Volume 35, Issue 4

July 2019

Editorial »

Objective case studies of successful urban water management

Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K. Biswas

State-of-the-art review

Public acceptance of recycled water

Kelly S. Fieldinga, Sara Dolnicarb and Tracy Schultzc

aSchool of Communication and Arts, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; bUQ Business School, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; cSchool of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Contact: T Kelly S. Fielding | Email: k.fielding@uq.edu.au


Recycling water is not new. Yet, there are many examples from around the world of recycled water projects that have failed because of public opposition. This article reviews the literature investigating factors associated with public acceptance of recycled water, as well as publicly accessible reports and case studies, which have developed or tested approaches to increase public acceptance. The article concludes by summarizing the state of knowledge in this area, and advancing key research questions relating to public acceptance of recycled water that urgently need to be investigated.

Pages: 551-586


Research Article

The water–energy nexus: energy use for water supply in China

Guohua Hea,b, Yong Zhaoa,b, Jianhua Wanga,b, Haihong Lia,b, Yongnan Zhua,b and Shang Jianga,b

aState Key Laboratory of Stimulation and Regulation of Water Cycles in River Basins, Beijing, China; bChina Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing

Contact: Yong Zhao | Email: zhaoyong@iwhr.com


China’s strategy to meet increasing water demand is to increase the use of inter-basin transfer water and unconventional water. This study evaluates the energy requirements of this strategy by disaggregating and quantifying the regional energy use for water supply in 2020 and 2030; the energy use in 2014 is calculated to represent the present situation. We find that the energy use for water supply in 2014 amounted to 81 billion kWh. This value is expected increase to 90 and 109 billion kWh by 2020 and 2030, respectively. In 2030, the urban domestic sector will overtake the agricultural sector as the most energy-intensive sector, with major contribution from inter-basin transfer water.

Pages: 587-604


Research Article

City storm-flood events in China, 1984–2015

Shaofeng Jiaa,b,c, Yuanyuan Lia,d, Aifeng Lüa, Wenhua Liua, Wenbin Zhua, Jiabao Yana,d, Yuan Lianga,d, Xiaozhi Xiangad, and Zilong Guane

aKey Laboratory of Water Cycle & Related Land Surface Processes/Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; bQinghai Key Laboratory of Basin Water Cycle and Ecology, Qinghai Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower, Xining, China; cSchool of Geographical Sciences, Qinghai Normal University, Xining, China; dSchool of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; eCollege of Environment Sciences and Engineering, Changan University, Xian, China

Contact: Shaofeng Jia | Email: jiasf@igsnrr.ac.cn


This study uses web-based information to explore the spatial and temporal trends of reported city flood events for all mainlandChina cities from 1984 to 2015. Panel data were compiled on flooding (or the lack thereof) within China’s cities for every year in this period, and the relationship between the annual number of cities with reported flood events and possible influencing variables was analyzed. Few cities experienced flood events before 2001, but this situation then increased dramatically after 2010. In 2015, approximately 60% of China’s cities experienced a storm-flood event, which is three times as many as the government estimated in 2011.

Pages: 605-618


Research Article

Social capital as a vital resource in flood disaster recovery in Malaysia

Ngai Weng Chana, Ranjan Royb, Chee Hui Laia and Mou Leong Tana

aGeography Section, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang; bDepartment of Agricultural Extension and Information System, Sher-eBangla Agricultural University, Bangladesh

Contact: Ngai Weng Chan | Email: nwchan1@gmail.com


This article examines the role of social capital in the form of aid from the private sector, NGOs, universities, the public and others to help flood victims cope with floods. Research methods included collecting primary data via surveys and interviews, published secondary data, participatory observations and focus group discussions. The study finds that social capital builds collaborations and partnerships among disaster organizations, mobilizes the public as disaster volunteers, strengthens community resilience and deepens family ties. Social capital also builds self-reliance, enhances coping and quickens recovery from floods. Hence, formulation and implementation of flood policies and strategies should include and maximize social capital.

Pages: 619-637


Research Article

How could water markets like Australia’s work in China?

David Lewisa and Hang Zhengb‡

aAustralia-C Research Centre on River Basin Management, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia; bDepartment of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Contact: David Lewis | Email: davidrelewis@gmail.com


What hurdles lie in the path of the Chinese government’s plan to introduce water trading? This question is addressed by reviewing lessons from establishing water markets in Australia, and then assessing an early scheme to create them in China. In Australia, markets in water opened up over several decades, with gradual recognition of what was needed to avoid negative third-party effects. Trading there is now crucial: in drought years nearly half the water used by farmers is traded. Australia’s experience throws light on the key requirements for a water market – though markets in China will, naturally, be fashioned to suit its own conditions. The pilot work by Tsinghua University in Gansu Province has led the way in having trading at the local level in China. Compared with Australia, however, rights are not as tradeable, metering is poor, and plots are tiny. Trading has mostly been by water user associations, made up of several hundred farmers, but this dampens the incentives that make markets effective – and can upset individual farmers. Possible ways past these hurdles are discussed.

Pages: 638-658

https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2018.1457514 (Open Access)

Research Article

Governance of aquaculture water use

Louis Lebela,b, Phimphakan Lebela and Chong Joon Chuahb

aUnit for Social and Environmental Research, School of Public Policy, Chiang Mai University, Thailand; bInstitute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Contact: T Louis Lebel | Email: llebel@loxinfo.co.th


Successful aquaculture depends on access to sufficient water of adequate quality, and should not significantly degrade water quality or damage ecosystems in receiving waters. While water management technologies have received a lot of attention as potential solutions, many of the outstanding challenges are collective-action problems that depend on improving aquaculture governance. In high-income countries, aquaculture is often subject to multiple regulations that constrain the development of the sector, whereas in most low- and middle-income countries, regulations are fewer, less demanding or not implemented. Many of the promising and innovative governance initiatives involve a combination of rules, information and incentives, as well as negotiation among multiple stakeholders.

Pages: 659-681


Research Article

Challenging the risks-based model of involuntary resettlement using evidence from the Bui Dam, Ghana

Brooke Wilmsen, D. Adjartey and A. van Hulten

Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia

Contact: T Brooke Wilmsen | Email: b.wilmsen@latrobe.edu.au


The Impoverishment, Risks and Reconstruction (IRR) model is arguably the most significant conceptualization of involuntary resettlement to date, strengthening the praxis of the major international financial institutions. Even so, resettlement remains synonymous with impoverishment. While commonly attributed to the failure of governments to properly implement resettlement plans, this article finds that the assumptions embedded in the IRR model are contributory. Based on interviews and focus groups at the Bui Dam resettlement in 2016, the model is useful for identifying material losses, but fails to illuminate more complex social fragmentation, extra-local dynamics and relationships of power.

Pages: 682-700


Research Article

Irrigation energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions of maize production in Mexico

Sergio Juárez-Hernández and Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo

Coordinación de Ingeniería de Sistemas, Instituto de Ingeniería, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico

Contact: Sergio Juárez-Hernández | Email: SJuarezH@iingen.unam.mx


Maize is the most important crop grown in Mexico, with more than one-third of total production coming from irrigated fields. We compute irrigation energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions of different irrigated maize systems in Mexico. Calculations were based on National Agriculture and Forestry Census 2007 microdata, irrigation water requirements estimated
from state-level climate data, and energy and emission coefficients from the literature. Weighted average irrigation energy and related emissions are in the range of 1.0–31.6 GJ/ha and 62.0–2,019.9 kg CO2e/ha, respectively, while country-scale estimates amount to 4.8 PJ and 305.2 Gg CO2e.

Pages: 701-723