Book Review: Reflections On Managing Water - Earth's Greatest Natural Resource

First published in Sanctuary Asia, Vol. 35 No. 12, December 2015
Publisher: Balipara Tract & Frontier Foundation
Pages: 280
Cover Price: Rs. 2,000
Language: English
Authors: Indira Khurana, Romit Sen and Shilpi Jain
Editors: Ranjit Barthakur and Indira Khurana
Reviewed by Purva Variyar
The title of the book is self-explanatory. Water is indeed our planet's greatest resource. But unfortunately, also the resource that is most taken for granted. The world has pushed itself against the wall through the abundant misuse, mismanagement and exploitation of water. This book has been written at a crucial juncture in Earth's history and is a cornucopia of figures, statistics and facts on the nature of this resource. Most importantly, it elaborates on how biodiversity and water are intricately linked, and how we, as a nation, can develop sustainable, long-term solutions to avert the already full-blown water crisis.

Reflections on Managing Water begins with thoughts presented by global leaders and changemakers. Focusing largely on India and her water challenges, it seeks to explore the relationship between the economy and ecology. It discusses the various factors that compound to create water scarcity and the quagmire of challenges in the form of growing population and politically-driven divisions. It's both a relief as well as extremely frustrating to realise that the water crisis is largely due to mismanagement rather than actual shortage. A relief because, it is possible to reverse this, and frustrating to see how little is being done to correct it.

The authors and editors of the book have performed the complex task of explaining and discussing the necessity and nature of water, its availability, the relationship people share with this great resource through religion, culture and beliefs, and the need for innovative and sustainable ways in the way we approach water conservation.

Read this book, through the dry statistics, and discover interesting perspectives and discussions on the past, present and future of water in India and globally. Only when we know and understand water, can we change our ways and collectively work towards managing it better for a water-secure future.

Purva Variyar is a conservationist, writer, and editor. Her true passion lies in science communication. She currently works with the Wildlife Conservation Trust. Purva has previously worked as a Senior Editor and Science Communicator with Sanctuary Asia magazine. She has also worked on human-snake conflict mitigation and radio-telemetry of Russell’s vipers under The Gerry Martin Project.

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