chapter picks up these themes under terms of their relationship with uncertainty and the widespread perception that a new ethos of adaptive management is needed in the water sector. For students of geography, environmental science, hydrology, and development studies this innovative edition provides a reasoned, academic basis of evidence for sustainable, adaptive management of rivers and related large-scale ecosystems using more than 600 new sources. It will also prove invaluable for lecturers and practitioners.
For generations the Río Embudo watershed in northern New Mexico has been the home of Juan Estevan Arellano and his ancestors. From this unique perspective Arellano explores the ways people use water in dry places around the world. Touching on the Middle East, Europe, Mexico, and South America before circling back to New Mexico, Arellano makes a case for preserving the acequia irrigation system and calls for a future that respects the ecological limitations of the land.
This volume was developed to meet a much noted need for accessible case study material for courses in human ecology, cultural ecology, cultural geography, and other subjects increasingly offered to fulfill renewed student and faculty interest in environmental issues. The case studies, all taken from the journal Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Jouma~ represent a broad cross-section of contemporary research. It is tempting but inaccurate to sug gest that these represent the "Best of Human Ecology." They were selected from among many outstanding possibilities because they worked well with the organization of the book which, in turn, reflects the way in which courses in human ecology are often organized. This book provides a useful sample of case studies in the application of the perspective of human ecology to a wide variety of problems in dif ferent regions of the world. University courses in human ecology typically begin with basic concepts pertaining to energy flow, feeding relations, ma terial cycles, population dynamics, and ecosystem properties, and then take up illustrative case studies of human-environmental interactions. These are usually discussed either along the lines of distinctive strategies of food pro curement (such as foraging or pastoralism) or as adaptations to specific habitat types or biomes (such as the circumpolar regions or arid lands).