Chris Dickens

Chris Dickens
International Water Management Institute | IWMI · Ecosystems Theme

BSc, BSc (honours), HDE, Dip.Project.Man, PhD
Principal Researcher Aquatic Ecology at the International Water Management Institute

About

87
Publications
47,797
Reads
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Introduction
Presently working on two main themes: 1. indicators of sustainability in relation to water resources and especially ecosystems. Thus the SDG indicators especially 6.6.1, 6.3.2, 6.4.2. but also other indicators that would respond to different stresses on the system. This includes indicators of sustainable intensification of agriculture. 2. environmental flows and management of water-related ecosystems. This includes aquatic ecosystem health monitoring and management. Again in relation to sustainability.
Additional affiliations
February 2015 - present
International Water Management Institute
Position
  • Head of Department
December 2004 - January 2015
Institute of Natural Resources
Position
  • Principal Investigator

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Full-text available
Popular article written to review a paper previously published on the SDG indicators that serve to document natural resources. This highlights that the weakness of the SDG indicators is greatest in relation to biodiversity and the health of ecosystems, two vitally important aspects of sustainable development.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The crucial roles of biodiversity in agriculture - a necessary understanding if agirculture is to become more sustainable.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The linkages between agriculture and biodiversity - an imperative for understanding sustainable food production
Article
Full-text available
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) describe a course of action to address poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all (https://sdgs.un.org/goals). More specifically, SDG 6 clarifies how water quality, quantity and access are crucial to human well-being, and yet human activities are compromising water resources thr...
Article
The role of hydropower in the renewable energy mix for Africa's green development is widely recognised and underpinned by respective government and development partner funded initiatives. However, the growing demand for energy must be balanced with considerations for resource protection and benefit sharing of water resource developments with vulner...
Article
Full-text available
Stakeholders of the small-scale (<50 MW generation capacity) hydropower sector in Uganda recognise the importance of sustainable development of the resources that have social and ecological importance. Uganda is experiencing a boom in hydropower projects resulting in over generation of electricity and its exportation to neighbouring nations. Limite...
Chapter
Full-text available
Valuation of hydraulic infrastructure
Article
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Floodplains are particularly important in the semi-arid region of the Sub-Sahelian Africa. In this region, water governance is still being developed, often without adequate information and technical capacity for good, sustainable water resource management. However, water resources are being allocated for use with minimal sustainability consideratio...
Chapter
An estimated two billion hectares – 23% of landscapes under human use – are degraded, negatively impacting ecological integrity, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and agricultural productivity (Laestadius et al. 2011). Deforestation, loss of vegetation, depletion of soil nutrients, soil erosion, and contamination (including salinization) compromise...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) purport to report holistically on progress towards sustainability and do so using more than 231 discrete indicators with a primary objective to achieve a balance between the environment, social and economic aspects of development. The research question underpinning the analyses presented in this paper is: ar...
Article
Full-text available
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) purport to report holistically on progress towards sustainability and do so using more than 231 discrete indicators, with a primary objective to achieve a balance between the environment, social and economic aspects of development. The research question underpinning the analyses presented in this paper is: a...
Article
Full-text available
The missing link between cross-sectoral resource management and full-scale adoption of the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus has been the lack of analytical tools that provide evidence for policy and decision-making. This study defined WEF nexus sustainability indicators, from where an analytical model was developed to manage WEF resources in an integr...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring the qualitative status of freshwaters is an important goal of the international community, as stated in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) indicator 6.3.2 on good ambient water quality. Monitoring data are, however, lacking in many countries, allegedly because of capacity challenges of less-developed countries. So far, however, the...
Article
Full-text available
River flows connect people, places, and other forms of life, inspiring and sustaining diverse cultural beliefs, values, and ways of life. The concept of environmental flows provides a framework for improving understanding of relationships between river flows and people, and for supporting those that are mutually beneficial. Nevertheless, most appro...
Book
Full-text available
A book to inspire and help developing countries to tackle implementation of the SDGs. Low tech and simply laid out.
Article
Full-text available
