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This book is an articulation of the much needed paradigm shift in the knowledge base for water systems management. It discusses the ecological and socio-economic dimensions of water, inclusion of which in sustainable and integrated water systems management has become essential the world over. It is path-breaking in terms of its conceptualisation since water management in India has traditionally been associated with the domain of engineering which tries to increase the quantity of water, to cater to increasing needs of human settlements and demands from irrigation and industry. This work, however, conceives water management as an interdisciplinary subject which needs to be understood not in terms of engineering alone, but in terms of its economic, sociological and, of course, ecological dimensions.
Water, Ecosystems and Society: A Confluence of Disciplines is an excellent guide to interdisciplinary knowledge on water. It draws attention to ecological benefits of floods, economic productivity of water systems and the feasibility of the proposed river-link project of India. It focuses on the need to recognise ecosystem services provided by rivers as well as the necessity of environmental flows in such a system. The book deals with emerging areas of research, by connecting ecology, economics and water management. It will be a compelling read for academicians and students working in the fields of geography and environment science, development economics, environmental sociology, ecology, integrated water management, and so on.
One must begin by declaring one's total agreement with the central theme of this book, namely, the need for a shift from the reductionist approach to water policy, planning and management prevailing in the Indian water establishment to a new, radically different, holistic and interdisciplinary one...The marshalling of relevant information and scholarship and the rigour of the argument are powerful and persuasive...it is one of the best piece of writing.... This review must return to the high praise with which it started. The transformation that the author urges is necessary and urgent...the book is a very important contribution towards that end and must be warmly welcomed.
(Economic and Political Weekly)
A must read for water activists, sarkari engineers and politicians. The author tackles crucial issues which have become contested terrain between people's movement, the states and the industry--economics and water management, floods in Bihar, the controversial river link project, and more. The author takes us through these mind-field issues and presents a rational, well researched argument in favour of an ecological, integrated approach to water.
The book by Bandyopadhyay is an apt text for researchers and practitioners interested in a holistic approach to water management. Books such as these should also find a place in the curriculum in institution of higher learning so that students get exposure to dimensions of water management other than what they are traditionally exposed to.
[The book] stresses the need for an inter-disciplinary approach to water management. For those interested in pursuing the topic in-depth, Bandyopadhyay's book is a rich source of information, as it provides plenty of leads for further reading. The author brings out his rich and diverse experience to lay sown a roadmap for companies to follow.
In this book, [the author] highlights management strategy for the much-needed conceptual shift among water professionals.
The book is meant essentially for academicians working in the fields of geography and environmental science development economies, environmental sociology, ecology and integrated water management.
One of the most impressive things about Prof Jayanta Bandyopadhyay's book Water, Ecosystems and Society is its timing .... With extensive research experience of integrating economics, ecology and social concerns in water management, Prof Bandyopadhyay is perhaps one of the most eligible persons to write on the need of an interdisciplinary approach to water in India.... [The author] has contributed interesting and innovative thoughts about institutional structures for equitable water management.
(Dams, Rivers and People)
About the Author
Jayanta Bandyopadhyay is the Head of the Centre for Development and Environment Policy at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC). After completing his doctorate in engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, he turned his professional attention towards interdisciplinary studies of science and public policy with special interest in sustainable development policy. He has worked at reputed institutions such as Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (1978-87), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu (1987-93) and International Academy of Environment, Geneva (1993-97) where he was appointed Director of Research.
His work in the past 25 years has been guided by the objective of generating transdisciplinary public interest knowledge on critical issues related to sustainable development and equity. He was a Coordinating Lead Author for the Responses Working Group in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the area of climate change and water. He is currently the President of the Indian Society for Ecological Economics (Delhi) and the South Asian Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resource Studies (Hyderabad) and a member of the Board of the International Society for Ecological Economics.
Professor Bandyopadhyay has published more than 100 research papers, books and articles. His latest publications include Integrated Water Systems Management in South Asia: A Framework for Research CDEP Occasional Paper 09 (Kolkata: Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, 2006); Biodiversity and Quality of Life (New Delhi: Macmillan, 2005); Moving the Mountains Up in the Global Environmental Agenda CDEP Occasional Paper 03 (Kolkata: Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, 2004); and a chapter on 'Freshwater Ecosystems Services' in the Report of the Millennium Ecosystems Assessment, Ecosystems and Human Wellbeing: Policy Responses (New York: Island Press, 2005).