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One of the most controversial issues of the water sector in recent years has been the impacts of large dams. Proponents have claimed that such structures are essential to meet the increasing water demands of the world and that their overall societal benefits far outweight the costs. In contrast, the opponents claim that social and environmental costs of large dams far exceed their benefits, and that the era of construction of large dams is over. A major reason as to why there is no consensus on the overall benefits of large dams is because objective, authoritative and comprehensive evaluations of their impacts, especially ten or more years after their construction, are conspicuous by their absence. This book debates impartially, comprehensively and objectively, the positive and negative impacts of large dams based on facts, figures and authoritative analyses. These in-depth case studies are expected to promote a healthy and balanced debate on the needs, impacts and relevance of large dams, with case studies from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America.
Dr. Cecilia Tortajada is the Scientific Director of the International Centre on Water and Environment (CIAMA), Zaragoza, Spain; Visiting Professor of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore; and Vice-president of the Third World Centre for Water Management in Mexico. She is the immediate Past President of the International Water Resources Association (2007-2009). She is also Editor of the "International Journal of Water Resources Development" and Associate Editor of "Water International".
Dr. Dogan Altinbilek is Professor of Civil Engineering at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. He is a former Director General of the Turkish State Hydraulic Works (DSI). Currently, he is a Governor and Bureau Member of World Water Council. He is also Executive Board Member and former President of the International Hydropower Association.
Prof. Asit K. Biswas is the President of the Third World Centre for Water Management, a leading international think tank on global water issues, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. One of the world's leading authorities on water resources management, he is a founder of the International Water Resources Association and the World Water Council, and was a member of the World Commission on Water. He is author of more than 70 books and his work has now been translated into 33 languages.