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Über dieses Buch

Headwaters are fragile environments threatened by anthropogenic actions. The regeneration of headwaters calls for a practical approach through integrated environmental management. This book discusses various issues concerning headwater regions of the world under wide-ranging themes: climate change impacts, vegetal cover, sub-surface hydrology, catchment and streamflow hydrology, pollution, water quality and limnology, remote sensing and GIS, environmental impact assessment and mitigation, socio-economic impacts, public participation, education and management, and integrated watershed management.

This book aims to bring about an awareness in sustainable regeneration of headwater regions and particularly highlighting the problems of environmental management in highlands and headwaters. These regions consist of great reserves of natural resources which need to be exploited and managed sustainably.



Sustainable Watershed Management


1. Sustainable Management of Headwater Resources

The 6


International Conference on Headwater Control (IHC6) was held in Bergen in 2005. This meeting on Headwaters belongs to a tradition established at the first international conference in Prague, 1989 (Krecek et al., 1989) and developed through subsequent meetings (Krecek and Haigh, 1992; Singh and Haigh, 1995; Haigh et al., 1998). Much of any progress made is built upon the foundations of these predecessors and, hopefully, will provide the building blocks from which future headwater understanding will be constructed. IHC6's immediate antecedent was IHC5—

'The International Conference on Sustainable Management of Headwater Resources'.

This was organised in Nairobi in September 2002 (Jansky et al., 2006; Haigh, 2004). The aim of this extended report is to provide a record for those who did not make the journey to Nairobi and an

aide memoire

for those who did (Jansky et al., 2006).

Martin J. Haigh

2. Social Science Contributions to Multiple Objective Decision Making within Watersheds

Practically all natural resources development programmes have been implemented at the watershed level in recent years because it has been repeatedly observed that watersheds are integrated socio-environmental units whose component parts are interdependent. The well-being of the components is dependent on the viability of the whole. To achieve improvement in environmental quality in specific components of a watershed requires a holistic planning and programme implementation approach.

Ted L. Napier

3. Managing Headwater Regions in Australia: Assessing Socio-economic and Resource Sustainability

The ecological, economic and social fragility of the Arabian desert and, in turn, its dependent uplands communities, described by T.E. Lawrence, soon becomes more complex when overlain with human activity and external economic forces, even for an uncomplicated nomadic monoculture of camelrearing. Modern agricultural and land-use systems often reflect a many-fold increase in complexity.

John Cary

4. Building Co-operations, Coalitions and Governance on Mountain Catchments Sustainability

This paper aims at providing some evidences that integrated and participatory watershed management (IPWM) is not only a theoretical framework but is currently stepping forward and becoming a necessary practice with successful examples. From international co-operations to local governance case studies, mountain areas are setting the stage of a new input to the sustainable management of natural resources.

Pier Carlo Zingari

5. Developing Sustainability Priorities with a Participatory Process: Lake Victoria Basin, East Africa

Our study headwater ecosystem is the Lake Victoria basin of East Africa. This ecosystem holds world leading status for freshwater lake size, vertebrate diversity elaboration, species extinctions, exotic species invasions, and freshwater fishery production. It is high in elevation, the source of the Nile River, situated at the centre of the tropics, mostly enclosed by highlands and mountain ranges, and nearly a closed hydrologic system. The ecosystem is old but erratic in persistence on the scale of evolutionary time. Humans may have emerged in the basin, persisted there throughout human history, and recently increased to substantial density. However, the region remains undeveloped with meagre means of transportation, energy production, and industrial activity. Finally, this ecosystem is presently receiving heavy international development assistance including one of the largest and most costly ecosystem study programmes on earth. Lake Victoria has displayed massive ecosystem change in the relatively short three decade period thought to span an original intact system to one still foundering in unanticipated ways (Kaufman, 1992; Goldschmidt et al., 1993; Goldschmidt, 1996; Verschuren et al., 2002).

Leif Lillehammer, Terje Kleven, Tore Hagen, Mark Bain, David Lewis

6. Management of Headwaters in Acidified Areas along the West Coast of Norway

Management of headwaters aims at achieving good ecological status, and global, European and local options exist for improving the quality of acidified waters along the west coast of Norway. Norwegian headwaters are often considered clean as they are situated in areas far from or up-stream of large pollution sources. However, long-range transported air pollution has impacted surface waters in southern Norway for decades, and the resulting acidification and die-back of thousands of fish populations are widely known.

