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The main focus of this book is sustainable management of water resources in a changing climate. The book also addresses the question of how to define and measure the sustainability of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). The sustainability of IWRM is an important issue when planning and/or developing policies that consider the impact of climate change, water governance and ecohydrology in the context of a more holistic approach to ensure sustainable management of water resources. Sustainable IWRM is more about processes, and relatively little systematic or rigorous work has been done to articulate what components are the most essential to ensure the ongoing sustainability of IWRM efforts. The chapters cover topics including global prospective of IWRM; allocation of environmental flows in IWRM; echohydrology, water resources and environmental sustainability; climate change and IWRM; IWRM and water governance including social, economic, public health and cultural aspects; climate change resiliency actions related to water resources management sustainability and tools in support of sustainability for IWRM.

This book will be of interest to researchers, practitioners, water resources mangers, policy and decision makers, donors, international institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations, educators, as well as graduate and undergraduate students. It is a useful reference for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), ecohydrology, climate change impact and adaptations, water governance, environmental flows, geographic information system and modeling tools, water and energy nexus and related topics.



Chapter 1. Introduction: Sustainability of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

Water is essential for life, ecosystems, and social and economic development. We depend on a reliable, clean supply of drinking water to sustain our health. Water is also needed for agriculture, energy production, navigation, recreation, and manufacturing. Its exploitation and use must be well planned and managed in a sustainable manner. Water availability has been reduced due to periodic droughts, overconsumption of surface and groundwater resources, and pollution and climate change. Population increase, fast growth of cities, and accelerating economic activity are increasing the demand for water, energy, and food and creating further pressures on water resources. In many developing countries, the lack of adequate, clean, and safe water, pollution of aquatic environments, and the mismanagement of natural resources are still major causes of environmental health problem and mortality. Irregular rainfall, more floods, and droughts are becoming more frequent events in different parts of the world.

Shimelis Gebriye Setegn

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM): Global Perspectives


Chapter 2. Integrated Water Resources Management in Latin America and the Caribbean

In this chapter, we present an overview of selected Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) schemes, legislation, policies, plans, and governance structures designed and implemented by the countries of the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Conceptual reasons required a brief introduction on the inspiring ideas of IWRM, stress having been made on the justification of the concept as reflected in its “integrated” note. Such preamble should enable the reader to assess the orthodoxy of the IWRM schemes predominant in the Region as well as the national enabling instruments, measures, and policies enumerated in the second part of the paper, as compared with the IWRM theoretical tenets. Also mentioned is the coordinating, financial, and advisory role of international organizations in response to the limitations of countries to resolve transboundary water issues and in some cases challenges created in federal states by multiple (national, state/provincial, municipal) jurisdictions. Reference is additionally made to the endemic LAC issue of mismatch between abstract legal instruments and actual implementation, as an additional criterion for the reader to judge the value of the actions pursued in this area by the individual nations. The main part of this chapter includes country-by-country available information on the schemes and instruments in force in the Region. The final section of the chapter concludes with findings and an overall assessment of the Region’s achievements and margins for improvement going forward.

Maria Concepcion Donoso, Maria Catalina Bosch

Chapter 3. Integrated Water Resources Management: African Perspectives

The importance of water resources for sustainable development for African countries has been recognised at the highest level of the African Heads of States through the Sharm el-Sheikh declarations calling for the equitable and sustainable use, and promotion of integrated management and development, of national and shared water resources in Africa. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) was adopted since the adoption of the Africa Water Vision 2025 and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development (2002), which called for the preparation and implementation of IWRM plans. The crucial role of water resources for socio-economic development in Africa led to the creation of African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) as the African voice and leadership on water and sanitation in Africa with the key objective of mobilising countries, regional institutions and partners to address in a sustainable and coherence way the water challenges in Africa.

The shared nature of water resources in Africa with more than 80 shared river basins and lakes and at least 60 transboundary aquifers systems led to the establishment of various entities at national, subregional and regional levels for the promotion of sustainable water resources management through IWRM. This paper presents an overview of the status of IWRM in Africa based on the different published documents including institutional, knowledge base and capacity building aspects and includes the main characteristics of water resources and related challenges. The paper calls for the implementation of a true IWRM in Africa considering climate change, integrating surface and groundwater, cultural and water quality issues.

