Volume 33, Issue 6

November 2017

Editorial »
The rapidly changing global water management landscape
Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K. Biswas

Research Article

Policy options for promoting urban–rural cooperation in water management: a review

Filippo Civitelli and Guillaume Gruère
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France

Contact: Guillaume Gruère | Email: Guillaume.GRUERE@OECD.org


As most cities share their water basins with rural areas, an efficient and environmentally sensible urban water management system needs to consider the interplay between urban and rural water uses. This article analyses the three main challenges at this interface: increased competition for water resources (scarcity); flood management (abundance); and freshwater quality conservation (pollution). The merit of potential policy options is discussed from an economics perspective, taking examples from successful experiences in cities around the world. The benefits and challenges arising from enhanced coordination and integration between urban and rural water management are highlighted.

Pages: 852-867

https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2016.1230050 (Free Access)

Research Article

Groundwater management and protection in Denmark: a review of pre-conditions, advances and challenges

Lisbeth Flindt Jørgensena, Karen G. Villholthb and Jens Christian Refsgaarda
aGeological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark; bInternational Water Management Institute, Pretoria, South Africa

Contact: Lisbeth Flindt Jørgensen | Email: lfj@geus.dk


Denmark is making continuous efforts to attain sustainable groundwater management. With groundwater constituting virtually the only resource for all water uses, groundwater management was addressed early on and has progressed over the last century. This article gives an overview of the advances, along with past and present challenges in securing sustainable groundwater utilization. The objective is to document comprehensively the Danish case and to highlight some of the unique conditions and principles that have shaped and facilitated groundwater management in the country.

Pages: 868–889


Research Article

Desalination and the commons: tragedy or triumph?

David Zetland
Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University College, The Hague, The Netherlands

Contact: David Zetland | Email: d.j.zetland@luc.leidenuniv.nl


A policy is more likely to be economically efficient when its costs and benefits fall on the same group, but politicians can allocate costs and benefits to different groups within their jurisdictional commons. This article examines the distribution of costs and benefits from desalination projects using examples from San Diego, Almería and Riyadh. The examples illustrate how mismatches between costs and benefits can persist or change as politicians adjust the policy portfolio to balance inefficiency and political risk.

Pages: 890–906

https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2016.1235015 (Open Access)

Research Article

Demand function estimate for residential water in Oman

Hemesiri Kotagamaa, Slim Zekria, Rahma Al Harthib and Houcine Boughanmia
aDepartment of Natural Resource Economics, College of Agricultural and Marine Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman; bEconomic Researcher, Ministry of Manpower, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Contact: Slim Zekri | Email: Slim@squ.edu.om


Current subsidies to residential water users in Oman are estimated at USD 314 million/y. This study estimates the demand function for residential water in Muscat, Oman, for households living in villas. A two-stage least squares econometric model with lagged average water price was used with socio-economic variables. Price elasticity for residential water in Muscat was estimated as –2.10. This high price elasticity is explained by the large proportion of water used for outdoor purposes. This study indicates that it may be possible to manage water demand in Muscat through modifying the price of water and reforming subsidies for residential water.

Pages: 907–916


Research Article

Groundwater quota versus tiered groundwater pricing: two cases of groundwater management in north-west China

Eefje Aarnoudsea, Wei Qub, Bettina Bluemlingc,d,e and Thomas Herzfelda
aLeibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, Halle (Saale), Germany; bCollege of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, China; cCopernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands; dCollege of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK; eLeibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, Halle (Saale), Germany

Contact: Eefje Aarnoudse | Email:  aarnoudse@iamo.de


Difficulties in monitoring groundwater extraction cause groundwater regulations to fail worldwide. In two counties in north-west China local water authorities have installed smart card machines to monitor and regulate farmers’ groundwater use. Data from a household survey and in-depth interviews are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the different regulatory institutions implemented with help of the smart card machines. In the given context, groundwater quota is more effective in curbing farmers’ groundwater use than the tiered groundwater pricing. The study shows that the usefulness of smart card machines depends on their embedding in the societal context and related regulatory institutions.

Pages: 917-934


Research Article

Qualifying irrigation system sustainability and governance by means of stakeholder perceptions: the Neste Canal (France)

Sandra Ricarta and Sylvie Clarimontb
aDepartment of Geography, Faculty of Arts, University of Girona, Spain; bLaboratoire SET, Institut Claude Laugénie, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Pau, France

Contact: Sandra Ricart | Email:  sandra.ricart@udg.edu


From the analysis of stakeholders’ attitudes, this article explores problems, opportunities and constraints for improving sustainability and establishing better water governance processes in the selected case study, the Neste irrigation canal (France). Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed by means of a new codification system for identifying the affinities and confrontations between stakeholder demands. Results revealed that there are conceptual and practical heterogeneities among the preferences of stakeholder groups regarding irrigation management, sustainable attitudes and governance promotion. These results can be used by stakeholders and the relevant authorities as a first step in customizing their interventions.

