Literature Review, Planning, Research, rivers, Watershed

River Basin Development Planning and Management. Barrow, 1998. Annotations.

Berkeley, Tuesday October 23, 2018 11:30 AM

Annotations from Barrow, C.J., 1998. River basin development planning and management: A critical review. World development, 26(1), pp.171-186.

The practice of development and management of river basin started in the 1930’s. It has been applied in various countries in the world, and according to Barrow (1998), the results have been often disappointed. Why?

I cannot answer that question right away from one reading, I hail, however, the efforts from Barrow (1998) to learn from previous experiences up to 20 years ago.

In this review, I will break up his article, without limited by his sections. I will make a section of definitions, and other related to his own content.

1. Definitions

River basin: All the rainfall that drops inside continental divides, which normally are mountains, ridges, or hills, and appears as runoff in connected in streams that drains to a delta. It is also named watershed or catchment.

Most of the world’s land surface, part from the most arid and cold areas is divisible into river basins. (Barrow, 1998; Laconte and Haimes, 1992; Newson, 1992, pp. 88- 187; Newson, 1988; Doomkamp, 1985, p. 31; Lundqvist et al., 1985; Saha and Barrow, 1981; Dasmann et al., 1973)

Scales. What is “small” and what is “large”: According to Barrow (1998) and Chitale (1992) defined as large river basin over 20,000 km2; medium between 2,000 and 20,000 km2; and small less than 2,000 km2.

2. Introduction

River basin development planning and management (RBDPM) involves also conflict resolution. It is much more than water resources development, seeking to integrate three interrelated , but separately evolved concepts:

  1. multipurpose development
  2. an integrative role for the drainage basin unit
  3. the acceptance of intervention to promote development, typically seen to be improvement of social welfare or regional conditions.

If the scale is to large for river basin development planning and management (RBDPM), it can be divided in into sub-basin according to hydrological and catchment characteristics, such as: upper, middle, and lower basin, or tributaries sub-basins divided by ridges.


Barrow, C.J., 1998. River basin development planning and management: A critical review. World development26(1), pp.171-186.

Chitale, M.A. 1992, “Development of India’s River Basins”, International Journal of Water Resources Development, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 30-44.

Dasmann, R.F., Milton, J.P. and Freeman, P.H., 1973. Ecological Principles for Economic Development.

Doornkamp, J.C. 1985, “The earth sciences and planning in the third world”, Liverpool Planning Manual, vol. 2.

Laconte, P. & Haimes, Y.Y. 1992, Water Resources and Land-use Planning: A Systems Approach

Lundqvist, J., Lohm, U. & Falkenmark, M. 1985, Strategies for River Basin Management: Environmental Integration of Land and Water in a River Basin

Newson, M. 1992, “Land, water and development. River basin systems and their sustainable management”, Land, water and development.River basin systems and their sustainable management, .

Newson, M.D. 1988, “Applied physical geography: The opportunities and constraints of environmental issues revealed by river basin management”, Scottish Geographical Magazine, vol. 104, no. 2, pp. 67-71.

Saha, S.K. & Barrow, C.J. 1981, “River basin planning: theory and practice”

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