Environment and History
Environment and History 12(2006): 3-29
This essay traces the development of the physical and cultural infrastructure of colonial flood control in the Indus valley. Reconstructing investigations into the causes of a series of floods illustrates the conflict between the idiosyncratic, local knowledge-based, approach of generalists and the reductionist, technological mentality of engineers. Repeated attempts to protect towns from the Indus River illustrate the growing dominance during the second half of the nineteenth century of an engineering mentality, despite its practical shortcomings. Complex engineering works replaced traditional warning systems and mobility, undermining alluvial farming systems as well as a precautionary approach to environmental management.
This article is available online (PDF format) from ingenta. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environment and History.
Reprints of this article can be ordered from ingenta or the British Library
Contact the publishers for subscriptions and back numbers of Environment and History.Other papers in this volume
THE WHITE HORSE PRESS
The Old Vicarage, Winwick
Cambridgeshire, PE28 5PN, UK
Tel: +44 1832 293222