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Swarthmore College    
College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  Jan 22, 2018
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

POLS 087. Water Policies, Water Issues: China/Taiwan and the U.S.

(Cross-listed as CHIN 087)
Access to fresh water is an acute issue for the 21st century, and yet civilizations have designed a wide range of inventive projects for accessing and controlling water supplies over the centuries. Fresh water resource allocation generates issues between upstream and downstream users, between a country and its neighbors, between urban and rural residents, and between states and regions. This course examines a range of fresh water issues, comparing China and the U.S. Topics include dams and large-scale water projects (e.g., rerouting rivers); water pollution; groundwater depletion; industrial water use (e.g., for hydrofracking); impact of agricultural practices; urban storm water management; wetlands conservation; desertification; desalination. In the U.S. context especially, issues of water rights regimes and property rights, privatization, and commodification of water will receive attention. Which claims upon fresh water resources come first? What role do governments, transnational organizations, corporations, NGOs, and grassroots citizens' movements play in these water decisions? Guest lectures will emphasize science and engineering perspectives on water management. Chinese language ability desirable but not required.
Social sciences.
1 credit.
Eligible for ASIA, ENVS
Catalog chapter: Political Science  
Department website:

Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses