Many predict that by the end of this century water will dominate world natural resources politics as oil does today. Access to water is widely regarded as a basic human right and was declared so by the United Nations in 1992. And yet the water crisis grows: although the total volume of water on the planet may be sufficient for our needs, much of it is misallocated, wasted, or polluted, and the poorest of the poor live in arid areas where water is scarce. The coming decade will require new perspectives on water resources and reconsideration of the principles of water governance and policy.
Water, Place, and Equity argues that fairness in the allocation of water will be a cornerstone to a more equitable and secure future for humankind. With analyses and case studies, it demonstrates that considerations of equity are more important in formulating and evaluating water policy than the more commonly invoked notions of efficiency and markets.
The case studies through which the book explores issues of water equity range from cost and benefit disparities that result from Southern California's storm water runoff policies to the privatization of water in Bolivia. In the final chapter, Water, Place, and Equity considers broader concerns—the impact of global climate change on water resources and better ways to incorporate equity into future water policy.
Contributors: Thomas Clay Arnold, Madeline Baer, Amy Below, David Feldman, Paul W. Hirt, Helen Ingram, Sheldon Kamieniecki, Maria Carmen Lemos, Stephen P. Mumme, Richard Warren Perry, Ismael Vaccaro, John M. Whiteley, Margaret Wilder.
The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket.
About the Editors
John M. Whiteley is Professor of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine. He is the coauthor of Critical Masses: Citizens, Nuclear Weapons Production, and Environmental Destruction in the United States and Russia (MIT Press, 1999).
Helen Ingram is Research Fellow at the Southwest Center, University of Arizona, and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author or editor of many books, including Reflections on Water: New Approaches to Transboundary Conflicts and Cooperation (MIT Press, 2001).
Richard Warren Perry is Professor of Justice Studies at San Jose State University.
"The editors and authors of this remarkable volume help remind us just how crucial it is to balance the measurable with the intangible, even moral, attributes of water. The rich constructs and case studies of equity in practice around the world help restore long-neglected equilibrium to dialog over what is by nature an intensely holistic and unifying resource."
—Aaron Wolf, Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University
"As water becomes increasingly important in the 21st century, so too doesthe need for fresh perspectives. The emphasis in this volume on equity istimely, provocative, and compelling."—William R. Lowry, Department of Political Science, Washington University,St. Louis