IWMI/WLE has a long history of involvement in e-flows (environmental flows) including e-flow assessments, but more importantly in development of an online e-flows calculator that is now being use by the FAO as part of the indicator tool for SDG Indicator 6.4.2. This article is a short WLE publication that summarises IWMI's involvement.
Method
Full-text available
The FAO are custodians of the SDG 6.4.2 indicator on Water Stress. A new component of this indicator subsequent to the MDGs, is the inclusion of environmental flows. Because these need to be reported at a global level, this guideline document provides direction on using the IWMI GEFIS model to estimate e-flows per country, or per basin. The approac...
Article
Full-text available
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are high on the agenda for most countries of the world. In its publication of the SDGs, the UN has provided the goals and target descriptions that, if implemented at a country level, would lead towards a sustainable future. The IAEG (InterAgency Expert Group of t...
Preprint
Full-text available
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs, are high on the agenda for most countries of the world. In its publication of the SDGs, the UN has provided the goals and target descriptions that, if implemented at a country level, would lead towards a sustainable future. The IAEG (InterAgency Expert Group of the SDGs) was tasked with dissemi...
Chapter
Full-text available
Scenario planning is a key approach for exploring the longer term consequences of nature-society interactions, and are used to inform policy making about the potential risks, opportunities and tradeoffs of different possible future pathways of change. Scenarios do not aim to forecast or predict the future, but rather to highlight how different pote...
Article
Full-text available
Biomonitoring of rivers is assessed for the greater Mekong system. Many of the rivers are dominated by sediment which makes monitoring of invertebrates difficult and less reliable.
Chapter
You can download the full report from here https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000261424
Article
Full-text available
Environmental flow (E-flow) frameworks advocate holistic, regional-scale, probabilistic E-flow assessments that consider flow and non-flow drivers of change in a socio-ecological context as best practice. Regional-scale ecological risk assessments of multiple stressors to social and ecological endpoints, which address ecosystem dynamism, have been...
Book
Full-text available
The Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals has produced a step-by-step method for Indicator 6.6.1 on water-related ecosystems. This guideline gives support to that method by providing greater context and detali.
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands can only be well managed if their spatial location and extent are accurately documented, which presents a problem as wetland type and morphology are highly variable. Current efforts to delineate wetland extent are varied, resulting in a host of inconsistent and incomparable inventories. This study, done in the Witbank Dam Catchment in Mpum...
Chapter
This chapter introduces the concept of stakeholder engagement within water resource management with a focus on environmental water programs. It explains why stakeholder engagement is critical, and the theoretical basis for effective stakeholder engagement. Moving from theory into practice it advocates for principle-based engagement through 10 key p...
Article
Full-text available
Recent developments in Environmental Flow (E-flow) frameworks advocate holistic, regional scale, probabilistic E-flow assessments that consider flow and non-flow drivers of change in socio-ecological context as best practice. Regional Scale ecological risk assessments of multiple sources, stressors and diverse ecosystems that address multiple socia...
Book
Full-text available
Environmental flows (EF) are an important component of Goal 6 (the ‘water goal’) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, many countries still do not have well-defined criteria on how to define EF. In this study, we bring together the International Water Management Institute’s (IWMI’s) expertise and previous research in this area to develo...
Article
Full-text available
Scenarios have become a key tool for supporting sustainability research on regional and global change. In this study we evaluate four regional scenario assessments: first, to explore a number of research challenges related to sustainability science and, second, to contribute to sustainability research in the specific case studies. The four case stu...
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands can only be well managed if their spatial location and extent are accurately documented, which presents a problem as wetland type and morphology are highly variable. Current efforts to delineate wetland extent are varied resulting in a host of inconsistent and incomparable inventories. This study, done in the Witbank Dam Catchment in Mpuma...
Technical Report
This report documents water related vulnerabilities in the Upper Kinyeti Catchment in the Imatong Mountains of South Sudan. It describes the present state in terms of topography, climate, land use and land cover. It investigates current water supply and demand and looks at drivers of change in water security in the catchment.
Article
The Pongola River Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (PRESPA) project quantified the economic benefits accuring to different livelihood sectors from the water resources of the Pongola floodplain, South Africa. The floodplain carries a diverse economy and ecology which is supported by flood events that once occured naturally but are now regu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A review of environmental flow assessments mostly in Tanzania.
Article
This article provides an evidence-based and policy-relevant contribution to understanding the phenomenon of policy learning and its structural constraints in the field of river basin management, in particular related to coping with current and future climatic hazards such as floods and droughts. This has been done by a formal comparative analysis o...
