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About this book

This book presents case studies that share important experiences regarding Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in various countries. Following an introduction to theoretical concepts, responsibilities, and challenges, the subsequent chapters address, among other topics, an analysis of policies and regulations for water management in Brazil, the drivers that led California to adapt to the IWRM framework, and the international regulations for water markets and water banking in Australia and Chile. The implications of climate change for water resource systems in Mexico are discussed, as well as management strategies from California that could potentially serve as IWRM adaptation schemes in Mexico. Critical cases from Guanacaste (Costa Rica), and from Zayandehrud River Basin and Lake Urmia (Iran) are reviewed in terms of management practices and solutions. The book also provides an overview of the current availability and use of water resources in South Korea, and discusses the management of and international water law instruments for transboundary groundwater in Africa.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Integrated Water Resources Management: Theoretical Concepts, Basis, Responsibilities, and Challenges of IWRM

This chapter describes the underlying theoretical concepts, the basics, and the responsibilities of IWRM. What principles guide the management and development of global efforts for the implementation of IWRM? This chapter also presents some tools needed for effective IWRM and how the economic, social, and environmental conditions of a basin are related to IWRM. What are the main governance and public roles in IWRM? This chapter identifies some of the key challenges of implementing IWRM.
Edson de Oliveira Vieira

Chapter 2. Integrated Water Resources Management in Brazil

The process of management of water resources in Brazil is incipient and was established through the National Water Resources Policy (Política Nacional de Recursos Hídricos (PNRH)). The PNRH presents the foundation and principles of IWRM established in Dublin in 1992 and has good management instruments, but it is not fully implemented in Brazil. The PNRH gives priority to quantitative aspects and almost does not refer to groundwater. Cultural and regional characteristics have not been considered in the policy even though there is high diversity. Such aspects should be implemented in the basin water plans by the responsible basin committees. There is still much to be done to establish IWRM in Brazil.
Demétrius David da Silva, Silvio Bueno Pereira, Edson de Oliveira Vieira

Chapter 3. The Necessity of IWRM: The Case of San Francisco River Water Conflicts

The search for agreements to decrease water conflicts requires to understand the clear nature of the dispute. The best way to explain it would be using a real example of a Brazilian river which crosses several states and whose use of water had nationwide consequences. It would be good that practically all possible uses of the water were included – sanitation services for the cities, irrigation, industry, mining, power generation, tourism, artisanal fishing and fish farming and preservation of river mouth ecosystem, among others, including the transposition of its waters. Regarding the amount of water offered, it would be interesting to analyse a river in which a recent scarcity made it possible to assess the effectiveness of the response to this scenario. It would also be enrichening to choose a river with a relevant amount of water network infrastructure installed, as well as the presence of all instruments of the National Policy and all the parties forming the National Water Resources Management System. Besides that, it would be educational to detail a case with unquestionable need for an integrated water resources management regarding surface water, groundwater and costal water.
Valmir de Albuquerque Pedrosa

Chapter 4. Water Resources Management in California

California has an intense history of water management and resources manipulation. The main drivers for some of the largest water management infrastructure projects are (1) a spatial mismatch between where most of the precipitation falls on the state and where most of the water is needed and (2) a temporal mismatch of precipitation during winter months and the agriculture season on summer. This chapter describes the legal framework and water allocation systems to manage surface water, groundwater, and environmental water that are guiding California toward adopting an integrated water resources management framework.
Samuel Sandoval-Solis

Chapter 5. International Comparative Analysis of Regulations for Water Markets and Water Banks

Water markets and water banks are mechanisms to transfer water among different users. A legal and institutional framework is the tool that can protect third parties and ensure the success of the water market and the water bank. A comparative analysis of water markets and water banking in Chile, Australia, and the United States shows how strong regulations have a positive effect on the management of water markets and water banking. The case in Chile reveals that the 1981 Water Code lacks legal protection in areas such as environment, sociology, and the integration management of water resources. This has been a cause of the failure of the water market in Chile. Differently, in Australia, the environment is recognized as a legitimate water user for which states could specifically establish environmental water allocations. The United States has several examples of successful water banks such as the Kansas Water Bank, which has a very exhaustive regulation and has effectively promote water conservation and improve the use of groundwater resources.
María E. Milanés Murcia

Chapter 6. Managing Water Differently: Integrated Water Resources Management as a Framework for Adaptation to Climate Change in Mexico

Climate change will affect water availability and its management, with more frequent and extended droughts, more severe floods, and lower water quality. Water allocation policies, regulations, and infrastructure in Mexico are not designed for changing future climate conditions. This chapter reviews the implications of climate change for water resources systems in Mexico and evaluates how management strategies from California can serve as potential adaptation schemes toward an Integrated Water Resources Management framework in Mexico.
J. Pablo Ortiz-Partida, Samuel Sandoval-Solis, Jesús Arellano-Gonzalez, Josué Medellín-Azuara, J. Edward Taylor

