Sustaining our rivers in crisis: setting the international agenda for action

Petts, Geoffrey E. (2001) Sustaining our rivers in crisis: setting the international agenda for action. Water Science and Technology, 43 (9). pp. 3-16. ISSN 0273-1223

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The history of streams and rivers is as much a social and technological history as it is a scientific one. Rivers are the lifeblood of nations and the control of their waters has been fundamental to the building of human civilisations. The control or regulation of rivers embodied the advancement of institutions, administration and co-ordination; it was a manifestation of military and economic power. Yet the history of human development is also characterised by the degradation of the basic resource--polluted water, increased flooding, and the loss of biological diversity. Many early civilisations collapsed in the face of environmental degradation, manifest by flood, drought, famine and plague. The Industrial Revolution upon which modern societies are founded was based upon a short-term vision that has left rivers in crisis, marked by a legacy of pollution, slums, a loss of confidence in civic life, and a loss of ownership of places and spaces--once seen to be at the heart of civilized society. Within this global or international context of water management, this paper examines the impacts and future of rivers and water within the United Kingdom, establishing some principles for such management in other settings.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Science and Technology > Life Sciences, School of (No longer in use)
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2009 10:07
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2009 10:18

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