Atle Hindar, Yvan Orsolini, Brit Lisa Skjelkvåle

Catchment and Streamflow Hydrology


7. Monitoring for Modelling Reality and Sound Economics

The economics of water resources monitoring has been examined several times in recent years (Cordery and Cloke, 1992; Peck and Teisberg, 1993; Green and Herschy, 1994; Moss, 1970; Stewart, 1994). The motivation for these examinations seem to have been to show that the cost of monitoring is small compared to the benefits (more than nine times the costs) that are being derived from the archive of data. However, though all the published studies show that the benefits of monitoring are in fact large compared to the costs of the monitoring and maintaining of the archived data, monitoring of water resources has steadily declined almost universally, and continues to decline (Cordery, 2003). It would appear that the only country where water resources monitoring has increased in recent years is New Zealand. The cause of the continued decline seems to be that data collection (monitoring) is seen as a public activity, and there is competing needs for public funds in other areas where the connection with public benefit is directly obvious and immediate. The community is not aware of the link between collection of hydrological data and the costs of public infrastructure. If the public was aware that the benefits of monitoring are as large as suggested in the studies cited above it would seem likely that there would be a higher demand to monitor phenomena that have large effects on infrastructure costs. This must mean that leadership is needed to communicate with and convince the direct users of data, then the public and ultimately those approving the public expenditure programmes. In the authorsopinion logical argument has seldom achieved quantum changes. Change only appears to be achieved in response to a significant event which causes damage, usually combined with leadership that can champion the solution.

Ian Cordery, Peter S. Cloke

8. The Nile Headwaters: Wetlands and Catchments in Highland Ethiopia

Headwater wetlands are critical elements in the hydrological system. They help moderate stream flow, recharge groundwater resources and create microclimates (Table 1). These functions are particularly important in tropical areas with seasonal rainfall as they help extend the availability of water.

Adrian Wood, Ato Afework Hailu, Alan Dixon

9. Changing Flow in the Okavango Basin: Upstream Developments and Downstream Effects

The Okavango basin is shared between the countries of Angola, Namibia and Botswana and terminates in the Kalahari MOZ (Makgadigadi-Okavango-Zambezi) depression as an extensive alluvial fan often referred to as a “Delta” (Ringrose et al., 2005a). The upper catchment area receives 1200 mm/year rainfall and flows to the semi-arid Kalahari where the nominal average 460 mm/yr is considered a good rainfall year. Most of the streamflow in the basin is generated within the Angolan upper catchment. After 27 years of civil war, the cease-fire in 2002 may ultimately result in large number of refugees returning to the Angolan headstreams area with anticipated increased demands both for irrigation water and sites for dam construction for electricity generation. As the level of development is not high most of the returning people will be dependent on natural resources. Though the provision of needs to basin inhabitants is undisputed, there are concerns that the resettlement of displaced communities might have downstream environmental impacts (Green Cross International, 2000). Development will however be slow because of the large number of remaining landmines (Mendelsohn and El Obeid, 2004).

J. Wilk, L. Andersson, P. Wolski, D. Kgathi, S. Ringrose, C. Vanderpost

10. Bedrock Groundwater as a Major Control on Streamflow Generation in Upland Wales, UK

Hard rock upland regions source some of the largest rivers in the UK and therefore constitute an important water resource. The water quality of these headwater streams has been the subject of concern for a number of decades; the predominant focus in NW Europe has been in respect to catchment acidification and the resulting impact on stream ecology (e.g. Harriman and Morrison, 1982). The stream water quality response of these catchments to anthropogenic acid deposition is a function of the range of travel time distributions, resulting from differences in flow pathways, from when rainfall enters the catchment to its appearance in the stream channel (Kirchner et al., 2000, 2001). Understanding these flow pathways and the mechanisms of streamflow generation is fundamental for understanding the catchment response to pollution.

Atul H. Haria, Paul Shand

11. CRENODAT (Biodiversity Assessment and Integrity Evaluation of Springs of Trentino (Italian Alps) and Long-term Ecological Research): Project Design and Preliminary Results

It is well known that springs are a fundamental source of good quality water and they frequently occupy a place of distinction in cultures and mythologies. On the contrary there is still very limited public awareness on the fact that they are also special habitats of great importance for nature conservation for a number of reasons recently reviewed in Cantonati et al. (2006). In limnology, together with streams and large lowland rivers, they are one of the main categories of running waters. Nevertheless, springs have been less studied than most other aquatic habitats.

