Dirty, Sacred Rivers Confronting South Asia's Water Crisis

ISBN-10: 0199845018
ISBN-13: 9780199845019
Edition: 2012
Authors: Cheryl Colopy
List price: $38.95 Buy it from $1.49
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Description: Rivers have traditionally been revered by the people of the Indian subcontinent, though in recent decades, the region's rivers have deteriorated dramatically due to economic progress and gross mismanagement. Dams and ill-advised embankments strangle  More...

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Book details

List price: $38.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 416
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

Rivers have traditionally been revered by the people of the Indian subcontinent, though in recent decades, the region's rivers have deteriorated dramatically due to economic progress and gross mismanagement. Dams and ill-advised embankments strangle the Ganges and its sacred tributaries. Rivers have become sewage channels for a burgeoning population.Dirty, Sacred Riversexplores South Asia's looming water crisis, tracing a journey through the vast watershed of the Ganges, one of the great rivers of South Asia and to many people the holiest. To tell the story of this river basin, Cheryl Colopy treks to high mountain glaciers with hydrologists; bumps around the rough embankments of India's poorest state in a jeep with social workers; and takes a boat excursion through the Sundarbans, the mangrove forests at the end of the Ganges watershed. She lingers in key places and hot spots in the debate over water:Delhi--a megacity on the banks of one the Ganges' most revered tributaries, the Yamuna-and a paradigm of water mismanagementBihar, where the Buddha gained enlightenment. It's now India's poorest, most crime-ridden state, thanks largely to the blunders of engineers who tried to tame powerful Himalayan rivers with embankments but instead created annual floodsKathmandu--the home of one of the most elegant and ancient traditional water systems on the subcontinent, now the site of a water development boondoggleThe Nepal Himalaya, whose sweeping glaciers are starting to melt, threatening villagers in the high mountainsA first-person narrative holds together disparate places and issues. The reader meets a cast of characters, ranging from the most humble members of South Asian society to engineers and former ministers. Some of these men and women are heroes, bucking current trends, trying to find rational ways to manage rivers and water. They are reviving ingenious methods of water management that thrived for centuries in South Asia and may point the way to water sustainability and healthy rivers.

Introduction
Dirty, Sacred Rivers
The Real Poop: How Rivers Become Sewers
Delhi's Yamuna
Melting Ice Rivers
The Shrinking Third Pole
In the Valley of Dhunge Dhara
Melamchi River Blues
More River Blues
Belji of Dhulikhel
The Sorrows of Bihar
The Koshi's Revenge
The Engineers
The Garland
Susu
Beyond Barrages and Boundaries
Poisoned Blessings
Where the Rivers End

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