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Out of Water: From Abundance to Scarcity and How to Solve the World's Water Problems

By Colin Chartres, Samyuktha Varma

Published by FT Press

Published Date: Jul 14, 2010


The Indispensable Guide to the Next Global Crisis: Water


“No water, no life. Are you wondering how this planet can be ‘running out of water’ when it still rains and rivers flow? This book is your guide. Colin Chartres has lived his life to improve the management of the water that gives life to all. His lessons are worth learning.”

—Margaret Catley-Carlson, Member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board, Chair of the Global Water Partnership, and former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF


“Chartres and Varma ably combine sound science and intelligent writing to illuminate the enormous technical and managerial challenges inherent in meeting the world’s rapidly growing water needs. Wisely, Out of Water pays special attention to the complexities of managing water for agriculture, by far the largest consumer of water worldwide and the major contributor to water scarcity.”

—Roberto Lenton, Chair, Inspection Panel, The World Bank


“Ensuring that we use water more wisely, more productively, and less profligately will be one of the defining challenges...of this century. There are solutions, and while implementing these will not be easy, they are achievable, as pointed out in this book.”

—From the Foreword by Dr. Joachim von Braun, Director, Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments    xii

About the Authors    xiv

Foreword       xvii

Preface          xxi

Chapter 1 Not Another Crisis!        1

Why Is Water Important?          1

Some Water Facts         4

Chapter 2 From Abundance to Scarcity in 25 Years        15

The River Jordan           18

The South Asian Groundwater Phenomenon       25

The Murray-Darling Basin         30

The Colorado River       35

Lessons from History    40

Chapter 3 Causes of Water Scarcity          45

Introduction       45

Blue and Green Water   48

Causes of Water Scarcity          48

Population Growth Impact          50

Dietary Change 52

Biofuel Production         53

Urbanization, Globalization, and Other Factors     55

Climate Change Impact 56

Conclusion        57

Chapter 4 Climate Change and Water       59

What Are the Most Likely Impacts of Climate Change?  61

Climate Change Impacts in Asia 66

Climate Change Impacts in Australia      70

Does Water Have a Role in Mitigating Climate Change? 72

Adapting to Climate Change       73

Conclusion        75

Chapter 5 Agriculture and Water    77

Why Is Irrigation So Important? 92

Virtual Water and Water Footprints        95

How Can We Achieve More “Drop Per Drop”? 97

Urban Water Reuse for Agriculture        100

Conclusion        101

Chapter 6 Water, Food, and Poverty         103

The Big Picture–Farming and Poverty  105

Nature and Poverty       107

Irrigation and Poverty–Learning from Asia        109

Groundwater and Poverty          112

Women, Water, and Food          114

Water as Welfare          116

Conclusion        117

Chapter 7 Integrating Water Planning and Management            119

Integrated Water Resources Management          121

Drinking Water and Sanitation in the Developing World   122

What Happens to Our Waste?   126

Recycling and Reuse of Wastewater      128

Multiple Use Water Systems      133

Conclusion        135

Chapter 8 Water Governance for People and the Environment           139

Understanding Water’s Unique Properties          142

A New Blueprint           144

Going Local      146

The Farmers Will Do It for Themselves  148

The Participation Principle         150

Recognizing Informal Institutions–The Commons and Community Management   152

Rivers   153

Conclusion        155

Chapter 9 Water Rights and Water Costs 157

Water Allocation Mechanisms    159

South African Water Policy       160

Water Allocation and Pricing in the United States            162

The Murray-Darling Basin, Australia      166

The Situation in Other Countries 169

The Economics of Water           170

Lessons from Complexity?         176

Conclusion        178

Chapter 10 Solving the World’s Water Problems            183

1. If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It           185

2. Treasure the Environment      187

3. Reform Water Governance    189

4. Revitalize Agricultural Water Use       192

5. Manage Urban and Industrial Demand            198

6. Empower the Poor and Women in Water Management            201

Conclusion        204

Endnotes       207

Chapter 1          207

Chapter 2          207

Chapter 3          209

Chapter 4          210

Chapter 5          211

Chapter 6          213

Chapter 7          214

Chapter 8          215

Chapter 9          216

Chapter 10        218

Index              221

Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-13-262918-6

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-262918-8

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