Lara, R.J., Islam, M.S., Yamasaki, S., Neogi, S.B. and Nair, G.B. (2011) Aquatic Ecosystems, Human Health, and Ecohydrology. In: Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science. ; 10 , ed. by Wolanski, E. and McLusky, D.S.. Academic Press, Waltham, pp. 263-299. ISBN 978-0-08-087885-0 DOI

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This chapter treats two main topics: the relationship between human health, aquatic ecosystems, and water use; and the necessity of interdisciplinary approaches for the development of water management policies and disease control.

Main waterborne diseases, mostly affecting developing countries and relevant in terms of water management and changes in land use, such as malaria, schistosomiasis, or cholera, are discussed stressing links to the global water crisis. Also, the role of artificial and natural wetlands in influenza epidemics is treated. The effects of increasing water use and scarcity on human health are discussed considering historical and contemporary incidence of diarrheal diseases in European and South Asian megacities, relationships between dams and on waterborne diseases in Asia and Africa, and intensive agri- and aquaculture resulting in man-made ecotones, fragmented aquatic ecosystems, and pathogen mutations.

It is emphasized that the comprehension of the multiple interactions among changes in environmental settings, land use, and human health requires a new synthesis of ecohydrology, biomedical sciences, and water management for surveillance and control of waterborne diseases in basin-based, transboundary health systems. Surveillance systems should monitor changes in water management, ecotones, and hydrological cycles and shifts in, for example, the outbreak timing of strongly seasonal diseases. These indicators would provide criteria for the development of innovative water management policies, combining methods of vector control and the safe creation of water reservoirs, irrigation systems, and wetland habitats.

Document Type: Book chapter
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Ecology > Mangrove Ecology
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2019 12:17
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2023 16:23

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