Volume 35, Issue 1

January 2019

Editorial »
Cecilia Tortajada

State-of-the-Art Review

Transboundary water governance in the Euphrates–Tigris river basin

Aysegül Kibaroglu
Department of Political Science and International Relations, Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social
Sciences, MEF University, Istanbul, Turkey

Contact: Aysegül Kibaroglu | Email: aysegul.kibaroglu@mef.edu.tr


This article reviews the state of the art of transboundary water governance in the Euphrates–Tigris river basin, which is characterized by both political confrontation and cooperative institutional development. First, research on the physical characteristics of the basin is presented, with references to the literature on large-scale water development projects that underpin transboundary water interactions. Then, contending approaches to transboundary water governance are discussed, with specific references to the evolution of institutions. Finally, bearing in mind that transboundary water governance in the basin occurs in volatile political circumstances, current issues such as control of the water infrastructure by nonstate violent actors and protection of water during armed conflict are scrutinized.

Pages: 4–29


Research Article

Contrasting water securities: the Mexican state facing downstream stakeholders in the Suchiate transboundary river basin

Edith Kauffer
Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS)-Sureste, Chiapas, Mexico

Contact: Edith Kauffer | Email: kauffer69@hotmail.com


Based on extensive interviews, fieldwork and archival research conducted in southern Mexico, this article explores and analyzes contrasting water-security perspectives of diverse stakeholders in flood-prone portions of the transboundary Suchiate River basin. Complexities of transboundary water issues along an international river that is also a border produce power relationships between the Mexican state and inhabitants, plus historical tensions with riparian neighbour Guatemala, and diverse meanings among local stakeholders. The Mexican state conceptualizes water security as a conventional national-security issue, whereas the basin’s rural inhabitants consider it a matter of human security, albeit in diverse ways that provoke internal conflicts.

Pages: 30–48


Research Article

Water policy interventions for food security in Afghanistan

Sarah Acquaha and Frank A. Wardb
aWater Science and Management Program, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, USA; bDepartment of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, Water Science and Management Program, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, USA

Contact: Frank A. Ward | Email: fward@nmsu.edu


Afghanistan is a headwater state that contributes supplies to several countries in Central and South Asia. However, despite being a water source, it faces the challenge of establishing its own storage infrastructure and water-sharing methods to protect its food security. This article investigates impacts on the Afghan agricultural sector resulting from enhanced reservoir storage capacity and better-performing water-sharing methods. An integrated systems analysis is formulated to analyze the economic performance of both interventions. Results reveal that both interventions show the highest capacity to improve food security in conditions where water supply shows the greatest natural fluctuations.

Pages: 49–70


Research Article

Bridging organizations and strategic bridging functions in environmental governance and management

Judy Stewarta and Mary Ellen Tylerb
aCanadian Institute of Resources Law, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; bFaculty of Environmental
Design, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Contact: Judy Stewart | Email: stewart.jmm@gmail.com


Strategic bridging functions performed by three voluntary, multistakeholder bridging organizations engaged in environmental governance and management in the Calgary Region of Alberta, Canada, are examined. Structured interviews revealed how the bridging organizations influenced an increase in municipal participation in regional-scale environmental governance and management activities. Bridging organizations connect stakeholders who would otherwise not be connected. They identify shared values and issues of concern, build trusting relationships, co-create knowledge, resolve conflict, and contribute to social learning processes. Social network structure is made visible through social network graphs. The legitimacy of natural resource management plans co-created through strategic bridging processes is also addressed.

Pages: 71–94


Research Article

Setting the stage for IWRM: the case of the upper Kiskatinaw River, British Columbia

Reg C. Whiten
InterraPlan, Moberly Lake, Canada

Contact: Reg C. Whiten | Email: interraplan@gmail.com


Integrated Water Resources Management has gained prominence in British Columbia due to growing concerns about drinking water quality and supply and risks from cumulative land-use and climate change. Experiences are examined in the upper Kiskatinaw River of the Peace River basin and the source watershed for the city of Dawson Creek. Though there is no formal decision-making capacity, efforts led by the city have focused on balancing intensive resource industry development activity with its stewardship objectives despite not having a formal role in watershed governance. Through investments in planning, characterization and monitoring, the city is well positioned now to further achieve facilitating interest-based solutions.

