Talk34 Irrigated Gardens of the Indus River Basin: New Models for Water Resource Management

Thursday, 28 February, 2019

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Abstract

There are strong pragmatic lessons that can be drawn from irrigated gardens, in the philosophical sense of the term pragmatic. This talk will present the paper, authored by James L. Wescoat Jr. and Abubakr Muhammad, on the Indus River Basin as a garden. This paper is a development of the proposal for a cultural approach to water resources management and how improving canal irrigation and groundwater management in the Punjab province of Pakistan benefits by incorporating historical research with systems analysis. This paper originated in a presentation to architects at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, which led to a paper on the Indus River basin as a garden published in Die Gartenkunst, spanning 5,000 years from the archaeobotany of Harappan settlement to the Mughal period when gardens, waterworks, and territory became closely linked with one another.

Dr. James L. Wescoat Jr. is currently the Aga Khan Professor, Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, at MIT. His research has concentrated on water systems in South Asia and the US from the site to river basin scales. For the greater part of his career, Professor Wescoat has focused on small-scale historical waterworks of Mughal gardens and cities in India and Pakistan. His current water research includes studies of Rurban Water Planning in Maharashtra with the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design, and Water-Energy Nexus management in Punjab Pakistan and the UAE.

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