Looking in the mirror… how societies value their lakes

By Pieter van der Zaag
November 9th, 11 hrs (GMT-6)

The presentation focuses on the intricate relationship’s societies develop with lakes, including the problems and challenges that emerge. Societies learn to value lakes not in a smooth way. Feedbacks are critical in this learning process. Societies that completely disregard lakes may face surprises. It typically takes quite some time for a society to transforms into a new mode that is compatible with the needs of lakes. This symbiotic mode may encompass economic but also cultural and other dimensions. Valuing lakes may therefore not be fully captured by economic approaches. Some iconic examples of how societies have dealt with lakes will illustrate the argument.Pieter van der Zaag is professor of water resources management at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He has special interests in agricultural water management, water allocation issues in catchment areas and in the management of transboundary river basins, on which he has published widely. Pieter is fascinated by the dynamic relationship between biophysical and social processes when managing water, and in understanding patterns of cooperation over water. He has studied the biophysical and socio-economic impacts of large dams and of the artificial lakes created by such dams, and more recently he has initiated action research on nature-based water storage alternatives for agricultural developments by smallholder farmers in drylands of Africa.

This presentation will include aspects related to Economics. It will sever as an introduction to the following thematic sessions.

Session Chair: José Antonio Arciniega Nevarez, University of Guanajuato