The paper presents also a summary of two case studies on the implementation of IWRM. The first case study is on a large transboundary basin, the Niger basin shared by nine countries, which have adopted a shared vision through a participatory approach and the preparation of a long-term Investment Development Plan for the basin, based on a comprehensive analysis of the challenges facing the basin. The second case study is on the Densu basin, a national basin in Ghana and one of the most stressed in the country, where pollution is one of the key challenges. The application of the IWRM concept has increased awareness and led to the mobilisation of key stakeholders to contribute to the reduction in the level of pollution of the basin.

Abou Amani, Robert Dessouassi, Adwoa Paintsil

Chapter 4. A Paradigm Shift in Urban Water Management: An Imperative to Achieve Sustainability

With increasing global change pressures (such as urbanization and climate change) and existing unsustainable factors and risks inherent to conventional urban water management, cities in the future will experience difficulties in efficiently managing scarcer and less reliable water resources. In order to meet these challenges, there needs to be a paradigm shift to integrated urban water management (IUWM). This paradigm shift is based on several key concepts including resilience of urban water systems to global change pressures, interventions over the entire urban water cycle, reconsideration of the way water is used (and reused), and greater application of natural systems for treatment. This chapter will present an integrated framework supporting IUWM and its key principles.

Kala Vairavamoorthy, Jochen Eckart, Seneshaw Tsegaye, Kebreab Ghebremichael, Krishna Khatri

Chapter 5. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in a Changing World

Integrated water resources management (IWRM) is an approach enjoying wide international acceptance and is considered a contribution to sustainable development. The governments of the vast majority of countries are in the process of implementing it or preparing to do so with the support of intergovernmental organizations and of numerous NGOs. However, the vision of what IWRM comprises and where it leads might not be clear to stakeholders and practitioners. This chapter reviews the concepts and evolution of IWRM; it points out that the historical and even the formal precursors go farther back than described in usual treatises on the matter. The chapter focuses on the related intergovernmental processes, primarily those in the UN system, as they have proved of fundamental importance in lending thrust to IWRM. It examines the principles and definitions of IWRM and points out that the IWRM platform is considered by many authors and practitioners not a blueprint, but more of a guide or philosophy that has to be adapted to the particular settings and needs – that is, IWRM could be a normative guide but not an implementation plan. The status of the adoption and application of IWRM at an international scale is examined, and the most common objections to IWRM are noted and discussed. The practical utility of IWRM as a provider of a common platform for discussing water resources management issues and sharing experiences is noted.

José Alberto Tejada-Guibert

Chapter 6. Water Resources Management and Sustainability in Mexico

Mexico faces major challenges in water resources management. The variability in time and space of water resources, the increase in the number of users and the inequality in the consumption, the persistence of inadequate finance systems, the absence of a new water culture, and the lack of information systems and well-trained personnel in the departments and agencies dealing with water management call for the urgent application of the principles of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and frame these within a sustainable development strategy. This chapter presents some strategic guidelines for the transition from a “hydraulic” policy to a more comprehensive water policy in Mexico, mainly derived from the experience that the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has developed through the UNAM’s Water Management, Use and Reuse Program and the fundamentals of the Water Responsibility Program within the International Hydrological Program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Rafael Val-Segura, Jorge Arriaga-Medina

Echohydrology, Water Resources and Environmental Sustainability


Chapter 7. The Gap Between Best Practice and Actual Practice in the Allocation of Environmental Flows in Integrated Water Resources Management

A major component of environmental sustainability in water resource development is the explicit allocation of water to meet ecosystem needs. This environmental water allocation is commonly referred to as an environmental flow, which is the main subject of this chapter. A shift towards more consideration of water needs of ecosystems/environment in Central and South America has been more irregular, with some countries increasingly articulating and prioritizing these needs (e.g., Costa Rica and Colombia) and others not. The situation is similar in Africa, where ambitious new water policies with substantial attention to environmental protection have appeared in Eastern and Southern Africa (McClain et al., Int J Water Resour Dev 29(4):650–665, 2013) and Asia, where China stands out as a globally important country undergoing rapid change in its outlook towards environmental flows (Wang et al., Ecol Appl 21:163–174, 2009). In this chapter, we explore the status of environmental flow science and practice around the world, focusing on the gap that exists between environmental flow levels suggested by aquatic scientists and those actually protected in water regulations. With a wealth of science and different technologies to make use of, some of the most difficult challenges in applying best environmental flow practices lie in the governance processes and equitable allocation among water users and the environment. This brings us back to the promise of IWRM itself as a process to facilitate integration of these factors in a highly participatory fashion. In this chapter, we have endeavored to summarize the promise and highlight the current challenges of environmental flow assessment and implementation to enable the protection of ecosystems in the process of IWRM.

