GWSP book launched in September 2014 and available online

The Global Water System in the Anthropocene. Challenges for Science and Governance

Bhaduri, Anik; Bogardi, Janos; Leentvaar, Jan; Marx, Sina (Eds.)

For one decade, the Global Water System Project (GWSP) has coordinated and supported a broad research agenda to study the complex global water system with its interactions between natural and human components and their feedback processes. This peer-reviewed book addresses the worldwide experiences on the responses of water management to global change within this last decade.

(Prof. Janos Bogardi during the book launch event)

With selected contributions from the GWSP Conference “Water in the Anthropocene“ held in Bonn, Germany in May 2013, the book reflects the shift in mind-set that is required to address the water challenges of tomorrow, discussing issues like water governance and related institutional and technological innovations as well as variability in supply, increasing demands for water, environmental flows, and land use change.

With 28 chapters this edited volume embraces a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives that correspond to the four sections of the book:

Part I: Global Water System: Current State and Future Perspectives

The papers under this theme present assessments of global water resource availability, deal with earth observations and the role of indicators, data and models of the global water system. They discuss aspects of how to account for water and uncertainties globally, covering both physical processes and socially mediated water fluxes, water withdrawals and uses as well as virtual water trade.


1. Balancing the Needs of All Services Provided by Global Water Resources by Elizabeth Curmi, Keith Richards, Richard Fenner, Grant M. Kopec and Bojana Bajzˇelj

2. Performance Indicators in the Water Resources Management Sector by Balázs M. Fekete and Eugene Z. Stakhiv

3. Virtual Water and Trade: A Critical Economic Review by Erik Gawel

4. Data, Models and Uncertainties in the Global Water Cycle by R. J. Harding, A. J. Dolman, D. Gerten, I. Haddeland,C. Prudhomme and P. van Oevelen

5. Integrated Assessments of Water Scarcity: Knowns, Unknowns and Ways Forward by Tabea K. Lissner, Caroline A. Sullivan, Dominik E. Reusserand Jürgen P. Kropp

6. A Global Approach to Estimating the Benefit-Cost Ratio of Water Supply Measures in the Agricultural Sector by K. Schürkmann, A. Biewald and S. Rolinski


Part II: Dimensions of Change in River Basins and Regions

The theme focuses on adapting to global changes at the river basin and regional scale. It includes contributions about adaptive resource management towards water security in river basins, papers addressing institutions and governance challenges in water scarce regions as well as papers bringing in historical perspectives to understand river systems in the Anthropocene.


7. The Role of Institutions and Water Variability in Food Security in Uzbekistan: The Case of Rice Markets in the Khorezm Region by Yadira Mori-Clement, Anik Bhaduri and Nodir Djanibekov

8. Dams on Shared Rivers: The Concept of Benefit Sharing by Waltina Scheumann, Ines Dombrowsky and Oliver Hensengerth

9. Challenges and Solutions for Urban-Tourist Water Supply on Mediterranean Tourist Islands: The Case of Majorca, Spain by Angela Hof, Macià Blázquez-Salom, Margalida Comas Colomand Alfredo Barón Périz

10. Unconventional Water Resources of Agricultural Origin and Their Re-utilization Potential for Developmentof Desert Land Aquaculture in the Aral Sea Basin by B. K. Karimov, M. Matthies and B. G. Kamilov

11. A Historian’s Perspective on Rivers of the Anthropocene by Philip V. Scarpino

12. Transdisciplinarity, Human-Nature Entanglements, and Transboundary Water Systems in the Anthropocene by Jason M. Kelly

13. Eastern European Perspective on the Environmental Aspects in Current Flood Risk Management: The Example of the Czech Republic by Blanka Loucˇková

14. Adaptive Irrigation Management in Drought Contexts: Institutional Robustness and Cooperation in the Riegos del Alto Aragon Project (Spain) by Sergio Villamayor-Tomas


Part III: Ecosystem Perspectives in Water Resources Management

The third theme presents different approaches to ecologically sustainable water management drawing on various case studies. The section focuses on how to mitigate the negative impacts of anthropogenic activities on the resilience of social-ecological systems.


15. The Missing Piece in the Conservation Puzzle: Cohesion Among Environmental, Economic and Social Dimensions by Francisco A. R. Barbosa, Paulina M. Maia-Barbosa,Diego G. F. Pujoni and Lorena T. Oporto

16. Integrating Input-Output Modeling with Multi-criteria Analysis to Assess Options for Sustainable Economic Transformation: The Case of Uzbekistan by Maksud Bekchanov, Anik Bhaduri, Manfred Lenzenand John P. A. Lamers

17. Sustaining Freshwater Biodiversity in the Anthropocene by Jaime Garcia-Moreno, Ian J. Harrison, D. Dudgeon,V. Clausnitzer, W. Darwall, T. Farrell, C. Savy,K. Tockner and N. Tubbs

18. Water Governance and Management Systems and the Role of Ecosystem Services: Case Study Insights—Groundwater Management in the Sandveld Region, South Africa by Kathrin Knüppe and Claudia Pahl-Wostl

19. Tackling the ‘How’ Question: Enabling and Enacting Practical Action for Managing the Wicked Problem of Nonpoint Source Pollution in Catchments by James J. Patterson, Jennifer Bellamy and Carl Smith

20. Experiences with a Transdisciplinary Research Approach for Integrating Ecosystem Services into Water Management in Northwest China by Tuck Fatt Siew, Petra Döll and Hamid Yimit


Part IV: Governing Water in the Anthropocene

The fourth section concentrates on the crosscutting issue of global water governance, acknowledging the fact that the global “water crisis” is in fact a governance crisis. Case studies in water governance and management under global change from different parts of the world are complemented by contributions dealing with issues like water law, ethics and institutions in water governance.


21. Multilevel Governance of Irrigation Systems and Adaptation to Climate Change in Kenya by Jampel Dell’Angelo, Paul F. McCord, Elizabeth Baldwin, Michael E. Cox, Drew Gower, Kelly Caylor and Tom P. Evans

22. Transboundary Water Management in Federal Political Systems: A Story of Three Semi-arid Rivers by Dustin Garrick, Lucia De Stefano, Jamie Pittock and Daniel Connell

23. Legal Plurality in Mekong Hydropower: Its Emergence and Policy Implications by Diana Suhardiman and Mark Giordano

24. International River Basin Organizations Lost in Translation? Transboundary River Basin Governance Between Science and Policy by Susanne Schmeier

25. The Human Right to Water and Sanitation: Reflections on Making the System Effective by Pedi Obani and Joyeeta Gupta

26. Patterns of Water Law by Joseph W. Dellapenna

27. The Notion of the Global Water Crisis and Urban Water Realities by Antje Bruns and Fanny Frick

28. The Need for a Value-Reflexive Governance of Water in the Anthropocene by Simon Meisch


For more information and to order the book, please click here.