Volume 30, Issue 4

December 2014

Editorial »
Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K. Biswas

Research Article

Benefits valuation of potable water quality improvement in Malaysia: the case of Kajang Municipality

Jamal Othman, Goh Hong Lip, and Yaghoob Jafari
Faculty of Economics and Management, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia

Contact: Jamal Othman | Email: jortman@ukm.my


This article estimates the benefits of potable water quality improvements in Kajang Municipality in the state of Selangor, Malaysia, using the avertive cost method. Households were willing to pay MYR 322 annually to improve potable water quality. This represents about 80% of their average annual water bill. The present value of aggregate benefits over a period of 30 years at various social discount rates ranged from MYR 301 million to MYR 768 million. These estimates can be used as a reference for public investment criteria. The findings suggest that there is merit in an upward revision of water tariffs if they provide improvements in water quality.

Pages: 621-634


Research Article

Equity in bulk water allocation: the case of the Mahaweli Ganga Development Project in Sri Lanka

Pearly Wong and Srikantha Herath
Institute for Sustainability and Peace, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan

Contact: Pearly Wong | Email: pearly@postgrad.unu.edu


This article evaluates the equity performance of bulk water allocation as an irrigation management strategy in the Mahaweli Ganga Development Project, Sri Lanka. Through semi-structured interviews with farmers and irrigation officials, the study collected local perceptions using seven indicators: water rights; decision-making process; contribution of resources for irrigation maintenance; water allocation rules; actual water distribution; information sharing; and conflict resolution. The results highlight gaps in the institution such as the need to enhance the water rights of landless farmers, further encourage crop diversification, increase transparency in decision making, instil a risk-management approach, and strengthen accountability.

Pages: 635-648


Research Article

Community perception of the Klimkówka Reservoir in Poland

Lukasz Wiejaczkaa, Danuta Pirógb, Roman Sojaa and Malgorzata Serwac
aDepartment of Geoenvironmental Research, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences, Cracow, Poland; bInstitute of Geography, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland;  cAGH University of Science and Technology, Cracow, Poland

Contact: Lukasz Wiejaczka | Email: wieja@zg.pan.krakow.pl


This article presents the results of a survey on how people perceive the Klimkówka storage reservoir located on the Ropa River in the Polish Carpathians. The analysis focused on establishing the role of various factors which impact the assessment of the reservoir by the local community. Community perception of the reservoir was analyzed in relation to several aspects linked to the reservoir itself, e.g. the risk of dam failure, feeling of safety, pros and cons, and how accustomed people were to the reservoir. A crucial issue was to identify how the real threat of a flood, experienced by people living below the dam, affected the way people perceived the reservoir. As a result of the analysis, a hierarchy of factors which determine people’s assessment of large hydraulic structures was established. The results can be applied to determine specific measures aimed at limiting negative community perception of water infrastructure.

Pages: 649-661


Research Article

Increasing access to water services: a cost-recoverable pricing model

Natalie Chun
Economics and Research Department, Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines

Contact: Natalie Chun | Email: nchun@adb.org


Pricing policies can serve as a low-cost and effective tool for increasing access to water and sanitation services among poor households while allowing the provider to recover costs. An empirical model is applied to contingent-valuation survey data for water services in Cebu, Philippines. Pricing policies that utilizes a low one-time connection fee and differentiates tariffs based on wealth results in a 3 to 9-fold increase in water services access by poor households over the base pricing policy. The results provide evidence that price-discrimination techniques can be important tools toward achieving greater coverage and financial solvency of important services.

Pages: 662-679


Research Article

Historical development of technologies for water resources management and rainwater harvesting in the Hellenic civilizations

G. Antonioua, N. Kathijotesb, D.S. Spyridakisc and A.N. Angelakisd
aAntoniou Architects, Athens, Greece; bCyprus University of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Limassol, Cyprus; cColumbia University, Department of Education, New York, NY, USA; dInstitute of Iraklio, National Foundation of Agricultural Research, Iraklion, Greece

Contact: N. Kathijotes | Email: Nicholas.kathijotes@cut.ac.cy; nkathijotes@gmail.com


The shortage of water in ancient Greek civilizations necessitated various collection methods and storage cisterns. In fact, rainwater harvesting dates back to Minoan times, ca. 3200–1100 BC. Since then, several types of cisterns have evolved, while a significant development appears to have occurred throughout Hellas during the Hellenistic period. In addition to the Hellenistic period, the succeeding Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman periods are discussed. Within this context, a few examples relating to characteristics of Hellenistic cisterns, conveying illustrations of the development of technology during those historical periods, are included.

