Water International

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Print ISSN: 0250-8060
Publications
Water has been identified as a crucial resource for all life, production, and development, while a lack of access to water has been linked to poverty. Governments and donors have declared a desire to use water in more efficient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable ways. These different links and objectives touch upon many disciplines and people working in and/or dependent on water: economists, sociologists, engineers, politicians, decision-makers, and other stakeholders. There exist tools to describe how water is used in a physical sense and where it is available. There are also methods to examine the multidimensional aspects of poverty. However, until now there has been no tool to effectively examine the availability of water and its use toward matching social and economic goals to physical goals. This paper offers a framework for such an analysis. The Water-Poverty Accounting Framework presented here allows an analyst to effectively see how water is being used to meet different social goals such as hygiene, sanitation, irrigated production for poor farmers, and environmental demands. More importantly, this framework demonstrates the implications for (re) allocations of water when meeting social goals is deemed desirable.
 
Red River of the North Basin Map. Source: Red River Basin Decision Information Network (www.rrbdin.org).
Nested decision structure.  
Possible Stakeholder Groups to Survey.  
Percentage of Respondents from each State.  
Results of Nested Logit Model Red River Meeting Attendant (N=451)
Effective and efficient water management implies understanding the wants and desires of the human populations through its key stakeholder groups. As a valuable resource that involves many regulating and managing players, the Red River of the North basin is an excellent case for studying stakeholder preferences and presenting them to involved managers. The primary goal of this research was to analyze stakeholder preferences for hypothetical Red River basin fresh water management alternatives. Specific objectives included comparing preferences across key stakeholder groups and estimating residents’ willingness to pay for additional water management programs. Initial experts’ and focus group meetings were used to select appropriate attributes and levels to be used within a stated choice experiments analysis. The final list of attributes included: additional recreation opportunities, water supply augmentation projects, water quality initiatives, and the type of institution that would be trusted. An additional levy upon annual property taxes, ranging from $20 to $240, was used as the price of these additional programs. Mail surveys were sent to three main stakeholder groups: informed stakeholders, who had attended the Red River Basin Commission water management conference; decision-makers, including county commissioners and mayors in basin constituencies; and random residents. An overall response rate of 34% was achieved. One interesting result was the general homogeneity of opinions across stakeholder groups. A log likelihood test failed to reject the hypothesis that stakeholders’ preferences were the same across groups. Results from the pooled nested logit model show younger respondents, males, non-farmers and those categorized as pro resource conservation in favor of additional water management projects. Initiatives that were favored by respondents included: phosphorous and nitrogen reduction and enhanced fishery management. Because the population of r
 
The debate on international water problems is split between the analytical perspective of International Relations (IR) and related social sciences, on the one hand, and prescriptive, problem-solving contributions, on the other hand. This article explores how these separate discourses can link up productively by scrutinizing the example of Central Asia, especially the Aral Sea basin. Most water conflicts there - pointed out by IR "Malthusian" analyses could be handled effectively by adopting IWRM principles for water management. However, both IR approaches and prescriptive concepts like IWRM need to be complemented by a profound knowledge of domestic politics within affected states if they are to identify realistic ways for solving water scarcity problems.
 
Water consumption in Barcelona in Spain, and the corresponding water imprint, followed a path resembling an Environmental Kuznets Curve. They grew slowly from the mid-19th century before reaching a peak in 1967–70, and a downward trend followed up to 2010. This paper uses a decomposition analysis to assess the role played by population growth, income increase and water intensity as determinants of these trends. It is stressed that water intensity does not express technical change alone, but includes social inequalities, consumer habits and cultural perceptions as well. It can be explained by taking into account the social conflicts and public policies of each period.
 
