Volume 38, Issue 3

May 2022

Research Article

Water demand management strategies in fast-growing cities. The case of Arequipa, Perú

Luis Zapana-Churataa, Hug Marchb and David Sauric

aInstitut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain; bEstudis d’Economia i Empresa & Internet Interdisciplinary Institute IN3, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; cDepartment of Geography, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain

Contact: David Sauri | Email: david.sauri@uab.cat


Using a socioenvironmental perspective, this paper analyses strategies of water demand management (WDM) in Arequipa, Peru, and their perception by residents through a survey of six city districts (three in the core and three on the periphery) complemented with interviews with key stakeholders. The results show significant differences in WDM. Strategies to reduce demand through pricing are dominant. Domestic water-saving technologies are uncommon, and awareness campaigns are limited to periods of water stress. Despite differences in water access, improvements in water networks (leak repair, adequate water pressure and continuous supply) are the most demanded actions by residents.

Pages: 363–387


Research Article

Governing groundwater excess: insights from a failed collaborative process in Delft, the Netherlands

Gabriela Cuadrado-Quesadaa and Klaas Schwartza,b

aIHE-Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands; bAmsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Contact: Gabriela Cuadrado-Quesada | Email: g.quesada@un-ihe.org


Groundwater governance tends to be concerned with problems of over-extraction and pollution. Groundwater excess, which is increasingly becoming a problem in many places around the world, has largely been ignored. This article discusses groundwater excess and particularly the governance approach for engaging with groundwater excess. By discussing a case study in the Netherlands, we argue that groundwater excess has a varied impact on different actors. This varied impact and the fact that the legal framework largely ignores groundwater excess presents a significant challenge for governing groundwater resources.

Pages: 388–402


Research Article

Developing a best-practice model for water and wastewater services in informal urban settlements in Tanzania

Walter G. Christophera and Cara D. Bealb

aInternational WaterCentre, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia; bCities Research Institute and School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Contact: Cara D. Beal | Email: c.beal@griffith.edu.au


This research proposes a model for enhancing the pro-poor water supply and provision of sanitation services in informal urban settlements in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The model was developed from semi-structured interviews, a rigorous literature content analysis of best-practice case studies and application of the Policy Transfer Framework. Development and adoption of a long-term strategy to mobilize financial resources and guide the water sector to develop pro-poor plans were key recommendations. While not a panacea, it is hoped that adoption of the model would significantly improve the current water supply and sanitation service delivery to informal urban settlements Dar es Salaam.

Pages: 403–425


Research Article

Understanding the challenges governing Malawi’s water, sanitation and hygiene sector

Emmanuel M. Akpabioa,b, Evance Mwathungac and John S. Rowanb

aDepartment of Geography & Natural Resources Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria; bDepartment of Geography & Environmental Science, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK; cDepartment of Geography and Earth Sciences, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Zomba, Malawi

Contact: Emmanuel M. Akpabio | Email: emakpabio@yahoo.com


This paper explores the extent to which Malawi’s national water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) sector programmes align with the lived realities of Malawian people through interviews, observations and a review of secondary documents. Significant progress is unquestionably being made, but there are dangers in momentary achievements being romanticized, and under-capacity in shaping cultural practices, investing and maintaining longevity and sustainability of available infrastructures. We argue that managing the sector towards statistical summaries serves to confound well-intentioned governance frameworks and compliance regimes ultimately leaving behind a large proportion of the population without access to basic drinking water or improved sanitation.

Pages: 426–446


Research Article

Scenario simulation of water resources development and utilization based on a system dynamics model

Huan Wanga, Jiejun Huanga, Xuejun Chengb, Han Zhoua and Yanbin Yuana

aSchool of Resource and Environmental Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China; bChangjiang River Scientific Research Institute, Changjiang Water Resources Commission, Wuhan, China

Contact: Jiejun Huang | Email: hjj@whut.edu.cn


This paper establishes a quantitative model based on the system dynamics (SD) theory to reflect the ‘socioeconomic–water–environment’ coupling system and proposes three future development scenarios. Hubei province, China, is selected to verify this model. The simulation results from 2020 to 2030 demonstrate that the pressures of water supply and demand and pollution under the sustainable development scenario are less than those under two other scenarios. It means that adjustment of the industrial structure has a relatively weaker effect on alleviating the pressure of water supply and demand. Saving water and controlling pollution should be the emphasis of current efforts.

