The Ganges basin is home to 10% of the human race - 500 million people - and the environmental problems are enormous. Many of the region's problems such as deforestation, soil erosion, pollution and droughts, are directly related to the role of water in the economy and environment. This text examines the complexity of this region's dependence on water. This title is part of a series aimed at a multidisciplinary readership. The issues addressed are viewed from a variety of perspectives: social; economic; political; historical; and environmental. The series stresses two major themes: globalization as a major trend affecting contemporary development and fundamental patterns of environmental change.