The present approach to environmental assessment of water resources development is seriously flawed and unsatisfactory. While no one will argue against the importance of carrying out environmental assessment, the real question remains how this assessment can be carried out properly and efficiently for the benefit of society as a whole. This paper outlines some of the major problems associated with the environmental assessment techniques used at present, and argues that until and unless these shortcomings are recognized, improvements are likely to be limited in the future.
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