Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Making the Most of the Water We Have – The Soft Path Approach to Water Management
Article Type: Books and resources From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 22, Issue 5
Edited by David B. Brooks, Oliver M. Brandes and Stephen Gurman
Demand for water is one of the major challenges of the current century, but past approaches are no longer sufficient. Based on the soft path approach to the energy sector, a transition is now under way to a soft path for water. This approach starts by ensuring that ecosystem needs for water are satisfied and then undertakes a radical approach to reducing human uses of water by economic and social incentives, including open decision-making, water markets and equitable pricing, and the application of super-efficient technology, all applied in ways that avoid jeopardizing quality of life.
This book presents and apply the water soft path approach. It has three aims: to bring to a wider audience the concept and the potential of water soft paths; to demonstrate that soft path analysis is analytical and practical, and not just eco-dreaming; and to indicate that soft paths are not only conceptually attractive but that they can be made economically and politically feasible. These goals are reflected by the scope of the book which is organized around the three aspects of any soft path: a vision of a sustainable water future based on the soft path concept; an analytic method to define alternative routes to that future (most literally, the soft paths), as illustrated by case studies in Canada and elsewhere; and a tool kit for planners and other practitioners.