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Balancing Water for Humans and Nature: The New Approach in Ecohydrology

By: Malin Falkenmark and Johan Rockström

247 pages, Figs, tabs


Paperback | Dec 2004 | #143808 | ISBN: 1853839272
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £26.99 $35/€31 approx
Hardback | Dec 2004 | #143809 | ISBN: 1853839264
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About this book

Two of the leading experts on water management argue for a new ecological approach to understanding and managing water resources. Based on per capita needs for an acceptable nutritional diet, they analyse the amounts of water needed for global food production by 2050 and identify potential sources. Drawing on small-scale experiences in Africa and Asia, they also cover the vulnerability of the semi-arid tropics.

Falkenmark (Stockhold International Water Inst.) and Rockstrom (UNESCO-IHE Inst. For Water Education, The Netherlands) have written an excellent book that bridges hydrology and ecology. The authors advocate an ecohydrological approach to water management based on the principle that rainfall, not runoff, constitutes the basic freshwater resource. The strong links between soil, water, plants, and the atmosphere are evident when rainfall is partitioned 'green' water vapor flow from evaporation and transpiration and 'blue' liquid water flow in rivers, lakes, and aquifers. With proper management, green water needs for producing food and maintaining natural biomass growth may be reduced, thereby securing more blue water for sustaining ecosystems and human activities. This book focuses on four areas: water supply to humans and industry, water in the plant production process, water as an active participant in generating environmental impacts from human activities, and water's implication in times of drought. The fundamental issue addressed by the authors is the socioecohydrological balance between the beneficial use of water for goods and services (e.g., food, fiber, energy and the protection and sustenance of essential ecosystem functions. This well-written, informative book makes a valuable contribution to the water management literature. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels, especially ecologists and hydrologists.--M. J. Zwolinski, University of Arizona in CHOICE


Part 1 Water functions in the life-support system: the blood stream of the biosphere; water availability; human water requirements; incorporating water for ecosystem "services"; regional differences. Part 2 Closing up on the vulnerable Savanna zone: vulnerability to the Savanna zone; water perspective of feeding humanity; closing the yield gap on the Savanna. Part 3 Finding the balance between water for humans and for nature: towards hydro-solidarity through integrated land/water ecosystem management.

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Malin Falkenmark is Professor in Applied and International Hydrology and Senior Scientist at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Sweden. She is co-author of the influential Water for a Thirsty World (1978) and Comparative Hydrology (1989). Johan Rockstri? m is Associate Professor in Natural Resources Management at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands, in-coming Executive Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) , and co-editor of Rethinking Water Management (2003).

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