Dams have emerged as one of the most important tools for the management of rivers. More than 45,000 large dams around the world have played an important role in helping communities and economies harness water resources for food production, energy generation, flood control and domestic use. The benefits derived from large dams have made a significant contribution to human development. Floods have taken a large toll of human lives over the years and also caused large economic losses. World Bank is pushing construction of large dams. Along with dams, the river interlinking project is also under consideration in India. The more recent focus has been on the strategic development of sustainable irrigation practices within an Integrated Catchment Management context. World Commission on Dams (WCD) has suggested some recommendations and strategic priorities for the construction of dams. WCD report has proved to be important in reducing environmental and social challenges.
This book aims at exploring the significance of rivers and dams from economic, ecological, social and cultural angles. The book tries to present general patterns and trends in the management of rivers as well as planning and operation of large dams. The central issues in the large dams debate - the benefits and adverse impacts - are also considered. The book is presented in three sections: "Rivers and Dams: An Overview", "Key Issues" and "Country Experiences."