Michael E. McClain, Elizabeth P. Anderson

Chapter 8. Ecohydrology: Understanding and Maintaining Ecosystem Services for IWRM

Since historical times, natural ecosystems such as forests and wetlands are known to regulate water flow and maintain water quality. The past half a century however has witnessed unplanned and rapid development with widespread ecosystem degradation. Meanwhile water treatment and supply happens on an ad hoc basis that is neither sustainable nor affordable for most communities. The revival of an ecohydrological approach is called for, with increased use of ecosystem services in water resources management. The affordable and sustainable aspects of this approach make it especially pertinent for developing countries, given the increasing challenges posed by mounting population, consumption, and climate change. This chapter describes the general links between different ecosystems, hydrology, and water quality and outlines the steps in developing an ecohydrological approach. The next chapter describes case studies that have successfully incorporated an ecohydrological approach in different realms of water resources management in the developing world.

Amartya K. Saha, Shimelis Gebriye Setegn

Chapter 9. Assessment of Agricultural Water Management in Punjab, India, Using Bayesian Methods

The success of the Green Revolution in Punjab, India, is threatened by a significant decline in water resources. Punjab, a major agricultural supplier for the rest of India, supports irrigation with a canal system and groundwater, which is vastly overexploited. The detailed data required to estimate future impacts on water supplies or develop sustainable water management practices is not readily available for this region. Therefore, we use Bayesian methods to estimate hydrologic properties and irrigation requirements for an under-constrained mass balance model. Using the known values of precipitation, total canal water delivery, crop yield, and water table elevation, we present a method using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to solve for a distribution of values for each unknown parameter in a conceptual mass balance model. Model results are used to test three water management strategies, which show that replacement of rice with pulses may be sufficient to stop water table decline. This computational method can be applied in data-scarce regions across the world, where integrated water resource management is required to resolve competition between food security and available resources.

Tess A. Russo, Naresh Devineni, Upmanu Lall

Chapter 10. Ecohydrology for Sustainability of IWRM: A Tropical/Subtropical Perspective

Water resources in the tropics and subtropics are under severe pressure from burgeoning populations, ad hoc development, and the degrading environment. Uncertainty in precipitation due to climate change adds to the pressure to equitably provide adequate and safe water to all of humanity. Hence, utilizing the beneficial roles played by forests and wetlands upon water availability and quality is the only way to enable the equitable provision of water to all sections of society as well as for buffering water resources against climate change. Understanding the links between different ecosystems in a catchment and local/regional hydrology enables restoration and maintenance of the ecosystems along with the services they provide. This chapter describes the ecohydrological approach to water resources management along with some examples of the application to a range of areas, from river basin management to wastewater treatment and reuse.

Amartya K. Saha, Shimelis Gebriye Setegn

Climate Change and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)


Chapter 11. Sustainability of Water Resources in Tropical Regions in the Face of Climate Change

The most important impacts of climate change will be exerted on water resources. In Mexico, due to environmental conditions, human factors, and water uses, different degrees of social vulnerability will take place because of the increased temperature, decreased precipitation, and higher recurrence of extreme events projected to take place in the second half of the twenty-first century. Based on these considerations, this chapter presents the case study of the Grijalva River basin, the largest dam system used for hydropower generation in Mexico. Using temperature and precipitation scenarios, the impacts of climate change on sea level rise, the production of electricity, and water quality and availability are analyzed. Finally, it presents some adaptation measures that contribute to reduce the vulnerability of societies living in the Grijalva River basin.

Fernando González-Villarreal, Malinali Domínguez-Mares, Jorge Arriaga-Medina

Chapter 12. Sustainable Development and Integrated Water Resources Management

Sustainable development integrates economic development, social development, and environmental protection, with three overarching objectives and essential requirements: (1) poverty reduction, (2) changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and (3) protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development. Integrated water resources management (IWRM) is capable of promoting all three objectives by providing stakeholders with a framework for integrating and coordinating the various aspects of water management in a sustainable and holistic manner. This chapter relates the concept of IWRM to development in the context of the international community’s sustainable development paradigm.