Map of the Colorado River basin showing the locations of major dams and reservoirs (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 201319.
        Kowalewski, M., Avila Serrano, G., Flessa, K., & Goodfriend, G. (2000). Dead delta’s former productivity: Two trillion shells at the mouth of the Colorado River. Geology, 28, 1059–1062. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2000)282.0.CO;2View all references). Courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation.
Minute 319 is the most recent amendment to the 1944 treaty governing the Colorado River, shared between Mexico and the United States. The amendment was adopted, in part, as a continuing response to the 2010 Mexicali earthquake, which severely damaged Mexican irrigation infrastructure, as well as ongoing objectives to address dwindling water supplies in the basin. By implementing measures to share both shortages and surpluses, and by facilitating long-term collaborative efforts that engender interdependencies, the amendment commits the parties to cooperate and may serve as a model for other regions sharing limited transboundary freshwater resources.
 
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union there have been major changes in the agricultural sector in Kazakhstan. While during the Soviet Union agricultural production was organized in large scale state and collective farms, after independence Kazakhstan started to privatize the agricultural land and established water user associations (WUAs) on their territories. The paper critically evaluates the existing international blueprints of WUAs. The paper concludes that irrigation management transfer (IMT) should not imply rapid and complete withdrawal of the state, but that the state is, at least in the start up period, necessary to enforce accountability of new formed WUAs.
 
As with other states in Australia, Western Australia is currently undergoing a process of water reform. The purpose of this reform has been to create environmental sustainability and provide economic improvements through the introduction of markets. To ensure that these reforms also have long term social viability, local Water Resource Management Committees (WRMCs) will be formed to provide ongoing advice to government on water resource and allocation issues. Given that over-allocation is not as much of an issue as in other states in Australia, the WRMCs will have an important contribution on water issues relating to fairness and the public interest. Fortunately, there has been a significant amount of research in WA and elsewhere on how these basic concepts can be operationalized in community-based decision making. This paper describes ways this knowledge can be incorporated in ongoing decision making in the context of water reform and issues associated with procedural and distributive justice.
 
In recent years, trans-boundary aquifers have received growing attention in numerous policy-making and negotiating circles. This development suggests an evolution in customary international law for trans-boundary aquifers. This article examines recent international arrangements and pronouncements related to the assessment, use, allocation and protection of trans-boundary groundwater resources and identifies the legal trends emerging from these instruments. The article also considers gaps and shortcomings in the emerging regulatory regime and offers recommendations for the further development of the law.
 
Transboundary river basins shared between Portugal and Spain. Reprinted from www. cadc-albufeira.org. 
In this article, the state of the art of the current debate on scalar politics and water governance is reviewed. The case of the Iberian Peninsula is considered in the light of the critical approach to the river basin as the unquestionable unit for water management. It is argued that when discussing ‘spatial fit’ issues, special attention should be given to changes in governance relationships and power structures. Key questions to be addressed include: When is the river basin an appropriate alternative? What types of decisions are to be taken at the basin scale? And what practices and rights can be endangered?
 
Groundwater use and irrigated land evolution. Data from WWF/Adena (2006) and Cifuentes, (2012).
This article examines different forms and levels of collective action by aquifer users in securing access to over-allocated groundwater resources using a case study of La Loma, Úbeda (Jaén, Spain), one of the largest olive-growing areas in the world. It shows how opportunities for collective water management increase at the basin level as bargaining spaces increase but also how political rent influences the institutional designs that emerge. The article identifies an opportunity to redesign the organizational and institutional configurations by both securing access to water and strengthening collaborative spaces at the basin level.
 
One option to deal with climate variability in agriculture is to build irrigation infrastructure, although this may lead to the overdevelopment of water resources, leading to ‘basin closure’. The Limarí Basin, in central north Chile, has relied on irrigation infrastructure over the last 30 years to increase water supply reliability and extend irrigated acreage, especially for permanent crops. This situation has reduced adaptation opportunities in the basin, which is currently experiencing a severe drought that, according to climate change projections, is expected to persist in the future, with important consequences for the sustainability of agriculture production.
 