Marco Cantonati, Ermanno Bertuzzi, Alessia Scalfi

Quality, Pollution and Management of Water Resources


12. Water as a Symbol of National Identity in Norway

“Nature” is one of the culturally most loaded concepts. It is one of the central concepts for human understanding and structuring of the surroundings (Glacken, 1967). The concept of nature is deeply embedded in our understanding of the world, so deep that we seldom reflect its central role in our thinking. With impulses from symbol theory (Elias, 1991), environmental history (Berntsen, 1994; Nash, 1982) and social sciences (Berger and Luckmann, 1987), this article examines nature, not as a physical reality, but as a symbol of ideas, norms and values in society. “Nature” is understood and interpreted in a historical, social and cultural context.

Helena Nynas

13. Assessing Renewable Water Resources and Water Use in Angola

“Nature” is one of the culturally most loaded concepts. It is one of the central concepts for human understanding and structuring of the surroundings (Glacken, 1967). The concept of nature is deeply embedded in our understanding of the world, so deep that we seldom reflect its central role in our thinking. With impulses from symbol theory (Elias, 1991), environmental history (Berntsen, 1994; Nash, 1982) and social sciences (Berger and Luckmann, 1987), this article examines nature, not as a physical reality, but as a symbol of ideas, norms and values in society. “Nature” is understood and interpreted in a historical, social and cultural context.

Helena Nynas, Pradeep M. Dangol, Madhav P. Dhakal, Bhawani S. Dongol, Gopal Nakarmi, Pravakar B. Shah, Rolf Weingartner

14. Water Management Issues in Middle Mountain Catchments of the Nepal Himalayas: The Downstream Perspective

Middle mountain catchments in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region are the heavily populated and mainly rainfed headwaters of many smaller, but not less important rivers, and the tributaries of the larger North-South rivers draining the mountain system. The catchments are in a fragile and vulnerable region from the perspective of water scarcity, flooding and soil erosion. It is these catchments which caused the theory of the ”Himalayan Environmental Degradation” (Eckholm, 1976).

Juerg Merz, Rolf Weingartner, Pradeep M. Dangol, Madhav P. Dhakal, Bhawani S. Dongol, Gopal Nakarmi, Pravakar B. Shah

15. Inventorisation of Environmental Risk Associated with Hazardous Waste Generated in Small Scale Industrial Area of Delhi, India

India with a total population of over a billion, has an urban population of almost 275 million, growing at about 3.5% and generating approximately 30 million tons of urban solid waste (Sashi, 2003). It may be hard to accept but true to fact the government’s policy to promote small-scale sectors in India has a fatal toxic metal dumping in densely inhabited north Delhi region (Terivision, 2000). It is an emerging environmental problem in developing countries. Small scale industries have been regularly dumping extremely hazardous waste mainly fatal toxic metals against the rule of 1991 (Man and Handling, 1989) in North Delhi region every year.

Preeti Saxena, Asim K. Bhattacharyya

16. The Impact of Land Use on Nutrient Concentration in Upper Streams of Waters in Slovenia

According to the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EU), the EU countries have to define water bodies characterised with the same ecological, morphological and water quality characteristics. The main aim of the above mentioned directive is to reach good water status regarding quality and quantity of water by year 2015. The article 5 of the directive among others requires that every EU country makes the analysis of characteristics of watersheds and of the impacts of men’s activity in them. Water bodies at risk should be defined as a first step. These are defined as water bodies for which we are not completely sure that water quality will meet the requirements by year 2015. If someone wants to improve water quality he should know how different men’s activities in the watershed impact water quality. Based on this proved impact of men’s activity in a catchment and water quality, proper measures in watershed for increased water quality should be determined and implemented. The most problematic situation could be if water quality is low and there is no connection between water quality and men’s activity in a catchment.

