Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna Waters: Advances in Development and Management

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Features

  • Presents a comprehensive account of three major river systems, including development and management issues, in the south Asian region
  • Illustrates future ideas for revolutionary development of the world's largest river basin, the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM)
  • Describes the social-political-economic scene related to the GBM basin and how it impacts decisions
  • Examines the pattern of development in countries along the GBM basin
  • Proposes several novel technologies developed by the author, an authority in water resource management and fellow of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA)

Summary

Once a prosperous region, the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) river basin—inhabited by about a tenth of the world’s population—is currently one of the poorest. Large-scale socioeconomic development is urgently needed to ensure the sustainability of the region, and the management of water resources is a crucial part of this. Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna Waters: Advances in Development and Management discusses water resource development and management issues related to the GBM river basin, including interactions, institutional set ups, and future perspectives. It also proposes several novel technologies, developed by the author, to help revolutionize the development of India’s waters.

Written by an authority in water resource management studies, the book addresses the need for a holistic, integrated, basin-wide approach to improve the quality of life for people living within the region. Pointing out that water does not recognize political boundaries, the text also discusses Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan as integral parts of the GBM basin. The author suggests that the unique geophysical and hydrologic characteristics of the basin present an opportunity for technologies that can increase the available water and hydroelectric potential in the region. The proposed advances can also help generate collaborative development between India and its neighboring countries.

The book emphasizes the adoption of a societal-environmental systems management approach, which treats the physical and social-environmental systems as integral components, backed by participatory transparent modeling. It also argues that technology must be considered a key part of the system. A unique contribution to water resources engineering, this book provides readers with a case study of the development and management of the world’s largest water system. It offers new perspectives and useful advice for other countries and regions developing river and irrigation plans and for policy makers involved in large-scale water resources engineering.

Table of Contents

PART I SYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS

Introduction
Introduction
Overview
Notes

System Environmental Characteristics
Introduction
Location and Physical Geography
Physiography and Geology
Climate and Hydrology
Hydro System
Geohydrology
Land and Soils
Fauna and Flora

Socioeconomic Scene
Introduction
Political Geography
Historical Perspective
Population
Independence and Present Scene—India
Sociopolitical Perspective—Bangladesh
Sociopolitical Perspective—Nepal
Sociopolitical Perspective—Bhutan
Economic Scene
Note

PART II CURRENT DEVELOPMENT POLICY AND STATE

Environmental Management—Historical Perspective
Introduction
Historical Perspective—Pre-British Scene
British Period
Water Resources Development
Land
Forests

Developments in Nepal and Bhutan
Introduction
Nepal
Bhutan

Post-Independence Development—India
Introduction
Water
Land
Fauna and Flora
Environmental Management
Conclusion

Environmental Management in Bangladesh
Introduction
Country Context
Environmental Scene
Environmental and Water Management
Water Resources Development
Flood Management
Water Resources Management in Bangladesh: Steps toward a New National Water Plan (NNWP)
Structure for Future National Water Management System
Service Sectors
Arsenic Challenge
Environmental Management
Vulnerability to Climate Change
Management in Long-Term Perspective
Conclusion
Notes

Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan Interaction
Introduction
Indo-Nepal Interrelation
Indo-Bhutan Interaction
Indo-Bangladesh Interaction
Introduction
Indo-Bangladesh Relations
Indo-Bangladesh Waters—Official Interactions
Augmentation Proposals
Developments from 1987
Overview
Note

Institutional Setup
Introduction
Pre-British Period
British Period
Post-British Period—India
Bangladesh
International Institutional Interaction
Some Perspectives and Institutional and Cultural Revolution
Conclusion
Notes

PART III PROPOSED REVOLUTIONARY POLICY

Current Scene and Official Future Perceptions
Introduction
Domestic Water Supply and Sanitation
Agriculture Demand and Agricultural Transformation
Rural Transformation
Manufacturing and Industrialization
Conservation of the Environment and Water
Challenge of Managing the Waters—A Perspective
Management of Environmental System
Climate Change
Conclusion
Note

Revolutionizing the Development and Management of Water— Conceptual and Policy Issues
Introduction
Development of Water—Historical Perspective
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
Societal–Environmental Systems Issues and Management
Societal–Environmental Systems Management (SESM) with Focus on Water
Societal–Environmental Systems Management Principle Implications for Management of Water
Systems Planning
Scenario Analysis
Some Advances in Modeling Technology
Study of Changes in Land Use and Land Cover
Management for Climate Change
Sustainable Development—Third World Perspective and Challenge
Environment, Development, and Participation
Dams—A Scientific Perspective
World’s First Anti-Dam Movement and India’s Societal Response
Institutional Issues—Culture Matters
Summary
Notes
Appendix 1: The National Water Mission
Soil Erosion and Its Management

Revolutionizing the Environmental Management of the GBM Basin
Introduction
Development Objective
Some Novel Technologies for Development of GBM Waters
Emphasizing Some Unique Contributions of the Proposed Revolutionary Technologies
Estimate of Water Availability Revolution
Overview of GBM Development
Integrated Development of GBM Basin
Some Specific Issues
Groundwater Management
Societal–Environmental Systems Management
Scientific Management of Water—Some Basic Perspectives
GBM Systems Planning
Perspective—Societal–Environmental Systems Management
Revolutionizing the Management
Modernization of the Spectrum of Activities
Culture Matters
Conclusion
Notes

Total Integrated Development of GBM—Policy and Implementation
Introduction
Rationale for Considering Total Integrated GBM Development
Nepal—Characteristics and Challenges
Bangladesh—Characteristics and Challenges
Assessment of the Current Official Proposals
Dealing with Dynamics of Delta Configuration
Scientific Management of GBM—Environmental Systems Perspective
New International Perspective of GBM Basin
Implementation of Integrated Development of GBM Basin
Conclusion
Notes

Conclusions
Notes

References

Index

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Chaturvedi is a globally recognized pioneer of water resources engineering. He has designed and has been on the board of consultants of major Himalayan projects in India. He was the Founder Head, Department of Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and, later, Department of Applied Mechanics at IIT Delhi, where he became Dean (research). Upon retirement from IIT Delhi in 1985, he joined the Planning Commission, Government of India until leaving for the United States to join the University of Texas, Austin in 1989. He has also led collaborations in the United States, Sweden, the former Soviet Union, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Dr. Chaturvedi is a unique combination of professional engineer and academician. He has been identified as a Distinguished Alumni of his alma mater, the University of Iowa. He has been associated with Harvard University for many years and is a founding member and fellow of the IWRA and a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Chaturvedi and his wife, (late) Professor Vipula Chaturvedi, have established the Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Foundation, providing support for research that advances science and the human condition.