Type One Error and the Impact of Human Societies on Large Rivers

Béla Borsos


This paper deals with the management of large rivers from systems theory and human ecology perspective. Natural systems, hierarchy and equilibrium have been widely discussed earlier on, but their relations with human-made structures and modifications on large rivers is a less covered area. One of the key statements in this field is Type One error, the inherent conflict between human-made structures and natural processes. The renewable energy concept, when applied to water resources, has some traps and misleading implications. In fact, renewable sources – including water – can also be depleted if their rate of replenishment is exceeded. Economy-driven river regulations and land use practices triggered a series of events where the system feedback of the river was not taken into account. As a result, the need for yet further manipulations and interference kept on returning, entailing even more and more costs, increased risks and destabilising natural systems. Sustainable river management takes a fresh look at the problem, with historical examples from places like the Carpathian Basin, Mesopotamia or citing recent practices from Thailand.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jgg.v5n3p135

Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)

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