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Hydrosystems strongly interact with society in terms of natural resource management, water quality/quantity management, or natural risks. During recent decades, population increase and economic growth, notably in flatter regions, have strengthened the tensions between hydrosystem functions and land planning. As a result, the importance of human impacts on hydrosystem functions and increases in hydrological risks are now widely recognised. The development of laws and policy tools to improve land and catchment planning in order to protect the natural functions and quality of hydrosystems has been one of the responses associated with solving these problems. In this context, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) of the European Union is heading and driving the national laws for European State Members. The aim of the WFD is to set a common standard in terms of quality and quantity objectives for physical, chemical and biological hydrosystem parameters. These objectives have to be implemented through an appropriate management plan and applied to every water body/water mass unit such as rivers, lakes and groundwater. These WFD objectives are challenging for a number of European countries that have highly inspired the WFD foundations from their own water management policies and tools.
European Continental Hydrosystems under Changing Water Policy proposes a synthesis of the geographical research and research findings in relation to continental hydrosystems, European territories and water laws, both at the conceptual and methodological level. Numerous case studies from France, Switzerland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and United Kingdom show how research in geography can contribute to the implementation of water policies in Europe.
This book is organised in four sections:
Section 1: River basin management, achieving good status of hydrosystems and geographical sciences;
Section 2: Water laws, hydrological/sediment transfers and integrated approaches to risk management;
Section 3: Institutional management of water use and participation;
Section 4: Fundamental geographical research applied to hydrosystem management.
European Continental Hydrosystems under Changing Water Policy, written by a first class international team of 77 authors, is essential for researchers, students, professional geographers, geomorphologists, hydrologists, geologists, ecologists, engineers and planners, and professional organisations. It is a useful supplementary textbook for higher-level undergraduate and MSc courses in continental hydrosystems and catchment management taught within Departments of Geography, Environmental Science, Geology, Ecology, Environmental Planning, and Civil and Environmental Engineering.