Pages: 95–109


Research Article

The Tigris hydropower system operations: the need for an integrated approach

Emrah Yalcina and Sahnaz Tigrekb
aDepartment of Civil Engineering, Ahi Evran University, Kirsehir, Turkey; bDepartment of Civil Engineering, Batman University, Batman, Turkey

Contact: Emrah Yalcin | Email: emrah.yalcin@ahievran.edu.tr


The Tigris hydropower system is analyzed through an integrated operational policy. The operation algorithm is formulated in terms of non-linear programming to maximize energy production while satisfying water demands in the basin. The system is optimized for different cases, and the effects of system modifications in terms of the reservoir volume of Ilisu Dam and the demand constraints are examined. In addition, the state of the Garzan subsystem is analyzed to explore plant utilization when optimizing the entire system operations. The results show the necessity of such an integrated operation plan to supply water demands in the basin.

Pages: 110–125


Research Article

Estimating willingness to pay for desalinated seawater: the case of Djerba Island, Tunisia

Hella Ben Brahim-Nejia, Salvador Del Saz-Salazarb Adel Besrourc and Francisco González-Gómezd
aDepartment of Industrial Management, University of Carthage, Carthage, Tunisia; bDeparment of Applied
Economics II, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; cISET Kairouan, Tunis, Tunisia; dDepatment of Applied
Economics and Water Research Insititute, University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Contact: Francisco González-Gómez | Email: fcojose@ugr.es


Water scarcity can be a growth-limiting factor. Non-conventional water resources, such as desalinated water, represent an alternative means of guaranteeing access to water while reducing water stress. In this study, a contingent valuation survey carried out in Djerba Island, Tunisia, allows the joint modelling of two decisions: societal support for the construction of a desalination plant and households’ willingness to pay for desalinated water. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no study to date has addressed this relationship. We find that although a clear majority of households are in favour of using desalinated water, far fewer are willing to pay for it. The article concludes that it is worth studying willingness to pay for desalinated water in developing countries in order to avoid investing in projects where it is doubtful that costs will be recouped.

Pages: 126–144


Research Article

Droughts and water trading in the western United States: recent economic evidence

Sanchari Ghosh
Department of Accounting, Finance, Business Law and Economics, College of Business and Technology, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK, USA

Contact: Sanchari Ghosh | Email: ghoshs@nsuok.edu


Recent droughts in the western United States have encouraged the growth of spot markets for water trading in states like California, which witnessed $95 million worth of water exchanged through these transfers during 2009. This article uses water transaction data from Water Strategist Monthly to investigate the effect of droughts on the volume of water transferred in four western states. A statistically significant effect of drought intensity on the volume and price of water is seen. Multiyear leases and sales have a larger effect than annual leases on the amount of water transferred annually.

Pages: 145–159


Research Article

Water demand related to availability and price in an irrigation district in the Segura Basin

Javier Alarcón Luquea and Luis Juana Sirgadob
aDepartamento de Economía, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain; bDepartamento de Ingeniería Agroforestal, ETS de Ingeniería Agronómica, Alimentaria y de Biosistemas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Contact: Javier Alarcón Luque | Email: jalarconluque@gmail.com


A methodology is presented to determine the demand of water to alternative sources, given the benefit functions of irrigation water in each unit of demand, and assuming that farmers will buy water if the price is less than the marginal benefit. In the study area, the benefits of farmers are estimated based on the availability of conventional water resources, the water allocation made and the sale price of desalinated water. If the price of desalinated water is €0.43/m3 and water is allocated optimally in the irrigation units, the demand for water would increase to cover up to 69% of the water needs in the entire irrigated areas. The highest associated benefits would be attained with the lowest water prices and the lowest initial availability of water.

Pages: 160–174