Pages: 447–463


Research Article

Exploring discursive hydropolitics: a conceptual framework and research agenda

Christian Bréthauta, Fatine Ezbakhea, Melissa McCrackenb, Aaron Wolfc and James Daltond

aUNESCO Chair on Hydropolitics, Geneva Water Hub, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; bThe Fletcher School, Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA; cCollege of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA; dWater Programme, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland

Contact: Christian Bréthaut | Email: christian.brethaut@unige.ch


Much has been written on hydropolitics, or on the interplays between transboundary water resource issues and politics. This article builds on recent calls for more research on the role of discourses in shaping hydropolitics. We propose a conceptual framework, inspired by critical discourse analysis, for the systematic investigation of how discursive practices construct and enact actors’ power positions in transboundary basin governance. Our framework’s added value lies in the typology of discourses we develop – that is, dominant, institutionalized, hegemonic and sanctioned – for a more precise analysis of discursive hydropolitics. We formulate a research agenda to operationalize our perspective on discursive hydropolitics and lay the groundwork for future empirical research.

Pages: 464–479

https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2021.1944845 (Open Access)

Research Article

Irrigation development and equity implications: the case of India

Philip Kuriachena, A. Sureshb, K. S. Adityaa, P. Venkatesha, Biswajit Senc and Sharath S. Yeligara

aICAR – Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Delhi, India; bICAR – Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi, India; cICAR – National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, India

Contact: A. Suresh | Email: sureshcswri@gmail.com


This paper examines the inequity in irrigation distribution in India using a variant of Theil’s entropy measure for the period 1995–2010. The analysis reveals that the level of inequity in irrigation distribution has increased over time. Inequity has declined in canal, tank and well-irrigated systems and increased in the tube well-irrigated system. Decomposition analysis revealed that regional disparities have declined in all sources of irrigation except for tube wells. The role of property rights to groundwater, groundwater markets, energy pricing policy and competitive deepening of wells in worsening the inequity in access to groundwater resources is also discussed.

Pages: 480–496


Research Article

Willingness of farmers to use treated wastewater for irrigation in the West Bank, Palestine

Maher Hamdana, Ahmad Abu-Awwada and Maher Abu-Madib

aFaculty of Agriculture, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan; bInstitute of Environmental and Water Studies, Birzeit University, Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine

Contact: Maher Hamdan | Email: rhmmaherphd2@gmail.com


Limited water resources are among the main obstacles to development in Palestine. This research investigates farmers’ perceptions and willingness to use treated wastewater (TWW) for irrigation. Despite the availability of large quantities of TWW, just 11% of the interviewed farmers use it in irrigation. Just 24% of them confirmed that they had participated in awareness workshops related to TWW, but 75% stated they would be willing to use TWW for irrigation. We find that the main obstacles to the use of TWW in irrigation are availability of freshwater, non-availability of TWW and psychological aversion.

Pages: 497–517


Research Article

Understanding the decision-making structures, roles and actions of village-level water committees in Fiji

Sarah Nelsona, Seye Abimbolaa, Sangeeta Mangubhaib, Aaron Jenkinsa,c, Stacy Jupiterb, Kelera Naivalud, Vilisi Naivalulevud and Joel Negina

aSchool of Public Health, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia; bMelanesia Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, Suva, Fiji; cSchool of Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia; dSchool of Public Health and Primary Health Care, Fiji National University, Tamavua, Suva, Fiji

Contact: Sarah Nelson | Email: s.a.nelson@live.com


As part of a community-based project on water-related disease in Fiji, we conducted a qualitative study to assess the decision-making structures, roles and actions of village-level water committees. Village water committees played a role in the management, operation and maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure. Reactive and proactive management approaches were both present. The water committees had clear processes in place for decision-making and membership and were influenced by social and cultural norms. Men dominated water committee membership, roles and decision-making. Knowledge about governance structures and processes can be used to strengthen systems for water committees to effectively manage water access and security.

Pages: 518–535



Getting the irrigation statistics right

M. Dinesh Kumara, Meera Sahasranamanb, Mahendra Singh Vermac, Saurabh Kumara and A. Narayanamoorthyd

aInstitute for Resource Analysis and Policy, Hyderabad, India; bWater & Environment, Singapore; cProjects and Partnership, Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy, Hyderabad, India; dDepartment of Economics and Rural Development, Alagappa University, Karaikudi, India

Contact: M. Dinesh Kumar | Email: dinesh@irapindia.org


This study examines the importance of generating proper water accounts for large gravity-based irrigation schemes in order to assess scheme performance. It shows how the use of simplistic criteria used to assess the performance of gravity-based irrigation schemes can lead to an underestimation of the role they play in enhancing food security and agricultural production in countries such as India, which has established a huge network of irrigation canals. The paper offers specific suggestions on improving irrigation statistics that, in turn, can help in better evaluation of the returns on investments of public surface irrigation schemes.

Pages: 536–543