Pages: 935-954


Research Article

Development and application of a multi-scalar, participantdriven water poverty index in post-tsunami India

Luke Jurana, Morgan C. MacDonaldb, Nandita B. Basuc, Shane Hubbardd, Raj Rajagopale, Prema Rajagopalanf and Ligy Philipg
aDepartment of Geography and Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA; bAustralian Rivers Institute and Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia; cDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Canada; dCooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA; eDepartment of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA; fDepartment of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, Chennai, India; gDepartment of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, Chennai, India

Contact: Luke Juran | Email:  ljuran@vt.edu


This article presents a modified water poverty index that captures several waterscape attributes to better understand complex issues surrounding water. Household surveys (n = 300), water quality tests (n = 375) and qualitative methods were deployed to examine 14 posttsunami settlements in Nagapattinam and Karaikal Districts (India) through the lens of water. Data were used to develop a contextualized, participant-driven water poverty index to measure water poverty at several scales. Statistical tests revealed significant differences between the two districts (p ≤ .0001) and between rural and urban areas within each district (p ≤ .0001). Three weight schemes (one dictated entirely by research participants) produced analogous outcomes though predicated on different indicator arrangements.

Pages: 955-975


Research Article

Reconstruction of a long streamflow record using tree rings in the upper Kurshab River (Pamir-Alai Mountains) and its application to water resources management

Feng Chena, Qing Hea, Ermenbaev Bakytbekb, Shulong Yua and Ruibo Zhanga
aKey Laboratory of Tree-ring Physical and Chemical Research of China, Meteorological Administration/Xinjiang Laboratory of Tree-Ring Ecology, Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi, China; bTien-Shan Mountain Scientific Center, Institute of Water Problems and Hydro Power, National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Contact: Feng Chen | Email:  feng653@163.com


A 294-year streamflow record of the upper Kurshab River was inferred from tree-ring width chronology of Turkestan juniper from the PamirAlai Mountains of Kyrgyzstan. The reconstructed streamflow variations were consistent with other hydrometeorological reconstructions of northern Pakistan and western Tien Shan on a decadal timescale, which demonstrate both increased and decreased streamflow intervals and trends. The new reconstruction and other hydrometeorological series successfully captured the recent wetting trend of Central Asia. Wavelet analysis indicates that decadal and interannual cycles exist in the reconstructed streamflow, which may be linked to solar activity and the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Pages: 976-986


Research Article

Considering precipitation forecasts for real-time decision-making in hydropower operations

Yong Penga, Wei Xub,c and Bingbing Liub
aSchool of Hydraulic Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China; bCollege of River and Ocean Engineering, Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing, China; cState Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China

Contact: Wei Xu | Email:  xuwei19850711@163.com


This paper presents a new decision-making strategy for hydropower operations to handle uncertainty of forecasting precipitation. This strategy takes into account three basic components: uncertainty of precipitation, operation policies and a risk-evaluation model. In realtime operation, precipitations with different probabilities at different forecasting levels are obtained, and these precipitations are applied to forecast inflows using a hydrological forecasting model. Based on the forecasting inflows, the operation policies and risks with different probabilities are obtained. This study implements China’s Huanren reservoir and medium-term precipitation forecasts from the Global Forecast System to study the efficiency and stability of this strategy.

Pages: 987-1002


Research Article

Temperature and precipitation changes in the Midwestern United States: implications for water management

Pratik Pathaka, Ajay Kalraa and Sajjad Ahmadb
aDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA; bDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA

Contact: Ajay Kalra | Email:  kalraa@siu.edu


The Midwestern United States is the heartland of agriculture production, and changes in the hydro-climatology may affect both the quantity and the quality of production. Seasonal temperature and precipitation were analyzed for trends and shifts. The results indicate an increasing trend in spring temperature (6.4 °F) and summer precipitation (1.2 inches). Shifts in the variables were dominant during two periods: 1920–1930 and 1970–1990. The observed changes not only provide scientific reference for assessing the impact on water resources as a result of climate change, but also help water managers and planners in taking proactive decisions to mitigate the water stress in the region.

Pages: 1003-1019


Research Article

Modelling impacts of development on water resources in the Huai Sai Bat sub-basin in north-eastern Thailand with a participatory approach

Orn-uma Polpanicha,b, Steve W. Lyonb,c, Chayanis Krittasudthacheewaa, Angela L. Bushd,e and Eric Kemp-Benedicta
aStockholm Environment Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; bDepartment of Earth Sciences-Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; cDepartment of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; dFaculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; eC&R Consulting, Townsville, Australia

Contact: Orn-uma Polpanich | Email:  ornuma@gmail.com


Little is done to connect hydrological modelling with stakeholder participation. This study incorporates agricultural development and climatic changes within the Water Evaluation and Planning hydrological model. This is done with a participatory approach involving four scenario workshops, 400 household surveys and two focus group discussions in the period of 2010–2012 for the ungauged Huai Sai Bat sub-basin as a case study in the Mekong region. The modelling results indicate future increased streamflow during the wet (monsoon) season in response to shifts in the regional climate. Modelled land-use and management changes brought about large unmet water demands, primarily in the dry season.

Pages: 1020-1040