In the mid-1990s, Australia embarked on a program of reforms including the introduction of private property rights in water, the allocation of water for the environment, and increased public participation where new initiatives are proposed. Many of the water allocation and management practices adopted in the country have originated from states in the Murray-Darling Basin. This article considers the different approaches taken in NSW, Queensland and Victoria. In each of these states public participation has been an evolving process, giving rise to difficulties of a slightly different nature. The article outlines the policy and theory behind public participation, and sets out the legal provisions for its inclusion in water planning. It explores the main issues in the implementation of the legislation. The Australian experience suggests that policy makers and legislators did not initially draw upon the extensive research that was in existence on effective public participation. However, changes were made to make the processes more inclusive. Capacity building of participants, independent scientific support, and access to data were some of the most critical factors in effective public participation. Because the public had the opportunity to participate and influence decision-making in water allocation, some potential legal conflict was avoided. Of the states examined, Queensland had the best legislative template for public participation, although improvements could be made in many areas.
 
More than half of the current wastewater treatment facilities constructed in Palestine are waste stabilization ponds (WSP) and have several problems in their operation. This article evaluates three selected case studies on the various pond systems including WSP, algae- and duckweed-based ponds (ABP and DBP, respectively) and one mechanically aerated lagoon (AL) system. The effects of various design and operating parameters on the pond system’s performance, with special emphasis on nitrogen removal, are discussed. The effluent quality of WSP and AL complies only with BOD limits, but not with microbiological limits prescribed for agricultural purposes, as determined by national standards. ABP and DBP achieved nitrogen removal only under high surface area demand (5-7 m2capita-1). Suitable plans for modifying existing aerated lagoons or for upgrading natural lagoons are suggested in order to comply with microbiological standards for effluent use in restricted irrigation. Finally, the suggested sustainability criteria for the evaluated pond systems may help the decision makers, as well as their designers and donor countries, to better select and design low-cost treatment options for sustainable wastewater management in developing countries.
 
In this article the suggested permit and licence systems included in the draft Afghan Water Law of 2008 (superseding those laws of 1981 and 1991) are examined by comparing them with main canal data from two pilot studies within the Kunduz Basin. The comparison highlights the difficulty of making these proposed legal frameworks operative. Overall, it appears that the sections within the law on permits and licences are not implementable within or even useful for the traditional irrigation systems, but mainly play into the hands of the national hydrocracy and please international donors
 
Constituent rivers, catchment area and water discharge of the four primary river basins of Afghanistan. 
The absence of a reliable water supply to farmers is the single most important impediment to food security and agricultural expansion in Afghanistan. Agricultural water supply and distribution systems are reviewed, and a pragmatic strategy is outlined to increase water capital and to better utilize available water. The development and dissemination of on-farm practices that improve water management through community-based approaches represent the best opportunity for improving farmer livelihoods, maintaining social stability and developing a sound agriculture-based economy in the immediate future, independent of the success or failure of national water policies.
 
Location of the Bongo District in the Upper East Region of Ghana and the four boreholes selected for the water demand study (grey circles) and the 8-month study (black square).  
Measured fluoride concentrations in sampled boreholes in the Bongo District and dominant geologic formations. Geologic information from Murray (1960).  
Cumulative distribution of fluoride concentrations in all sampled wells inside and outside the Bongo Granite formation.  
Comparison of fluoride concentrations from four studies measuring fluoride and yearly precipitation data. (a) Rainfall data from the Global Precipitation Climatology Center (1995, 1998) and the Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2002, 2008). (b) Fluoride concentrations measured in 1996 (Apambire et al., 1997), 1999 (COWAP, 1999), 2003 (BONDA, 2004), and 2009 (this study) for wells within (filled circles) and outside (open circles) the outlined Bongo Granite geologic region.  
This research investigated the extent of fluoride contamination in the Bongo District of northeast Ghana and the relationships of this fluoride contamination to the underlying geology and precipitation patterns, social and cultural attitudes towards water, and age divisions inherent in water usage patterns and the consequent demands placed on a borehole. The fluoride concentrations measured in the area are higher than reported in earlier literature. High fluoride levels are geographically confined to one geologic formation and appear to be inversely correlated to regional precipitation. Fluoride variation studies, tracking concentrations over 8 months, also reflect this link to local precipitation patterns. This localized analysis of water contamination issues addresses broader gender and policy issues inherent in supplying potable water.
 