Though there would seem to be a universal acceptance of the cross-cutting importance of water in development, relative marginalization of water at different levels has taken place because of competing interests. In the ongoing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there is only one target dealing specifically with water (drinking water and sanitation) within one of the eight goals (goal 7—ensure environmental sustainability). There is now a call from the water community for the adoption of a dedicated and comprehensive sustainable development goal on water in the post-MDG follow-up.

Some current topics that need to be encompassed by IWRM are succinctly addressed with reference to the recent international developments, including water security, human rights to water, gender equity, implications of climate change, governance, and the water–energy nexus.

The ability of making operational the nexus of water with energy, food, health, and ecosystems by thinking “out of the water box” has become critically important.

José Alberto Tejada-Guibert, Shimelis Gebriye Setegn, Ryan B. Stoa

Chapter 13. Water-Resource Management in Mexico Under Climate Change

In Mexico, pressure on water resources exists in all sectors. This, coupled with population growth and the consequent increase in demand for water, could drive communities and cities whose water supply is limited to become more vulnerable in the future. Also, the effects of climate change have been felt through a series of hydrometeorological disasters, such as floods and droughts, that have produced impacts on the economic system and the safety of the population.

The country studies that have addressed the impact of climate change on supply systems and flood management are reduced. It is therefore urgent to give attention to areas of the country that are most vulnerable. But it is also important to address other aspects of water resources that will be affected by the effects of climate change.

This chapter presents some of the studies that have addressed the effect of climate change on water resources. It includes studies examining the effects at the country level and at the local level such as a city. An analysis to determine the future demand and vulnerability of a city due to local scale effects and the feasibility of capturing rainwater as a potential adaptation are presented. The studies focus on the quality and quantity of water that could be expected under future climate scenarios for Mexico. Other studies consider urban, rural, and coastal areas.

Some adaptation measures that could be implemented in the country are suggested in this document.

R. T. Montes-Rojas, J. E. Ospina-Noreña, C. Gay-García, C. Rueda-Abad, I. Navarro-González

Chapter 14. Prediction of Hydrological Risk for Sustainable Use of Water in Northern Mexico

Among surface hydrologic phenomena, it is common to find series of events of random occurrence in time. Poisson processes lead to probabilistic models that are appropriate to explain the number of events produced by certain phenomena. For instance, in surface hydrology, it is quite frequent to relate the Poisson distribution to the occurrence of rainfall events. The so-called leak distribution consists of the simultaneous use of a Poisson law to represent the probability of occurrence of an event and an exponential distribution applied to the mean magnitude of such event. Originally introduced to simulate gas leaks in distribution networks in France, from where it takes its name, the leak distribution has important applications in hydrology. In this paper, the theoretical basis of the law and the method for the estimation of its parameters are introduced. Some applications are included, such as further knowledge of the precipitation regime of hydrologic region No. 10 in Mexico. In this case, through the knowledge of the two parameters of this law, which can be associated to physical variables, it is possible to determine the temporal and spatial distribution of precipitation in detail. As an additional application, the use of this law in drought analysis is shown. Here, the distribution parameters are related to the Standardized Precipitation Index, SPI, allowing the construction of a modified SPI that much better represents the spatial variability of drought periods in the watershed. According to the results presented in this chapter, the use of the leak distribution in surface hydrology processes allows deeper knowledge of regional climatology.

Alfonso Gutiérrez-López, Thierry Lebel, Israel Ruiz-González, Luc Descroix, Marcela Duhne-Ramírez

IWRM and Water Governance: Climate Change, Social, Economic, Public Health and Cultural Aspects


Chapter 15. Water Resources Management for Sustainable Environmental Public Health

Water is essential for life and social and economic development. Its exploitation and use must be well planned and managed in a sustainable manner. In many developing countries, lack of adequate, clean, and safe water, pollution of aquatic environments, and the mismanagement of natural resources are still major causes of environmental health problem and mortality. With a human population that is continuing to grow, the management of water resources will become of vital importance. In order to accommodate more growth, sustainable freshwater resource management will need to be included in future development plans and implementations. One of the major environmental issues of concern to policy-makers is the increased vulnerability of surface and groundwater quality. Furthermore, the main challenge for the sustainability of water resources is the control of water pollution. To understand the sustainability of the water resources, one needs to understand the impact of future land use and climate changes on the water resources. Providing safe water and basic sanitation to meet the millennium development goals will require substantial economic resources, sustainable technological solutions, and courageous political will. A balanced approach to water resources development, on the one hand, and controls for the protection of water quality, on the other hand, is required for sustainability of water resources and environmental public health. In addition to providing improved water and sanitation services, we must ensure that these services provide safe drinking water; adequate quantities of water for health, hygiene, agriculture, and development; and sustainable sanitation approaches to protect health and the environment.

