Global and Local Approaches to Freshwater Management: The Way Ahead

  • Warwick F. Vincent
  • Michio Kumagai


There are compelling reasons for adopting a local perspective on water quality issues. Each lake or river has its own particular set of biological, chemical and physical properties and will therefore respond in a unique way to control measures. General models such as empirical relationships can be highly misleading if applied to individual sites without attention to these local circumstances. Environmental management strategies must also be integrated with the cultural, political, economic and regulatory aspects that are specific to each site, and local community involvement is an essential part of these strategies. However, an approach restricted to only local considerations is inadequate in the long term. High quality fresh water is fast becoming a high-value global commodity and will require global strategies for its preservation and for the regulation of its international trade. General (global) models, standardised methodologies (including paleolimnological analysis) and water quality data bases and criteria also provide a powerful starting point for local management strategies. This approach allows local managers to benefit from the combined pool of international expertise and research findings, to reduce the need for costly duplication of effort, and to sharpen research and monitoring objectives that will aid local decision-making. Future management strategies will benefit from this global approach that is fine-tuned to local circumstances.


Zebra Mussel Local Circumstance Water Quality Issue Drinking Water Reservoir Environmental Management Strategy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warwick F. Vincent
    • 1
  • Michio Kumagai
    • 2
  1. 1.Dépt de BiologieUniversité Laval QuébecCanada
  2. 2.Lake Biwa Research InstituteOtsuJapan

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