Promoted for over three decades, participatory irrigation management (PIM) and its organizational upshot the water user association (WUA) have been framed as a solution to the irrigation sector problems. Based on a case study of small reservoirs in two countries of West Africa, Burkina Faso and Ghana, this article shows that the PIM/WUA model is based on narrow visions of the commons and participation and does not account for the de facto pluralism and institutional bricolage that characterize natural resources management. Attempts at institutional intervention should be based on better understanding social relationships and existing processes of decision making.
 
A set of water management principles are analyzed and form the basis for a template for a model transboundary agreement for international river basins. The tenets of international water law, which support the selection of the principles, are analyzed. The principles include equitable and reasonable utilization and the obligation to not cause significant harm as the interrelated and overarching principles of international watercourse management. The development of a template is undertaken because ratification of the 1997 UN watercourses convention is at hand and a template consistent with this convention may facilitate the protection of shared water resources.
 
Unmetered electricity supply to agriculture has given rise to a unique and invidious water–energy–food nexus in India. Metering of agricultural consumers has been suggested as a way to break the nexus, but most states have not been able to meter farmers due to their opposition . The only exception is the state of West Bengal. Using primary data from a household survey conducted in 2010 when the metering process was still underway, this paper argues that farmers’ support for metering in West Bengal can be explained in terms of the economics of groundwater use and politics surrounding agriculture and groundwater in the state.
 
Water scarcity is a threat to food production systems, with appropriate water management being a major part of the solution. From the adoption of the European Water Framework Directive to the latest proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy Horizon 2020, the strategic lines for establishing a balance between agriculture and water resources in the European Union have been defined, including an emphasis on water pricing. This paper discusses the situation of irrigated agriculture in semi-arid areas such as southern Spain in terms of water scarcity, highlighting the main advantages and disadvantages of water-pricing policies as a solution to more sustainable irrigation management.
 
Inadequate wastewater treatment facilities and a general lack of data on hygienic aspects of treated wastewater have hampered the successful implementation of effluent reuse schemes at the national level; in addition, illegal irrigation practices with partially treated effluent impose serious health hazards and environmental problems. The main objective of this research is to investigate the pathogens removal in Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB)-septic tanks and Albireh wastewater treatment plant AWWTP). The UASBseptic tanks, located at AWWTP, were fed continuously with raw municipal wastewater from the aerated grit chamber of AWWTP. The two pilot scale UASB-septic tanks (R1 and R2) were operated at two different hydraulic retention times (HRT) of 2 and 4 days for R1 and R2, respectively. At AWWTP, as an extended aeration system with aerobic sludge stabilization, the HRT was about one day. Both raw wastewater and treated effluent were tested for microbial pathogens, including indicator bacteria, protozoa and trophozoite using microscopic and specific culture media. The removal efficacies of R1 and R2 were 15.5% and 15% for fecal coliform and 6.9% and 11% for fecal streptococcus, respectively, while the removal efficacy of the oxidation ditch was 38% for fecal coliform and 16% for fecal streptococcus. Though Salmonellae was detected in 30% of analyzed influent samples, it was not detected in any sample of the effluent of both treatment systems. Also, the treated effluent of R1, R2 and oxidation ditch was parasite- (cysts or trophoziote) free. This information can assist municipalities and village councils in the implementation of rational and efficient treatment strategies for sustainable effluent reuse. Finally, the installation of post treatment stages, including filtration and disinfecting units, is recommended in order to comply with prescribed national guidelines for effluent reuse.
 
Comparison of the mean water isotopic value (d 18 O) for the upper Tafna basin and the middle Tafna basin, Tlemcen area, during March 2006 (dark grey) and August 2006 (light grey); n represents the number of different water samples.
Since the 1970s, rainfall has declined along the North African coast, while the demographic pressure has increased. Supplementing the rainfall data and water level of the Béni Bahdel dam, water isotopic signature and tree ring analyses were used to better understand the effects of climate change (lower rainfall, higher summer temperature) and the water circulation in the Tafna River basin in north-west Algeria. Changes are recommended in water storage and afforestation policies and irrigation techniques.
 