Shimelis Gebriye Setegn

Chapter 16. Vulnerability and the Probability of Households Having Access to Water in Locations with Extreme Weather in Mexico City

We carry out a statistical analysis to estimate the probability of households having access to water and identify the most vulnerable people in counties with extreme weather in Mexico City. We use a methodology that combines the use of spatial, climate, and household survey data. Our results suggest that locations in 10 out of 16 counties in Mexico City are currently affected by extreme conditions and in addition show a lower probability of having water access at home. From the 8.8 million people living in Mexico City, about 3,142,660 are living in areas with decreasing mean rainfall over time, “scarce rainfall zones,” and approximately 1,500,100 in areas with an increasing mean temperature over time, “high temperature zones.” Only five counties are currently affected by scarce rainfall and high temperature at the same time; which implies that there are around 508,840 highly vulnerable people in Mexico City affected by both types of extreme conditions. We also find that by coincidence, the odds of having water at home are much lower for people living in six counties with extreme conditions and their odds are reduced between 20 and 30 %. Such counties also have high poverty levels, so water scarcity conditions are reinforcing the vulnerability of the population. Knowing the precise spatial location and the number of affected people will definitively contribute to improve the implementation of public policies and the effectiveness in the use of resources devoted to problems like water access in the face of extreme events.

Armando Sánchez-Vargas

Chapter 17. Climate Change and Households’ Willingness to Pay for Protecting High Quality Water and Its Provision in a Small Basin at Ecuador

In this article we aim at eliciting households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for protecting water quantity and quality, by restoring a small basin, in the face of climate change in Ecuador. To do so, we carry out a discrete choice experiment based on a representative survey of 248 users of the water system that depends on such basin; this type of methodology is often used in the economics literature to predict consumer choice and prices. Our results suggest that about 62.1 % of the respondents are willing to pay to secure water quantity and quality at home by carrying out a restoration plan of the basin to cope with climate extreme events. Households’ willingness to pay for restoring the basin and securing water quality and quantity is about 1.24 and 0.5 dollars, respectively. These payments would be charged in the water bill in the form of monthly local taxes. Our findings also suggest that households’ climate change perceptions have a significant effect on the willingness to pay. These results might constitute important inputs for policy makers to take decisions on the value of water and on the amount of investments needed to adapt to climate change.

Diana del Cisne Encalada-Jumbo, Armando Sánchez-Vargas

Chapter 18. Shared Waters of the South Caucasus: Lessons for Treaty Formation and Development

The Kura-Aras River Basin is the largest and most critical water resource in the South Caucasus. As the primary source of freshwater for Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan and a significant source for Turkey and Iran, the basin is at the center of a complex geopolitical region. The Kura-Aras has not been managed under a cooperative management treaty since the fall of the Soviet Union and remains one of the most significant watercourses ungoverned by a transboundary agreement. Tense relations between neighbors, as well as ambitious development plans and economic priorities, have pushed international cooperation over the basin to the fringes of the region’s agenda. In this chapter, the Kura-Aras River Basin is examined in order to identify factors inhibiting, and opportunities to promote, cooperation. While a multilateral, basin-wide treaty appears unrealistic given extreme levels of diplomatic discord, opportunities exist to move toward a cooperative management framework through bilateral agreements.

Ryan B. Stoa

Chapter 19. Basin Comanagement Plans – A Participative Approach to Water Governance: A Case Study in Honduras, Central America

This case study addresses the governance and institutionality of integrative and participative basin management in the micro-basin of the Valle de la Soledad located on the outskirts of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa. The initiative comprises four basic stages: (1) identification of existing laws and state institutions, (2) knowledge of local actors’ capacities to protect and administer water resources, (3) determination of water conflicts and steps for its possible solution, and (4) determination of factors and actors in favor and against water protection. The process allowed to develop municipal capacities, participative and efficient basin, and land use management programs that benefited local communities, particularly small and medium farmers, as well as to develop financial sustainability mechanisms.

