Book Publication: “Water and Heritage, Material, Conceptual and Spiritual Connections”
By: Henk van Schaik et al, April 2015
Water is vital for life, and its availability has been a concern for mankind throughout the ages. Its presence has always been ascertained in a variety of ways and the development of human society everywhere is connected with various forms of water management. Man also needed to manage water to find protection from its dangers and the need for that is increasing. In the coming decades, the impact of climate change is expected to intensify floods and droughts, affect groundwater resources, raise sea levels, increase pollution and enhance the frequency and magnitude of disasters. Societies around the world are challenged to adapt to these threats to ensure water security, economic prosperity and environmental and cultural sustainability.
This book deals with the heritage of water management and the use that was made of water, as well as the impact of water management on heritage. An example of the former may be an ancient irrigation system in the Filipines or in the Middle East that still functions today, while the latter may reflect the importance of maintaining groundwater levels for the preservation of organic remains on archaeological sites or of wooden piles underneath standing buildings. In either case the papers in this book reflect the dynamic nature of water, and hence the equally dynamic relation between water management and heritage.
This publication follows up on a Heritage and Water conference in Amsterdam, the first of its kind. Its main purpose is to credibly present the importance and value of heritage and historical experience for water and sustainable development, and vice versa, present the importance of water management for the protection of heritage. It presents evolving insights and concepts about Water and about Heritage from a variety of disciplines, policy and public perspectives illustrated with cases studies and aims to connect decision makers with experts such as engineers, archaeologists, historians, geographers, ecologist and landscape architects.