Multiple dimensions of water management and governance. 
A three-step interdisciplinary method to assess approaches to water shortage, water quality and flood risks is presented. This method, based on water system analysis, economics, law and public administration, seeks to create common understanding based on newly developed concepts and definitions. First, generating content knowledge about the water system and about values, principles and policy discourses. Second, providing an organizational process with sufficient stakeholder involvement, insight into the trade-off between social objectives, and attribution of responsibilities in addition to regulations and agreements. Finally, implementing the agreed service level through adequate infrastructure, enforcement and conflict resolution.
 
Seasonal flow changes in the Nam Ngum Basin, according to SCI (2004), WREA (2008a) and our study. Dotted horizontal lines: flow changes calculated in our study without removing the effect of inter-annual hydrologic variability between TP1 and TP2. For consistency, the definition of the wet and dry seasons proposed by SCI (2004) was adopted to compute seasonal flow changes in each of the 3 studies. Wet season = June-November; dry season = December-May 
Hydropower and irrigation developments to address rising demand for food and energy are modifying the water balance of the Mekong Basin. Infrastructure investment decisions are also frequently made from a sub-catchment perspective. This paper compares river flows with irrigation development stages in the Nam Ngum sub-basin where the potential for irrigation and hydropower expansion is largely untapped. It shows that full hydropower development in this basin allows irrigation water use to triple, even as it reduces competition with environmental flow requirements. The implications for the wider Mekong are, however, unclear, particularly given uncertainty over parallel transformations elsewhere in the basin.
 
India’s 2.25 million ha of village tanks were for centuries loosely managed as multiple-use common property resources, including for fishing by artisanal fisher-folk, the lowest in the social hierarchy. During the 1970s and after, the aquaculture productivity revolution created a vibrant new political economy by increasing manyfold the value of fishing rights in these tanks. This productivity boom was expected to improve the lot of poor artisanal fisher communities. But has this happened? This study across the Indo-Gangetic Basin suggests increasing elite capture of these community-owned resources. Capital, technology and muscle power have determined who benefits; artisanal fishers have none of these.
 
Evolução recente das ações do Programa Produtor de Águas.
Water policy in Brazil has delivered few positive outcomes in terms of the sustainable use of water resources, in spite of real progress in the consolidation of a democratic water governance system over the past decades. There are many reasons for this, most of them related to unsuccessful attempts to consolidate integrated water resources management practices. Water managers have a critical decision to make in the next years: to strengthen the existing decentralized and participatory water governance system, using innovative approaches to promote integrated water resources management; or to replace it with another, more centralized institutional model focusing on state actors.
 
Components of the RWH system built by the P1MC. Source: Gomes et al. (2012).
This article addresses the tension between subsidies and the sustainability of rural water supply systems based on research carried out in Minas Gerais, Brazil, on the Brazilian rainwater harvesting Programme for One Million Rural Cisterns (P1MC). The fieldwork included a survey of 623 beneficiary households and 47 in-depth interviews, as well as a workshop with P1MC managers. It is concluded that heavy government subsidies for the construction of the cisterns resulted in some alienation of users. It is highlighted that in the cases studied, strong government participation is critical to expanding access to water.
 
Controlled flooding, while heavily contested, is being experimented with in the Dutch delta as a new and ecologically oriented strategy to deal with floods, in contrast to the conventional flood prevention paradigm. The Noordwaard project (2012–15) represents an exemplary case. At the expense of agricultural practices, land is set aside occasionally to accommodate river floods, while restored flood and tidal dynamics aim to benefit nature development. It is argued that although controlled flooding aims to restore historical land and water dynamics in the area, the role of sedimentation processes has remained largely unaddressed in relation to shaping long-term delta futures.
 
One of the most significant failures in the development process has been our inability to match water demand to its supply. For a large portion of the world's population, this has meant a lack of provision of adequate water for domestic use, resulting in a significant loss of time and effort, especially on the part of women. While science can now provide us with detailed assessments of water resource availability, little to date has been done to link this to our knowledge of human resources and their geographical distributions. In order to manage these resources better, it is essential that they be addressed in a more holistic way. This paper provides a preliminary discussion of possible ways in which an interdisciplinary approach can be taken to produce a more holistic assessment of water stress, in such a way as to link physical estimates of water availability with the socio-economic drivers of poverty. To this end, some approaches to creating a Water Poverty Index are discussed, and it is hoped that this paper will generate interest and debate among a wide range of readers.
 