Chapter 7. The Transboundary Paso del Norte Region

Stakeholders’ Preferences Allowing Water Resources Adaptation
This chapter illustrates the potential to advance transboundary water resources management in a more comprehensive approach. The focus is given to the transboundary Paso del Norte (PdN) region which is considered as the most environmentally damaged, hydrologically developed, and prolific irrigation area in the Rio Grande/Bravo Basin. Stakeholders from the US-Mexico PdN region provide insights into what needs to be done to foster sustainable adaptation of water allocation and management. A preliminary set of policy recommendations aims to highlight stakeholders’ preferences and interests and their integration into regional water resources management.
Luzma Fabiola Nava

Chapter 8. Water Governance and Adaptation to Drought in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

In this chapter we review the key learnings and challenges for water management in a territory where water is severely affected by climatic variability: the Guanacaste province in Northwestern Costa Rica. In this territory the water governance system is contested by the interaction of biophysical, cultural, and political factors, creating conditions for the emergence of disputes and enhancing the environmental and economic externalities from economic activities, mainly agriculture and tourism. We review the main factors from these intertwined dynamics to provide key lessons and identify sensible gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed in the upcoming research and integrated water resource management efforts. Our work shows that climate variability is increasing water demand, calling for a contextualized policy for managing water in Guanacaste. Moreover, the centralized, vertical, and fragmented water governance system led by the Central Valley region is imposing challenges for building up an adaptive governance system aiming for resilience at a long temporal scale. Despite the latter, several community-led experiences facilitated by boundary organizations and local champions suggest that water in Guanacaste can be secured by establishing multi-sectoral platforms for water adaptive governance and increasing the decision-making based on technical and scientific information.
Ricardo Morataya-Montenegro, Pável Bautista-Solís

Chapter 9. Integrated Water Resources Management in Iran

Iran is dealing with various water resources challenges. Drying lakes and rivers, declining groundwater resources, water supply rationing and disruptions, agricultural losses, and ecosystem damages are just few of the challenges. This chapter introduces how current management of water resources in Iran led to water crisis in the country, which was formerly renowned as a pioneer of sustainable water management. Iran is located in an arid and semi-arid region, and the combined actions of natural and human factors caused the modern water-related crisis. Although there is no control over natural factors, sustainable water resources planning and management could be achieved by implementing integrated water resources management strategies. This chapter particularly focuses on two of the most vital challenges the country is dealing with: one is mismanagement of the Zayandehrud River basin and the other one is the tragic drying of Lake Urmia. After reviewing the causing problems for each case, we briefly introduce some of the opportunities offered by IWRM practices and identify possible main strategies for the future perspective of management of water resources in Iran.
Erfan Goharian, Mohamad Azizipour

Chapter 10. Water Resources Management in South Korea

This chapter covers the following key topics: an overview of the current state of water resources availability and use characteristics of rivers, large reservoirs, water quality management, water-related natural disasters, and the future water resources management in South Korea. The average annual rainfall in the past 30 years is about 1300 mm, which is greater than world’s average annual rainfall, but the spatial and temporal variance is large. Most rivers show characteristics of short lengths and steep slopes, releasing a significant amount of water. These features make the downstream region relatively more vulnerable to massive floods during the wet season. The significant annual fluctuations in water level make water resources development and management difficult. In comparison, South Korea has a larger river regime coefficient than other countries. Therefore, many of these reservoirs are built to store water during the wet season and supply water during the dry season. In the 1960s, South Korea’s rapid industrialization has led to a severe deterioration in water quality in most rivers. Since the 1980s, many environmental infrastructures have been built to improve water quality. Therefore, future water resources management strategies in South Korea should focus on (a) establishing a safe and robust foundation for flood control, (b) supplying clean and sufficient water for people and nature, and (c) enhancing sustainable water quality and ecosystem management.
Sooyeon Yi, Jaeeung Yi

Chapter 11. Transboundary Groundwater Management and Regulation: Treaty Practices in Africa

Transboundary groundwater represents an essential source of water for the world population. The management of this precious resource is vital to guarantee the sustainability of regions such as the North-Western Sahara in Africa. International water law instruments such as the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention, the 1992 ECE Water Convention, and the 2008 ILC Draft Articles provide the principles and guidelines to manage transboundary aquifers; however, the type of aquifer determines the legal regimen applicable to it. International groundwater connected to a surface water system is covered by the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention, while fossil aquifers are addressed under the 1994 ILC Resolution on Confined Transboundary Groundwater. Africa is home to some 60 international river basins and over 70 transboundary aquifers. Along the continent, an international watercourse crosses a boundary of every country. Transboundary aquifers represent an important source of water in Africa. Huge reserves of groundwater are located in some of the driest parts of this continent. Many of these watercourses and fossil aquifers are the subject of state practices. Moreover, treaties have been developed between some or all of the riparian states. The trend to regulate transboundary groundwater focuses on agreements addressing mechanisms for exchange of information and scientific research, while the actual management of transboundary aquifers is barely reflected in treaty practices. Only few agreements include in their provisions specific regulations to manage transboundary groundwater in Africa.
María E. Milanés Murcia


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