Pages: 680-693


Research Article

The evolution of UK flood insurance: incremental change over six decades

Edmund C. Penning-Rowsell, Sally Priest and Clare Johnson
Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University, London, UK

Contact: Edmund C. Penning-Rowsell | Email: Edmund@penningrowsell.com


In this paper, the authors’ theorizing shifts away from the catalytic role of the flood itself – or other crises – towards a deeper understanding of the relationship between change and stability, taking the example of UK flood insurance and the agreements – and the implicit policy approaches – between the actors involved: private insurers and the government. The study relies upon in-depth analysis of policy agreements governing flood insurance since the 1960s, and semi-structured interviews with six current or former flood insurance professionals. The important agents of change have been, firstly, threats to existing household insurers from new entrants unencumbered by agreements to insure all comers. Secondly, technological changes have made exposure more explicit and pricing risk both easier and less expensive. The slow pace of change and the relatively stable role of the different actors and coalitions is now clearer. Many windows of opportunity created by major flooding or financial crises have not significantly affected the pace or direction of policy change. The overriding importance of the London location for – and the profitability of – the insurance industry, both to government and to the insurers, explains the extraordinary policy stability described here. This history suggests that theUKmay not be a good model for imitation elsewhere.

Pages: 694-713


Research Article

Post-1980 water policy in China

Dajun Shen
School of Environment and Natural Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing

Contact: Dajun Shen | Email: dajunshen@yahoo.com


This article reviews water policy in China since 1980. Four periods are considered: the 1980s, 1990–1998, 1998–2009 and after 2009. Based on an introduction of the broader context and the main water issues in each period, the key water policies are discussed and analyzed. Since 1980, China’s water policies have experienced dramatic changes: trying to improve benefits in the face of criticism for low efficiency in the 1980s; allocating large investments acknowledging the important role of water for the economy of the country during 1990–1998; redefining the water–human relationship during 1998–2008; and providing the strictest water resources management as the definitive solution after 2009. The article presents a full range of policy solutions from infrastructure construction to non-structural instruments and from water resources development to water resources management.

Pages: 714-727


Research Article

Domestic water access and pricing in urban areas of Mozambique: between equity and cost recovery for the provision of a vital resource

Stefano Farolfia,b and Jordi Gallego-Ayalac
aCentre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), Research Unit Water Management, Actors and Uses (G Eau), Montpellier, France, and bInternational Centre for Water Economics and Governance in Africa (IWEGA), Maputo, Mozambique; cWater Regulatory Council of Mozambique, Maputo, Mozambique

Contact: Stefano Farolfi | Email: farolfi@cirad.fr


This article first presents the urban domestic water access situation in Mozambique. Then it analyzes the country’s tariff system as a tool to recover water supply costs and to secure equity and affordability for the urban households served. The analysis focused on those households with in-dwelling water access (less than 50% of the urban population in Mozambique). Urban families using 5m3, 10m3 , and 15m3 of indwelling piped water per month pay an average of USD 0.86, 0.74, and 0.76 per m3, respectively. At the national level, cost recovery is an issue because in most urban areas operation and maintenance costs are not fully covered. The average coverage ratio for the country is 0.85. The presented figures indicate that a revision of the water tariffs currently applied in Mozambique could help improve equity, affordability and cost recovery.

Pages: 728-744


Book Review

Water for Food Security and Well-being in Latin America and the Caribbean: Social and Environmental Implications for a Globalized Economy »

Conference Report

Water Leaders Roundtable, Singapore International Water Week, Singapore, 3 June 2014 »