Water scarcity and pollution in South and Southeast Asia

Problems and challenges

Authored by: M. Dinesh Kumar , P.K. Viswanathan , Nitin Bassi1

Routledge Handbook of Environment and Society in Asia

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415659857
eBook ISBN: 9781315774862
Adobe ISBN: 9781317685715


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South Asia accounts for nearly 4.5 per cent of the global freshwater resources, but one-quarter of its population (Babel & Wahid 2008: x). Some of the oldest civilizations of the world flourished and perished on the banks of the rivers of this region. But the region displays high heterogeneity with respect to hydrology, climate, topography, culture and socio-economic milieu. It has some of the most productive farming systems of the world and also regions of precariously low productivity. The economic conditions vary drastically with the eastern Gangetic Plains having more poor people than in sub-Saharan Africa.

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