This paper examines the implications of technology – the design of canal irrigation – for irrigation management reform. With reference to two different design systems in Indian irrigation – shejpali and warabandi – it shows that the potential for reform varies with the design of canal irrigation. Three approaches to canal irrigation reform are discussed – pricing, market creation and irrigation management transfer. The paper argues that academics and policy-makers need to be conscious of the implications of design for irrigation reform proposals. This calls for a move away from conventional approaches to irrigation management reform to a more inter-disciplinary perspective in which discussions on technology have been mainstreamed.
 
An approach for assessing regional receptivity to flood risk reduction is presented, taking into account institutional, cultural, and technical capacities. Since floodplain boundaries often cross multiple jurisdictions it is important to view the management of flood hazards within a regional context. In order to be effective, mitigation strategies should include some measure of the social system itself. This is necessary to ensure that the proper measures are being applied to the proper community. Attempts to evaluate regional receptivity based on resident floodplain management practices are therefore provided, with emphasis placed on non-structural approaches to hazards mitigation. The Red River of the North, which straddles the US/Canadian border, was chosen as the study area of choice owed largely to its repeated history of extreme flood events in combination with a relatively advanced means of coping with them. In order to construct the risk reduction evaluation templates presented, crossborder communications patterns Were assessed, expressed user needs for region-wide information sharing were consolidated, and potentially transferable functional areas were isolated. The results suggest a risk-sharing framework that is suited for performing inter-basin comparisons.
 
The island of Hispaniola.
The Water Poverty Index is an integrated tool developed on the basis of extensive consultation with a range of scientists, practitioners and policymakers. It is primarily designed for use at the community level to enable more holistic water-resource assessments on a site-specific basis. It can however be applied at different scales to suit different needs. One of the motivations to design such a tool was an attempt to move away from the conventional, purely deterministic, approaches to water assessment, relying primarily on models and large-scale data. In today's world such an approach is inappropriate, ill representing the complexities of modern water-allocation decisions where economic, political and social issues all have a powerful role to play. This paper highlights some applications of the Water Poverty Index at different spatial scales and discusses the implications of applying indicators at these different scales.
 
Wadi Zomer receiving municipal untreated wastewater from the western area of Nablus city in the West Bank (heavily polluted with stone cutting and leather industries)  
This paper presents the results of a descriptive study on assessment of pollution loads discharged from three areas in Palestine. The difficulties and chances to reduce pollution loads of combined municipal sewage and urban stormwater discharges are discussed. Major obstacles behind a poor sewage infrastructure in Palestine were identified as the followings: insensitive Israeli environmental policy now and during the past period of occupation, lack of financial and technical human resources, and insufficient maintenance of sewage facilities, poor environmental awareness, and commitment. The result is a severe negative environmental impact on the aquatic environment and public health. Through personal contacts, actual data on the sewage infrastructure facilities of three representative large cities in the West Bank (Jenin, Albireh, and Hebron) are presented and discussed. By 2005, about 255,000 inhabitants will be living in the three selected Palestinian large cities (Jenin, Albireh, and Hebron). The total annual organic (BOD) and inorganic (NH4-N) pollution loads from Albireh and Jenin cities are 3,500 t and 850 t per year. This annual pollution is exacerbated through the Israeli settlements, which has been estimated to reach a pollution load of about 400,000 population equivalents (PE). The estimated load emissions in BOD and nitrogen from Albireh sewage works are 3 and 35 percent of the initial pollution loads, respectively. A summary of the urgent research priorities to minimize the pollution loads and measures to abate the negative impacts on the aquatic environment and public health is provided.
 