Claudia Cecilia Lardizabal

Chapter 20. Integrating Local Users and Multitiered Institutions into the IWRM Process

Participation among stakeholders and tiered institutions in a collaborative policymaking process is essential to IWRM’s stated goals of securing water for people in a manner that reconciles economic efficiency, social equity, and environmental sustainability. Using the energy-water nexus and case examples from Tajikistan and Mexico, we define a mechanism by showing that poorly articulated multitiered institutional arrangements coupled with failure to generate truly participatory interaction of stakeholders lead to water insecurity. In the case examples, we found that the livelihoods of vulnerable populations are threatened when users experience water insecurity that is created or exacerbated when tiered institutions neglect users’ signals by failure to respond with actions that promote sound resource management or mitigate livelihood threats. Water and livelihood security would be improved by adaptive actions targeted at user-defined causes of water insecurity and coordination between local resource users and institutions at multiple levels. Our results are a diagnostic tool that can be used to identify one cause that, among a possible multitude, contributes to water insecurity. Institutions and decision-making among stakeholders will be an explicit component of the human capacity to respond with programs, policies, and actions able to deal with the dual pressure on water resources posed by climate change and heightened demand while reconciling economic efficiency, social equity, and environmental sustainability. Institutions that operate at the intersection of local users and state and non-state actors have the greatest chance of inducing IWRM solutions if the tiered nature of linkages is expressly accounted for and used to adaptive advantage.

Ryan H. Lee, Lauren Herwehe, Christopher A. Scott

Chapter 21. The Environmental Regulatory Shift and Its Impact on Water Resources Management in Latin America

The new environmental paradigm that has gained momentum in recent decades has had a concrete impact on water resources management in Latin America. From a critical perspective, this chapter aims to identify and review ten different aspects of the new scenario. In doing so, it points to two main conceptual transitions: firstly, the transformation of the conceptual basis of water management and, secondly, the regulatory power shifts over water sources. The authors conclude that a strategy on water governance that does not take into account those contrasts exposes itself to failure.

Juan Bautista Justo, Liber Martín

Chapter 22. Environmental Provisions in the Constitutions of Uruguay and Argentina Affecting Water Resource Management

This chapter identifies the similarities and differences between the existing constitutional and legislative environmental regimes in Uruguay and Argentina, with attention being paid to aspects that may be reflected in the management of water resources.

Emphasis in differences offers interesting avenues of thought to the scholar of comparative law that they constituted a single political entity from the discovery of the La Plata River, in 1516 up to 1828, when Uruguay became an independent state. The two countries share borders marked by a river and a vast estuary (the Uruguay and the La Plata Rivers) of enormous economic and environmental significance for both nations, which have agreed in entrusting their management to binational commissions. Uruguay and Argentina are founding members of the Common Market of the South.

Significant differences are noticeable in environmental constitutional approaches and provisions in each country. The impacts of the constitutional structure of the respective states upon the width of the environmental rights recognized in terms of the hierarchy of international treaties compared with that of the national constitution in each country.

Finally, two outstanding environmental water-related issues are invoked, namely, (1) the recent Argentina-Uruguay dispute on contamination of the Uruguay River by European pulp mills operating in the Uruguayan territory and the International Court of Justice decision thereupon and (2) the nature and legal effects of the Uruguayan October 2004 constitutional amendment on the country’s water resources, heralded by

The UNESCO Courier

as unique (“A world’s first”) (“In an overwhelming majority vote, water was enshrined in Uruguay’s constitution as public property – a world first.” The UNESCO Courier, March, 2006 • ISSN 1993-8616) after a popular pronouncement with over 64 % of citizens’ support.

Maria Catalina Bosch, Maria Concepcion Donoso

Climate Change Resiliency Actions Related to Water Resources Management Sustainability


Chapter 23. The Importance of Water-Energy Nexus for Sustainable Development: A South America Perspective

Water and energy are indispensable to the social and economic development of a country. The rising pressure on resource demands, new production, and consumption models requires a better understanding about the connections between water and energy. In a world of growing population and urbanization, cities are becoming the focus of international efforts of sustainability. According to the United Nations, over 100 years ago, only 10 % of the world population lived in the cities. Nowadays, this rate is of 15 %, and the tendency is for that number to rise over the next years, reaching 75 % in 2050. In order to accommodate this increasing population pressure, cities need to become more intelligent, well prepared, and organized, aiming to reduce poverty, providing education and health, managing and optimizing natural resources, protecting the environment, and facing climate change.