Marina Pintar, Boris Kompare, Matej Uršič, Urška Bremec, Elizabeta Gabrijelčič, Gregor Sluga, Lidija Globevnik

17. Recovery of Headwater Catchments and Lakes Affected by the Acid Atmospheric Deposition

The region of the Jizera Mountains (350 km


, altitude of 50o 40'-50o 52', longitude of 15o 08'-15o 24', humid temperate zone, Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic) is an important water resource area with a variety of downstream benefits. In the 1980s, headwaters of the Jizera Mts have been declined as a consequence of the acid atmospheric deposition, the die-back of spruce plantations, and commercial forest practices (an extensive clear-cut and use of heavy mechanisation). Strategies of nature protection and conservation (landscape protected areas, nature reserves or protected headwater regions) collapsed because of a very limited focus. After the clear-cut of spruce plantations,

Junco effusi-Calamagrostietum villosae

became a new dominant community in headwater catchments of the Jizera Mts Reforestation of large cleared areas was complicated and the upper plain of the mountains has been overgrown by invasive grasses (particularly

Calamagrostis villosa


J. Kreček, Z. Horicka

Monitoring and Mitigation of Disasters


18. Disasters in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region: A Case Study of Tsatichhu Lake in Bhutan

The Hindu Kush-Himalayas (HKH) is one of the youngest mountain regions and is tectonically very active; making them vulnerable to hazards that often has disastrous consequences. Intense seasonal precipitation, in the central and eastern Himalayas particularly during the monsoon months (June-September) and in the western Himalayas and the Hindu Kush during winter, triggers various types of natural hazards in different elevation zones. Snow avalanches and glacial lake outburst floods predominate at very high elevations (>3500 metres), while landslides, debris flows, and flash floods are common in the middle mountains (500-3500 m).

Mandira S. Shrestha, Karma Chhophel

19. Perception and Communication of Flood Risk: Preliminary Results from the FLOWS Project

Floods cause enormous economic damage, as well as loss of life, and the tendency is increasing throughout Europe as evident from many sources (e.g. EM-DAT, 2004). Floods represent, however, a natural phase of river flow regimes and a flood hazard cannot be eliminated. It is the vulnerability of the society that should be assessed instead. In the last two decades “resilience” has become the buzzword (World Disasters Report, 2004). As it is not possible to provide total flood safety using even most advanced technical measures, it is of vital importance to learn how to live with floods by means of better preparedness; better forecasts; better spatial planning; better perception of flood hazard; and retrofitting.

Irina Krasovskaia, Anja Skiple Ibrekk, Lars Gottschalk, Hallvard Berg

20. Decreasing the Risk of Floods in Small and Medium Sized Catchments through Natural Storage in Headwater and Riparian Zones

In many small to medium sized catchments (up to 500-1000 km


) in Europe, natural storage in both headwaters and riparian areas has been steadily decreasing by large scale drainage and urbanisation. An example of decreasing storage in head water zones is given in Figures 1 and 2, where for a small catchment in the south of the Netherlands the original areas of lakes and heathland on the catchment divide are shown. Also shown is the decrease in area of moorland pools since 1850.

Roelof J. Stuurman, Perry G. B. de Louw, Marc F. P. Bierkens

21. Estimating Sediment Mobilisation from Torrent and Gully Deposits: Field Studies

The bed-load sediments that are found trapped in the depositional alluvial fans of ephemeral gullies and ravines are the remains of sediments mobilised by erosion in the catchment minus those sediments removed by flowing water. Erosion is selective; it removes different parts of the soil and regolith in different proportions and the least easily moved sediments dominate the sediments trapped in depositional fans. Although the rules which govern selective erosion are quite complicated, there remains the possibility of measuring the volume and particle size distribution of the sediments in an alluvial fan and use this information to calculate the total amount of sediment removed by the flows that created the fan.

Martin J. Haigh

22. Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts of Erosion and Sedimentation in Sudan

Severe soil erosion is experienced in the watersheds of the Blue Nile and Atbara rivers originating from the Ethiopian highlands. The resulted sediment causes sedimentation of dams’ reservoirs, power houses, inlet channels of pumping stations and irrigation canals. Storage capacities of reservoirs are reduced to 50% due to sedimentation. The high silt content during the flood periods causes frequent blockage of turbine inlets of the major hydropower station at Roseries dam resulting in severe power shortages. Inlet channels of the major irrigation schemes in the Northern region are now severely affected by sedimentation and morphological changes of the river Nile. Inlets are clogged with sediment and are now inoperative. Others will follow affected by the steady propagation of the problem. In irrigation canals, sedimentation affects directly the operation and maintenance of the irrigation systems, draining annual maintenance budgets and causing severe water shortages and crop damage. Bank erosion in Northern Sudan is causing tremendous problems to local people, reducing their already small cultivable lands. In fact it is not only a problem of loosing lands, crops and power by erosion and sedimentation, but it has significant social, economic and environmental implications as well.

Seifeldin H. Abdalla


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