Rowman and Littlefield International

Water Ethics

An Introduction

By Neelke Doorn

4 Reviews

A comprehensive introduction to water ethics, this book explores the common thread between debates in the allocation of water resources, the human right to water and the commodification and privatisation of water services, and fills the gap for alternatives to the predominantly consequentialist approach to dealing with these issues.

Hardback ISBN: 9781786609502 Release date: Oct 2019
£92.00 €112.00 $120.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781786609519 Release date: Oct 2019
£31.00 €34.95 $39.95
Ebook ISBN: 9781786609526 Release date: Oct 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $38.00

Series: Philosophy, Technology and Society

Pages: 314


While the interdependence of the different aspects of water security and the relevance of ethical and distributive aspects is acknowledged in both policy circles and academia, a comprehensive introduction to water ethics is still missing. This book aims to fill that gap, by exploring the common thread that follows from three current interrelated debates: the allocation of water resources, the human right to water, and the commodification and privatisation of water services. These questions create a plea for alternatives to the predominantly consequentialist approach to dealing with water issues. The author explores the normative and ethical aspects of flood and water-related risks, and looks at the topic of responsibility: who should be responsible for correcting inequities, or taking remedial action in the case of pollution?

These and other questions to be linked to ongoing discussion in other disciplines within philosophy, such as environmental ethics, climate ethics, the ethics of technology and climate justice, making this text important across a wide range of courses for upper undergraduate and graduate students.

List of Text boxes / List of Tables / Acknowledgments / 1. The nature of the world’s water challenges / 2. Water and its different uses / 3. Water and justice / 4. Water and economic valuation / 5. Water and rights / 6. Water and responsibilities / 7. Water and engineering / 8. Inserting ethics into water governance / Glossary / References / Index

Professor Neelke Doorn is distinguished Antoni van Leeuwenhoek professor ‘Ethics of water engineering’ at the Ethics and Philosophy of Technology Section of Delft University of Technology. She holds degrees in civil engineering (BSc MSc), philosophy (BA MA PhD) and law (LLB LLM). Her current research concentrates on moral issues in water engineering and climate policy, with a special focus on how a resilience approach affects the distribution of responsibilities in water governance and climate policy.

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4 Reviews

This book addresses the challenges for governing water posed by increasing scarcity, the risks of flooding due to climate change, and by water pollution. Within this context the author explores how to value and distribute a resource that has multiple and competing uses and does not respect our borders. She then skilfully addresses the complex issues of justice that arise.

Max Finlayson, Professor for Ecology and Biodiversity & Director Institute for Land, Water & Society, Charles Sturt University

In this highly accessible book, Neelke Doorn introduces the complexity and role of ethics in water governance. It’s a great resource both for students and professionals.

Arjen Hoekstra, author of 'The Water Footprint of Modern Consumer Society'

In this lucid book, Neelke Doorn explains why and how questions of justice need to become more explicit in water governance. In a clear way, the book identifies possible ways to articulate and discuss the ethical considerations that shape where and to whom water flows. I recommend it to anyone interested in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary introduction to contemporary water problems.

Margreet Zwarteveen, Professor of Water Governance, IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education

Water governance is replete with ethical challenges, whether in the way that humans address increasing demands upon scarce freshwater resources, pollution threats, or hazards from flooding, all of which are intensifying with anthropogenic environmental change. Doorn’s book is timely and accessible, offering the first comprehensive ethical treatment of this essential and unique resource.

Steve Vanderheiden, Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CSTPR), University of Colorado at Boulder

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