This chapter gives a better understanding about the water-energy nexus. It shows the importance of an integrated engagement in future interdisciplinary research and development to target water-use efficiency in the energy sector and energy efficiency.

Janaina Camile Pasqual, Shimelis Gebriye Setegn

Chapter 24. Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: The Role of International Ocean and Freshwater Agreements

Climate change presents the international community with an environmental process that is both challenging to monitor and foresee and requires a complex legal and regulatory framework capable of promoting mitigation and adaptation. In the absence of comprehensive and targeted international climate change legislation, however, some mitigation and adaptation measures are being adopted and implemented through indirect policymaking and regulation. International environmental treaties and customary international environmental laws and principles not specifically focused on climate change may nonetheless indirectly or unintentionally contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts through administration or enforcement of the legal regime. The crucial role that the water cycle plays in climatic processes, however, makes international freshwater and ocean laws and policies a particularly rich source of indirect climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. This chapter analyzes the international legal regimes regulating freshwater resources and ocean and marine resources with an eye toward mechanisms that contribute to – or detract from – climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. I find that potential for regulation of climate change is greatest when treaties are focused on discrete environmental issues such as wetland conservation and pollution from ships, while comprehensive treaties like the Watercourses Convention and the Convention on the Law of the Sea make less tangible contributions to indirect climate change regulation by reinforcing principles of international law that require states to take collective action on international environmental challenges such as climate change.

Ryan B. Stoa

Chapter 25. International Perspective on the Basin-Scale Water-Energy Nexus

This chapter addresses the current state of water and energy resources management in different regions of the world using basin-scale case studies from North America, Latin America, and Africa. It focuses on the characterization of the current state and future projections of water and energy resources available in each basin as well as management of information gaps and potential links for integrating water and energy management. Agriculture demands large amounts of water in each basin and tends to be a priority when water distribution decisions are being made. Overall, this chapter provides a worldwide view of the state of water and energy in semiarid regions, showing cases of water management strategies that are being carried out in the case study basins considered in this chapter.

Luis Metzger, Belize Lane, Shimelis Gebriye Setegn, Jenna Kromann, Mathew Kilanski, David MacPhee

Chapter 26. Efficient Use of Water Resources for Sustainability

Strategies to achieve sustainable water management throughout the world are urgently needed as different regions are already experiencing high water stress with serious negative consequences on human health and ecosystems. Acknowledging the difference between efficiency and sustainability in water management, this paper considers the need of implementing actions that take into account future demand as well as the integrity of ecosystems. Consequently, recommendations are made regarding the investments that should be made on (1) access to clean water for human consumption, (2) ecosystem conservation and restoration, (3) watershed management, (4) collection and dissemination of data to the general public and decision makers, (5) finding ways to prevent and solve conflicts over water, and (6) encouraging community participation through local leadership, control over water resources, a fair allocation of benefits, and effective funding mechanisms.

Cecilia Lartigue

Chapter 27. Land Use and Climate Change Impact on the Coastal Zones of Northern Honduras

In this paper, we examine the effect of land use change on climate change sensitivity on the north coast of Honduras. We ran simulations to analyze the spatial and temporal variations on sensitivity derived from land use dynamics and their implications on the use of land use policy as a tool for climate change adaptation in integrated coastal zone management. We developed two scenarios (trend and normative scenarios) for different spatial development trends for the 2010–2050 period. The biggest change in the trend scenario would be a decrease in pasture (19.4 %) and forestry (8.1 %) as a result from an increase in palm oil plantations. There would be more fragmentation, and the region will become more vulnerable to climate change. In the case of the normative scenario, we expect a 50.2 % decrease in pasture and an 18.3 % increase of the broad-leaved forest area, making the region less vulnerable to climate change. The national and local governments have a decisive role in assuring the implementation of their land use policies (normative scenario) to protect the region against climate change impact.

