Book Reviews / SILnews 30

Book Reviews / SILnews 30

Hypertrophic Reservoirs for Wastewater Storage and Reuse Ecology, Performance and Engineering Design

Edited by Marcelo Juanico and Inka Dor
394 pp., 166 figures and 75 tables, 1999
Springer Verlag
ISBN 3-540-65598-0
Price $149.00 US

The fresh water shortage we are living with is especially severe in arid lands of developing countries. The title of this collection of papers should have emphasized that it deals specifically with the experience gained in Israel. With a wastewater treatment and a reuse of 65% , Israel heads the list of arid countries. The majority of this treatment is carried out in some 200 hypertrophic reservoirs spread over the country. The two editors are aquatic biologists who have extensive experience and examine the subject across a wide environmental panorama since, in the words of I. Dor, “wastewater reservoirs, despite their wide variability, constitute a well-defined category of water bodies”.

The full scale of management problems is treated in the book, from the exciting use of satellite monitoring, through operational designs and mathematical modeling. Being relatively simple systems, models can successfully predict such events as algal blooms and zooplankton biomass fluctuations. Different socio-medical aspects are authoritatively discussed, such as viral and other pathogen survival, heavy metal deposition and decomposition of organosynthetic pollutants. Several interesting case histories are presented, also from countries other than Israel. The range of the first authors world-wide experience is evident here.

A point very eloquently made is the positive environmental influence of these artificial waterbodies in arid lands. Here they can lead to landscape improvement and creation of aquatic and wetland habitats for a whole range of fauna up to flocks of waterfowl and migrating birds. The positive ecological potential of treated wastewater release into seasonally drying river beds is also emphasized. In my view only two important aspects are missing from this exhaustive treatment, namely a review on the agricultural use of the treated wastewater in Israel and the potential of using it in desalination plants.

The book is richly illustrated with original figures and graphs. The colour photographs of sewage algae are very useful. Unfortunately, the expeditive “camera-ready” type of publication procedure of the publishers produced in many regrettable mistakes, chief amongst them the discrepancy between the title on the title page and that on the cover page. All this makes me nostalgic for the times when interaction between publishers and authors was more intense.

Despite these technicalities, the book is highly recommended as a text-book in the many countries where advanced water treatment and reuse can significantly ease the looming water crisis. Belying its subject, it also made interesting reading.

Francis Dov Por
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Limnology and Remote Sensing: A Contemporary Approach

Edited by K. Ya Kondratyev and N.N. Filatov
406 pp., 1999
Springer-Praxis Publ., London-Berlin-Chichester
ISBN 1-85233-112-7
Hardcover $139.00 US

In this book, the contributors K. Ya. Kondratyev, N.N. Filatov, O.M. Johannessen, V.V. Melentyev, D.V. Pozdnyakov, S.V. Ryanzhin, E.V. Shalina; and, A.I. Tikhomirov discuss contemporary limnological problems of local, regional and global scale. There is particular emphasis on the application of remote sensing techniques to monitor lake dynamics, thermodynamics, biodynamics and water quality. An interactive approach has been used to consider various processes from the viewpoints of both numerical modeling and observations. For illustrative purposes, in-situ and remote sensing data are presented in relation to both the lakes of Northwestern Russian (Ladoga, Onega, etc.) and the American Great Lakes, and a comparative analysis was carried out. The role of the geographic information system (GIS) is discussed and emphasised. The book contains five chapters, 16 tables and 159 figures and is intended; and, of interest for a broad readership of those involved in limnological studies.

Sergei Ryanzhin
The Russian Academy of Sciences
St. Petersburg

New Concepts for Sustainable Management of River Basins

Edited by P.H. Nienhuis, R.S.E.W. Leuven and A.M.J. Ragas
374 pp., 1998
Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISBN 90-73348-81-1
Price 200 Dutch Guilders

In 1996, the Department of Environmental Studies of the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands celebrated its 5th anniversary by organizing a special symposium on sustainable management of lowland river basins. Focusing on issues and approaches relevant to the Netherlands, the symposium covered a broad spectrum of topics in integrated river management: from the general ecology of lowland rivers and related habitat and water quantity and quality issues; to the challenges scientists, water managers and policy makers must face in developing integrated assessment and decision frameworks.

The book is organized into three main sections. Section I presents a series of papers on habitat quality that emphasizes the importance of understanding habitat-related criteria, within the riverine ecosystem itself and at catchment scales, when devising effective river management strategies. Section II reviews water and sediment quality, environmental pollution issues related to restoration, the quantification and assessment of chemical emissions, and evolving approaches such as cumulative impacts assessment. The final section of the book discusses the broad range of issues and challenges to be faced when dealing with integrated river basin management.

I found this book informative and, in places, extremely thought-provoking. I particularly liked its attempt to highlight and deal objectively with the challenges of developing scientifically-sound integrated monitoring, assessment and management approaches for large river basins. The authors do an admirable job of delineating the relevant scientific and management issues in the introduction of the book, and produced an excellent synthesis chapter at the end.

As the authors so appropriately say, “we are convinced that the struggle for sustainable development of entire river basins is the only way to reach full understanding of rivers as dynamic, open systems, that should be considered as ecological continua from the source to the sea”. I highly recommend this book to any scientist or water manager interested in acquiring a comprehensive overview and an excellent series of case examples highlighting the complex and still challenging issues related to the management of large river basins.

Frederick J. Wrona
National Water Research Institute

Zooplankton Guides Volume 15: Copepoda, Calanoida, Diaptomidae, Paradiaptominae

by N.A. Rayner
126 pages with 31 figures (plates), 1999
Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISBN 90-5782-043-9
Price 80.00 Dutch Guilders or $40.00 US

Although Paradiaptomus greeni was described from Sri Lanka in 1906, I never saw this species in the nearly thousand samples from that country, that I studied. I did ultimately see this species from India, and did see the African paradiaptomid Lovenula africana almost by itself in high density in a small lake in Ethiopia and was impressed by its large size and robust form. Although many of the species of this family, the Paradiaptomidae, were described many years ago, no comprehensive and reliable study has been available.

This volume is a definitive study of the taxonomy of a group of copepods that is widely distributed in Africa and extends to Asia, the Canary Islands, the Baltic and Mediterranean countries. They seem to occur in dry lowlands and in semi-permanent and temporary habitats by and large. This is probably why I missed collecting it in Sri Lanka.

The descriptions are very concise and accurate morphologically. The keys to genera and species are straightfoward and easy to use as the key characters are well illustrated and highlighted.

The author has gone to great lengths to give much useful and relevant background information on the history of taxonomici studies in this group of copepods. She also gives valuable and interesting information on earlier taxonomists of these animals and researchers on freshwater studies in Africa.

This should be interesting to all copepodologists. The literature on African freshwater fauna is difficult to access and this should help beginners to know about earlier work. The author’s deep and abiding interest in this group comes across in the volume and this is impressive.

C.H. Fernando
University of Waterloo