Market-based instruments such as fees or tradable permits can be used to simultaneously regulate point and nonpoint sources of pollution discharge into a river. However, sources of pollution discharge often have more information about their own costs of pollution abatement than do regulators. This information asymmetry may lead to strategic behavior, which can lead to different outcomes under different policies. This paper estimates a Nash payoff of a two-period strategic game using econometrically estimated abatement costs for point and nonpoint source phosphorus discharges in the Minnesota River Basin. Results show that when dischargers of pollutants are strategic, discharge permits may yield lower deadweight losses than discharge fees.
 
Sustainable Livelihood Framework (DFID, 1999-2005, Section 2.1)
The ‘virtual water’ thesis is beginning to take centre stage in the water security global discourse. From its origins as a conceptual tool for countering the gloomy Malthusian (‘water scarcity leads to water wars’) argument, it is now increasingly seen as a serious prescriptive tool for the redistribution of water from water-rich to water-poor regions of the world. The authors interrogate the thesis from a political economy and sustainable livelihoods perspective, arguing that the indiscriminate use of ‘virtual water’ as a prescriptive tool has important implications for the security, vulnerability and livelihood strategies of actors within nation-states. Adopting such an approach could turn what is a highly illuminating analytical concept—‘virtual water’—into a deleterious policy instrument. The water may very well be characterised as ‘virtual’ but the people and politics are very ‘real’.
 
This article examines the formalization of rainwater harvesting (RWH) and the implications of new policy trends for water governance. Analysis of 96 RWH policies across the United States indicates three trends: (1) the ‘codification’ of water through administrative rather than public law; (2) the institutionalization of RWH through market-based tools; and (3) the rise of policies at different spatial scales, resulting in greater institutional complexity, new bureaucratic actors, and potential points of friction. Drawing on the cases of Colorado and Texas, the article argues that states with diverse legal traditions of water enable more successful regulatory environments for downspout alternatives.
 
Theory and Conflict Framework  
Licensing Procedure and Structure of the Joint Water Committee (showing Civil Administration approval required for Areas " C " )  
Conflict Framework: Dynamics, Forms and Rela- tions  
While there has been practically no evidence offered of a causal link between water and armed conflict, the real benefits of inter-state cooperation over water issues tend to be over-emphasized. Along the west bank of the Jordan River there is ample evidence of both cooperation and conflict occurring simultaneously—an apparent contradiction referred to as the conflict vs. cooperation paradox. This paper attempts to explain the paradox by examination of two features not commonly considered by water conflict analysts: a) an under-consideration of the dynamics and levels of conflict, and, b) a narrow focus on the very broad, complex and nuanced political context within which the competition for water exists.Through examination of the different levels of conflict, this paper shows that the absence of war does not mean the absence of conflict, nor does it mean that competing riparians are cooperating. The political context is explored through two theories from international relations. Regime theory is employed to show that far from one of its intended goals of allowing for proper water resources management, the structure of the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee allows Israel to maintain an ‘Imposed-Order regime’ while maintaining a veil over the conflict. Application of Security theory shows how water issues are readily ‘securitized’ and how the asymmetric power relations between the two sides results in the conflict being contained, and lingering unresolved. By adding insight and clarity into the Palestinian-Israeli water conflict, this paper intends to add nuance to our understanding of transboundary water conflicts in general.
 
This study quantifies and maps the water footprint of Kenya from both production and consumption perspectives and estimates the country’s virtual water export and import. Kenya’s virtual water export related to trade in agricultural products was 4.1 km3/y; its virtual water import was 4.0 km3/y. The average export earning per unit of water consumed or polluted in producing agricultural export products was USD 0.25/m3, while the average expenditure on imported commodities per unit of virtual water imported was USD 0.10/m3. In addition to increasing water productivity in crop production, Kenya can mitigate its water scarcity by increasing imports of water-intensive products such as cereals and exports of high-value products such as cut flowers, vegetables, spices and tea.
 
Instituting effective groundwater governance is highly challenging in a least developed country such as the Lao PDR where groundwater resources need to be developed for a variety of reasons but the levels of understanding, awareness and technical capacity are extremely limited. This paper discusses the current state of knowledge and management of groundwater and suggests some pathways forward. Whilst the level of governance remains very low, there is growing interest in tackling the entrenched technical and non-technical issues and constraints. Various initiatives have recently emerged, resulting in positive institutional change.
 