Arie Sanders, Denisse McLean, Alexandra Manueles

Tools in Support of Sustainability for IWRM


Chapter 28. Understanding the Spatiotemporal Variability of Hydrological Processes for Integrating Watershed Management and Environmental Public Health in the Great River Basin, Jamaica

The demand for adequate and safe supplies of water is becoming crucial especially in the overpopulated urban centers of the Caribbean islands. Moreover, population growth coupled with environmental degradation and possible adverse impacts of land use and climate change are major factors limiting freshwater resource availability. The main objective of this study is to develop a hydrological model and analyze the spatiotemporal variability of hydrological processes in the Great River basin, Jamaica. Physically based hydrological model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), was calibrated and validated in the basin. Spatial distribution of annual hydrological processes, water balance components for wet and dry years, and annual hydrological water balance of the Great River basin are discussed. The basin water balance analysis indicated that surface runoff contributes more than 28 %, whereas the groundwater contributes more than 18 % of the stream flow. The water balance components differ spatially between each subbasin. The actual evapotranspiration varies between subbasins which range from 887 to 1,034 mm. The variation in evapotranspiration between subbasins is mainly due to variations in land cover. The model can be used to predict watershed responses to climate and land use changes. Hydrological water balance analysis can be used to predict the existing water resource component that can help manage water availability and predict where and when there will be water shortages. The output of water balance study can be used in irrigation potential assessment, runoff assessment, flood control, and pollution control.

Shimelis Gebriye Setegn, Assefa M. Melesse, Orville Grey, Dale Webber

Chapter 29. Rainfall-Runoff Modelling for Sustainable Water Resources Management: SWAT Model Review in Australia

Water is considered as a vital resource for survival, development and ecological needs. In a world of increasing water demand, planning for a sustainable system satisfying the demands of present and future without degradation of the ecosystem is a major challenge. Being the driest inhabited continent, Australia is not without this challenge and uncertainty in future water availability in the scenario of climate change is creating more pressure. Hydrological models are a useful tool due to the capability of simulating the past and future scenarios of a water management system to assess the balance between human and environmental demands. The physically based semi-distributed hydrological model Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is such a tool that is capable of simulating a wide range of hydrological processes with different management scenarios. Although the number of SWAT applications in Australia is limited compared to other regions of the world, there are some important and diverse applications, from simple water balance assessments to complex environmental policy and water market evaluation. The review of SWAT applications in Australia revealed that despite several limitations, the model has a promising scope to explain Australia’s hydrology in the context of the sustainability of water resources management.

Partha Pratim Saha, Ketema Zeleke

Chapter 30. Watershed Modeling as a Tool for Sustainable Water Resources Management: SWAT Model Application in the Awash River Basin, Ethiopia

Improving the reliability of streamflow prediction under limited data conditions is a vital step to achieve a sustainable water management system. In many areas, when planning for balancing water demands for hydropower, irrigation, and ecosystem services as well as preventing flood risk, major gaps exist on baseline information of water resources. The prediction of streamflow requires adequate understanding of the characteristics of the river basin. Awash River basin has been a subject of large-scale flooding for several years mainly due to heavy rains and inadequate water resource management. The lack of decision support tools and limitation of available data hinder research and development in the area. The main objective of this study was to characterize the hydrological components of the upper part of Awash River basin under limited data condition. The optimal approach for this purpose was considered to be statistical analysis of the time series hydrometeorological data and to adapt existing hydrological models. The physically based Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was successfully calibrated and validated in the watershed. The performance of the model was evaluated based on the streamflow prediction at four subbasin outlets and the main outlet of the river basin. Model validation indicated that daily streamflows were predicted reasonably which was verified by Nash-Sutcliffe values ranging from 0.55 to 0.71. The evaluations from tributary rivers indicate that the drainage area is one of the important factors that affect the direct transferring of parameter values from one watershed to another. The catchment characteristics and its different hydrological components of the water balance are discussed.

Selome M. Tessema, Shimelis Gebriye Setegn, Ulla Mörtberg


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Die Entwicklung des mitteleuropäischen Energiesystems und insbesondere die Weiterentwicklung der Energieinfrastruktur sind konfrontiert mit einer stetig steigenden Diversität an Herausforderungen, aber auch mit einer zunehmenden Komplexität in den Lösungsoptionen. Vor diesem Hintergrund steht die Weiterentwicklung von Hybridnetzen symbolisch für das ganze sich in einer Umbruchsphase befindliche Energiesystem: denn der Notwendigkeit einer Schaffung und Bildung der Hybridnetze aus systemischer und volkswirtschaftlicher Perspektive steht sozusagen eine Komplexitätsfalle gegenüber, mit der die Branche in der Vergangenheit in dieser Intensität nicht konfrontiert war. Jetzt gratis downloaden!