Water, Cultural Diversity, and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures?
Johnston, B.R.; Hiwasaki, L.; Klaver, I.J.; Ramos Castillo, A.; Strang, V. (Eds.)
Springer, 2012 | ISBN: 978-94-007-1773-2 (Hardcover); 978-94-007-1866-1 (Softcover)

A product of the UNESCO-IHP project on Water and Cultural Diversity, this book examines the complex role water plays as a force in sustaining, maintaining, and threatening the viability of culturally diverse peoples. It is argued that water is a fundamental human need, a human right, and a core sustaining element in biodiversity and cultural diversity. The core concepts utilized in this book draw upon a larger trend in sustainability science, a recognition of the synergism and analytical potential in utilizing a coupled biological and social systems analysis, as the functioning viability of nature is both sustained and threatened by humans. The book is divided into five parts. Part I explores water’s fundamental place in life and articulates the “culture of water” and the environmental consequences of human relationships with water. Part II considers the “culture of water” through an explicit focus on traditional ecological knowledge and water resource management. Part III examines current patterns of water resource management in various ecoregions and geopolitical contexts. Part IV considers the changing and possible future dynamics of intersections between water, biodiversity and cultural diversity, with a critical focus on the lessons learned from the past several decades of hydrodevelopment. Part V sketches out alternative scenarios for the future, arguing that a sustainable approach to water resource development must be one that sustains the cultural and biological diversity of life. Further information …