Recharge dams in Oman detain floods to recharge groundwater. The impact of sedimentation on recharge at Wadi Sahalanowt Recharge Dam, in Salalah, Oman, was evaluated using field data and numerical modelling. Analysis of the thickness of sediments after flood events shows that maximum depositions were at the same locations after each event, coinciding with the lowest positions in the wadi. Numerical modelling suggests that the current practice of periodic removal of sediments will restore the storage capacity of the reservoir, but that ploughing or raking of the underlying native sedimentary rocks could be required to significantly improve infiltration rates.
 
Basic data, irrigated hill communities, 2004.
Total irrigated area planted in various crops, hills systems, 1995 and 2004 (%).
Agricultural versus non-agricultural incomes, 2004 (n = 9).
Institutional priorities, 2004 (n = 18).
Discourse on common pool resources that are governed by common property regimes is commonly characterized by ‘tragedy’ and ‘threats’ to ‘community’ cooperation. This article questions the relevance of these notions in relation to changing rural reality in the hills of Nepal. Farmers individualize water tenure to overcome the shortcomings of common property regime irrigation for diversified crops. While cooperation in irrigation may decrease, new types of cooperation emerge that reflect a wider range of institutions suited to diversified and complex livelihood portfolios.
 
Taiwan's 2000 presidential election ushered in the first peaceful transfer of political power since democratization began in the mid-1980s, shifting control of the government from the Kuomintang to the Democratic Progressive Party. This article compares the two governments' approaches to Taiwan s water management under the impact of democratization and emergent environmental movements to analyze the continuity and change of water policies. This study illustrates that democratization has both positive and negative effects on managing Taiwan's water resources. The DPP government's water solutions are not much different from those of its precursor, though it came to power with the help of environmental movements. It is also as committed in most aspects as its precursor in managing Taiwan's water resources for economic growth. Nevertheless, it is more willing to look for alternatives. Furthermore, under the impact of democratization, both governments have encountered difficulties, and a lack of political will in some cases, in implementing water policies. Instead of decentralization, democratization has resulted in centralization of water management institutions and water policy making in Taiwan. This centralizing approach may increase the government's water policy capacity but run counter to certain expectations in the environmental community and limits the government's responsiveness to local and civic demands. The process of policy making may thus need further reforms to accommodate conflicting social interests and to gain more support from local governments in water policies implementation. That, in turn, may improve the policy effectiveness of managing Taiwan's water resources.
 
Concrete metfia with horizontal flagging (top) and adorned metfia made from local materials (bottom).  
In the modern schemes in central Morocco, traditional methods of water storage in metfias, partially subterranean water tanks, continue to supply domestic water to many villagers. In a cross sectional survey, 101 metfias in 21 villages were visited. A few were private household water sources, most of which were shared with neighbors, while others were communal water sources. In order to fill a metfia from the modern irrigation system, the owner must have a water right and a minimum of five hectares of cultivable land. Villagers with no land can use a communal metfia, take water from a neighbor's metfia, or use water from canals and siphons. Most metfias were situated in the southern part of the irrigation scheme, where ground water was more than 100 m deep. For most villagers, water from metfias is the only alternative to surface water from the canals and structures in the irrigation system, such as the concrete siphons. In a village that lies outside the irrigation area, water shortage is very frequent. People depend totally on water stored in the collective metfia. The collective metfia was constructed by the government, had a high capacity, and was provided with a desilting basin that reduces water silt content before it is stored in a second basin. Water stored in metfias is used for drinking, for a range of domestic activities and for watering livestock. A major problem mentioned by users is the irregular provision of water to metfias from the irrigation network. This study identifies some feasible strategies for improving both the quality and quantity of the water in the metfias, as well as options for building new ones. The importance of intersectoral collaboration and community input into planning and maintenance is emphasized.
 
Top-cited authors
Mickey Glantz
  • University of Colorado Boulder
Peter H. Gleick
  • Pacific Institute, Oakland
Donald A. Wilhite
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Donald A. Wilhite
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Asit K Biswas
  • University of Glasgow