Balancing Water for Humans and Nature, authored by two of the world’s leading experts on water management, examines water flows – the ‘blood stream’ of both nature and society – in terms of the crucial links, balances, conflicts and trade-offs between human and environmental needs. The authors argue that a sustainable future depends fundamentally on our ability to manage these trade-offs and encourage long-term resilience. They advocate an ecohydrological approach to land/water/environmental problems and advance a strong, reasoned argument for viewing precipitation as the gross fresh water resource, ultimately responsible for sustaining all terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem services.
This book makes the most coherent and holistic argument to date for a new ecological approach to understanding and managing water resources for the benefit of all. Basing their analysis on per capita needs for an acceptable nutritional diet, the authors analyse predictions of the amounts of water needed for global food production by 2050 and identify potential sources. Drawing on small-scale experiences in Africa and Asia, they also cover the vulnerability of the semi-arid tropics through a simplified model of green and blue water scarcity components.
See the summary of their approach also in: M. Falkenmark, and J. Rockström, “The new blue and green water paradigm: Breaking new ground for water resources planning and management.” Jour. Water Resour. Plannning and Management (2006): 129-132.
Further papers on water sustainability, green-blue water, and the critical importance of land management and soil conservation for water sustainability include:
- Weiskel, Peter K., et al., 2014, “Hydroclimatic regimes: a distributed water-balance framework for hydrologic assessment, classification, and management.” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 18.10 (2014): 3855.
- Konar, Megan, et al., 2016. “Water resources sustainability in a globalizing world: who uses the water?.” Hydrological Processes 30.18 (2016): 3330-3336.
- Falkenmark, Malin, and Johan Rockström, 2010. “Building water resilience in the face of global change: From a blue-only to a green-blue water approach to land-water management.” Water Resour. Plannning and Management.(2010), 606-610.
- Rockström, Johan, et al. “Managing water in rainfed agriculture—The need for a paradigm shift.” Agricultural Water Management 97.4 (2010): 543-550.
- Ohlson, Kristin, “Dirt First,” Orion Magazine, March-April 2016