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Landscape Architecture Frontiers

Landsc. Archit. Front.    2018, Vol. 6 Issue (1) : 139-147
When the Only Water Left Is Gray — The Growing Quest for Foreign Watersheds
Landscape Architect (Switzerland) 35 Line Street, Cambridge MA 02138, USA
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Arid regions around the world comprise approximately 41 percent of the global surface area. These drylands are inhabited by 1/3 of the global population, are home to several mega-cities and nurture a multimillion dollar economy annually. However, continuous population growth and changing precipitation patterns created the phenomenon of water scarcity. To stabilize the local economy and facilitate population growth projections, governments around the world extend their water-energy-network to access foreign watersheds. As part of a comparative design research project under the Harvard based Charles Eliot Fellowship, this article addresses the global issues of water scarcity. It studies the effects of drought in arid regions, documents territorial water systems and outlines the socio-economic and socio-ecological effects of megaprojects. By revealing these processes, the article discusses the current water discourse from the perspective of landscape architecture and endorses a paradigm of abundance. To illustrate this complex social and economic proposition, a survey of international case studies provides the understanding of the territorial gap and demonstrates decentralized action on a local scale. Ultimately, to challenge water scarcity, a plurality of interventions at multiple scales are inevitable. The key for interdisciplinary planning and design lays in the hybridity of systems, which are framed by a landscape-based approach.

Keywords Water Scarcity      Drought      Paradigm of Abundance      Decentralization      Landscape-Based Approach     
Corresponding Authors: Thomas NIDEROEST   
Issue Date: 28 March 2018
 Cite this article:   
Thomas NIDEROEST. When the Only Water Left Is Gray — The Growing Quest for Foreign Watersheds[J]. Landsc. Archit. Front., 2018, 6(1): 139-147.
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