Article
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The chief pursuit of all aquatic science is to come to know the rules that govern aquatic systems. In this pursuit many scientists move in the direction of greater diversity, where the laws that govern ecosystem relationships become increasingly confined to specific circumstances. Uncovering these types of laws can provide useful information for sp...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In response to the growing awareness of the role played by phosphate contained in powdered laundry detergents in the eutrophication of water resources, and the apparent failure of the legislated 1 mg/ℓ effluent phosphate concentration standard to control this problem, the WRC identified the need to investigate the positive and negative consequences...
Article
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A cross-comparison of climate change adaptation strategies across regions was performed, considering six large river basins as case study areas. Three of the basins, namely the Elbe, Guadiana, and Rhine, are located in Europe, the Nile Equatorial Lakes region and the Orange basin are in Africa, and the Amudarya basin is in Central Asia. The evaluat...
Article
Can a payment for flows of ecosystem goods and services system, following appropriate management and restoration of natural capital produced in rural areas of a developing country, be developed in a way that benefits communities, the commercial sector and the environment? This fundamental question acts as rationale for conducting an in-depth assess...
Article
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The central position of water in social and economic development drives the imperative for water storage, particularly in water-stressed parts of the world. A consequence is that rivers are perceived primarily as locations for water storage as we seek to manage risks to social welfare and development. Assurance of supply becomes the dominant paradi...
Article
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Historic models of conservation are being superseded by the integration of ecological, economic and social dimensions into a simultaneously sustainable and supportive whole. This transition is evident as South Africa evolves from an apartheid history to novel governance including the equitable, sustainable and efficient use of water within an arid...
Article
The management of wastewater effluents in South Africa has to date been based on physico-chemical standards although recently the assimilative capacity of the receiving stream has been included but not widely implemented. Very few assessments of the success of these management practices in protecting the downstream aquatic environment have been don...
Article
Full-text available
Background to the projectThis study has been carried out under the EU funded NeWater project, which aims to promote adaptive water management under uncertainty. During the early stakeholder consultation phase of the project, it was revealed that much concern existed about the condition of wetlands in the higher altitude areas of the Orange/Senqu ba...
Article
The set of materials entitled “Local Government and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)” aims to assist Local Governments with active participation in IWRM. The information provided addresses both the theory and practice of developing and implementing a process through which the IWRM principles of social equity, economic efficiency and env...
Article
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In 1998 the South African National Water Act formally introduced the re- quirement for the management of the so called "Ecological Reserve", which is defined as "..the quantity and quality of water required….to pro- tect aquatic ecosystems in order to secure ecologic ally sustainable devel- opment and use of the relevant water resource. This more o...
Article
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Reliable indicators of water quality and river health are often difficult and expensive to derive. This paper reports on a process to develop a low technology, scientifically reliable and robust technique to monitor water quality in rivers and streams. With these requirements in mind the authors set about developing a simplified method of biomonito...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment of biota in rivers is a widely recognised means of determining the condition or ‘health’ of rivers. Benthic macroinvertebrates, in particular, are recognised as valuable organisms for bioassessments, due largely to their visibility to the naked eye, ease of identification, rapid life cycle often based on the seasons and their largely...
Article
The management of wastewater effluents in South Africa has to date been based on physico-chemical standards although recently the assimilative capacity of the receiving stream has been included but not widely implemented. Very few assessments of the success of these management practices in protecting the downstream aquatic environment have been don...
Article
Full-text available
An investigation has been carried out to establish the occurrence and implications of the rupture of algae cells, in particular the genus Microcystis, in the aqueduct between an impoundment and the receiving waterworks. This work was initiated in response to the observation that algal blooms in a mesotrophic impoundment, Nagle Dam, severely affecte...
Chapter
After many years of intensive research, which have not solved the mysteries of flowering, there is a need for change and the use of new techniques in order to understand what is probably the most important of all physiological processes. As a novel approach, in vitro techniques are now showing some promise in investigating some of the problems conc...