Volume 39, Issue 4

July 2023

Editorial »

Reimagining water management

Asit K. Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada

Research Article

International capacity building to achieve SDG6: insights from longitudinal analysis of five water operator partnerships

Clare M. Stephensa, Michelle Hob, Susanne Schmeidlc, Hung T. Phamd, Andrew P. Dansiee,f, Gregory L. Lesliee and Lucy A. Marshallg

aHawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Richmond, NSW, Australia; bDepartment of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia; cSchool of Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; dUniversity of Science and Technology, The University of Danang, Danang, Viet Nam; eGlobal Water Institute, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; fSchool of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; gWater Research Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Contact: Clare M. Stephens | Email: c.stephens@westernsydney.edu.au


In pursuit of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, water operator partnerships (WOPs) have grown in popularity. However, the literature supporting their effectiveness is lacking. We conducted mid-term interviews and surveys with five participating utilities in a Viet Nam–Australia WOP, followed by post-programme interviews with two managing associations and 10 utilities. We found that while partnerships initially focused on technical training, the need for broader institutional learning emerged as participants gained experience. Communication and relationship-building were consistently reported as success factors for achieving desired outcomes. Expanding the scope to involve governance and policy organizations, together with funding to collaboratively implement upgrades, could enhance future programmes.

Pages: 557-575

https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2022.2109604 (Open Access)

Research Article

Unfolding the complexity in water reallocation decision-making in the Heihe River Basin, China

Yongping Weia, Shuanglei Wua, Zhixiang Lub, Ray Isonc, Andrew Westernd and Murugesu Sivapalane

aSchool of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD, Australia; bThe Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; cSchool of Engineering and Innovation, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK; dDepartment of Infrastructural Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia; eDepartment of Geography and Geographic Information Science and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

Contact: Shuanglei Wu | Email: shuanglei.wu@uq.edu.au


Water reallocation decision-making is a challenge faced by most river basins around the world. In this study, a system thinking framework was developed to structurally unfold the complex inter-actions of water reallocations with societal, economic and ecologi-cal subsystems in the Heihe River Basin in China. The results indicate that ecological degradations appeared much later than economic development. Slow-changing societal values and limited considerations of technological development and government reg-ulations towards environmental protection contributed to the weak and untimely responses of water reallocations to ecological degra-dation. This framework can assist in strategic water reallocation decision-making in river basins.

Pages: 576-594


Research Article

Investigating factors attracting the participation of the private sector in rural water supply in Vietnam

Truong Duc Toana and Nguyen Tuan Anhb

aDepartment of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management, Thuyloi University, Ha Noi, Vietnam; bDepartment of Policy and Strategy, Institute for Water Resources Economics, Vietnam Academy for Water Resources Research, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Contact: Truong Duc Toan | Email: toantd@tlu.edu.vn


This paper overviews Vietnam’s outcomes in implementing policies in the rural water supply and then applies a Delphi technique to determine the key factors in attracting the private sector in the context. Five factors were identified, including: government commitments; a unit at the central level to support projects; an authority at the local level to promote the activities of projects; guaranteed financial capacity to support projects; and a legal framework for the realization of projects. The findings from this study provide insights that may promote the participation of the private sector in Vietnam. The paper offers some lessons for other developing countries to pursue similar approaches.

Pages: 595-615


Research Article

Factors influencing groundwater behaviour and performance of groundwater-based water supply schemes in rural India

M. Dinesh Kumara, Saurabh Kumara and Nitin Bassib

aInstitute for Resource Analysis and Policy (IRAP), Hyderabad, India; bInstitute for Resource Analysis and Policy (IRAP), Liaison Office, Delhi, India

Contact: M. Dinesh Kumar | Email: dineshcgiar@gmail.com


This study investigates the factors influencing groundwater behaviour during the monsoon using data on rainfall, pre-monsoon depth of the water levels, groundwater level fluctuations, aquifer specific yield, and soil infiltration characteristics. It shows the effect of pre-monsoon depth of the water levels along with rainfall, soil infiltration and specific yield in controlling recharge during the monsoon. It also explores the factors influencing the performance of drinking water schemes. It shows that the intensity of irrigation demand, extent of gravitybased surface irrigation, aquifer storage space, and the aquifer recharge potential are important determinants for the sustainability of the groundwater-based drinking water schemes.

Pages: 616–636


Research Article

Funding dam safety regulation: an international comparative analysis and example application in Australia

John D. Pisanielloa, Joanne L. Tingey-Holyoaka, Marcus J. Wishartb, Kimberley N. Lyonb and Esteban Boj Garcíab*

aSustainable Engineering, Accounting and Law Group, UniSA Business, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia; bWorld Bank Group, Washington, DC, USA

*Esteban Boj García is now at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Central Asia Department, Eschborn, Germany

Contact: John D. Pisaniello | Email: john.pisaniello@unisa.edu.au


Dam failures that cause significant adverse downstream impacts continue to occur globally. Hence, effective, adequately resourced dam safety regulation is critical for the safety of dams and downstream communities. This paper explores options for regulatory funding and resourcing according to a selected set of relevant key factors along a continuum of dam safety assurance. An international comparative analysis of 15 jurisdictional case studies against the key factors identifies trends representing indicative precedents. A procedure is developed to help identify increasingly relevant precedents for guiding target jurisdictions on potentially suitable options. Illustrative application to a real case in Australia is provided.

Pages: 637-662


Research Article

Resettlement delays in the Dasu Hydropower Project: assessing impacts on the affected people and communities

Shafiq Ahmada,b, Guoqing Shia,c and Mohammad Zamanb

aNational Research Center for Resettlement, Hohai University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; bAsian Research Center, Hohai University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; cSocial Development Institute, Hohai University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Contact: Guoqing Shi | Email: gshi@hhu.edu.cn


This case study of the Dasu Hydropower Project in Pakistan investigates the impacts of delays in resettlement on project-affected people. The analyses presented here suggest that delays in the implementation of resettlement plans lead to additional socioeconomic, environmental and psychological impacts on local communities. In addition, temporary resettlement of some households prior to relocation and resettlement at the planned sites aggravated these impacts, further complicating planned resettlement. The authors argue in favour of resettlement ahead of any civil works to reduce negative project impacts.

Pages: 663-680



Solving water: multi-stakeholder collaboration will accelerate a water-secure future

Patrick Decker

Xylem Inc., Washington DC, USA

Contact: Patrick Decker | Email: houston.spencer@xylem.com


Multi-stakeholder collaboration is the solution for a more watersecure future. Communities continue to grapple with stresses such as water accessibility, affordability and resiliency. This by-line discusses the serious need to modernize infrastructure and adopt new innovative technologies, which can alleviate the pressures facing communities and water utilities. The capabilities available across industry, academia, government and the private sector can discover and fund new solutions for the challenges caused by climate change. Water challenges can be a thing of the past with passionate, innovative and collaborative people working together as strong advocates for new approaches and creative solutions to solve water.

Pages: 681-685


Book review

Fighting for water: resisting privatization in Europe »

by Andreas Bieler, London, Zed/Bloomsbury, 2021, 206 pp., US$48.95 (paperback), ISBN: 9781786995087

David B. Brooks