Third World Centre for Water Management

Journals

Volume 23, Issue 3

Special Thematic Issue: Assessing Impact Assessments in Transboundary Watercourses

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ASSESSING THE ASSESSMENTS: IMPROVING METHODOLOGIES FOR IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN TRANSBOUNDARY WATERCOURSES (pp. 391-410)

Carl Brucha, Mikiyasu Nakayamab, Jessica Troella, Lisa Goldmana and Elizabeth Maruma Mremac

aEnvironmental Law Institute, Washington, DC, USA; bDepartment of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan; cMEAs Support and Cooperation Branch, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya

Contact: Carl Bruch, e-mail: elizabeth.mrema@unep.org

Abstract: Transboundary impact assessment (TIA) has become an important environmental management tool, particularly where a project may have transboundary impacts. With the growing practice of TIA, it becomes important to consider the accuracy of the transboundary impact assessments that are being conducted. If TIA is a planning tool designed to provide a basis for making an informed decision, does it actually provide the necessary information? This paper summarizes lessons learned in pilot testing a methodology to assess the accuracy of TIAs.


IMPROVING METHODOLOGIES FOR TRANSBOUNDARY IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN TRANSBOUNDARY WATERCOURSES: NAVIGATION CHANNEL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT OF THE LANCANG-MEKONG RIVER FROM CHINA-MYANMAR BOUNDARY MARKER 243 TO BAN HOUEI SAI OF LAOS (pp. 411-425)

Naho Mirumachia and Mikiyasu Nakayamab

aDepartment of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan; Department of Geography, School of Social Science and Public Policy, King’s College London, University of London, UK; bDepartment of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan

Contact: Naho Mirumachi, e-mail: naho.mirumachi@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract: This paper analyzes the factors underpinning transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) methodologies through an examination of the Navigation Channel Improvement Project of the Lancang-Mekong River from China-Myanmar Boundary Marker 243 to Ban Houei Sai of Laos. A comparison of the project’s expected and reported transboundary impacts shows that the EIA failed to predict a number of adverse impacts, including social and economic impacts. The restricted scale and scope of the transboundary impact assessment (TIA) is probably due to certain fundamental restrictions on how the EIA was conducted. The case study highlights the importance of public involvement (including advance notification) and adequate regulatory frameworks or guidelines in the EIA and TIA processes.


TRANSBOUNDARY IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN THE SESAN RIVER BASIN: THE CASE OF THE YALI FALLS DAM (pp. 427-442)

Andrew B. Wyatta and Ian G. Bairdb

aAustralian Mekong Resource Centre, University of Sydney, Australia; bDepartment of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC., Canada

Contact: Andrew Wyatt, e-mail: abwyatt@gmail.com

Abstract: This case study of the Yali Falls Hydropower Dam in the Vietnamese portion of the Sesan River Basin demonstrates a range of institutional and political challenges encountered in the assessment of large-scale infrastructure projects with transboundary impacts. These challenges include the failure to implement standard international planning processes and the failure to follow due process in dam planning, construction and operation, despite having received funding for international expertise that could have enabled Vietnam to implement such standards. Weak technical and financial capacity on the part of the downstream country, Cambodia, has allowed the politically dominant upstream country, Vietnam, to impose its national interests on downstream communities in Vietnam and Cambodia. A transboundary impact assessment has only been implemented many years after construction was completed.


ASSESSING THE ASSESSMENTS: CASE STUDY OF AN EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN FOR THE CONTROL OF WATER HYACINTH IN LAKE VICTORIA (pp. 443-455)

George M. Sikoyoa and Lisa Goldmanb

aThe World Conservation Union-IUCN, Uganda Country Office (formerly at the African Centre for Technology Studies), Kampala, Uganda; bEnvironmental Law Institute, Washington DC, USA

Contact: George M. Sikoyo, e-mail: sikoyo@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract: This study evaluates the impact assessment methodologies used by Uganda’s Water Hyacinth Control Programme in Lake Victoria, a domestic project with transboundary implications. The Control Programme sought to reduce infestations of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), an aquatic weed native to South America, through the use of integrated chemical, mechanical and biological methods. The environmental impact assessment for the project was conducted by Aquatics Unlimited, with support from the United States Agency for International Development. Although the case study involves a domestic impact assessment, it raised transboundary concerns. One of the major outcomes of the assessment was recognition of the need for informed involvement of the other riparian countries, Kenya and Tanzania, in the assessment process to ensure a regional effort among all three East African Community Partner States to control water hyacinth and other invasive weeds in Lake Victoria.


ACTUAL VERSUS PREDICTED TRANSBOUNDARY IMPACT: A CASE STUDY OF PHASE 1B OF THE LESOTHO HIGHLANDS WATER PROJECT (pp. 457-472)

Nico E. Willemse, Fisheries, Marine & Environmental Consultant, Windhoek, Namibia

E-mail: versacon@iway.na

Abstract: The Lesotho Highlands Water Project was initiated in 1986 as a result of discussions between the governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa (SA) that, together with feasibility studies, had commenced in the early 1950s. The project targeted the Senqu River, which originates in the Lesotho Highlands, merges with the Orange River in South Africa, and drains into the Atlantic Ocean, creating a natural border between Namibia and South Africa. Four riparian states, including Botswana, rely heavily on the Sengu’s water for development. The multi-donor billion-dollar project consisted of two initial phases, 1A and 1B. No impact assessment was conducted for Phase 1A. As a result of international critique, lessons learned and the involvement of the World Bank, Phase 1B considered all possible environmental, social and economic impacts. The full-scale E1A recognized, but did not fully consider, transboundary impacts, which were only addressed through the commissioning of an In-stream Flow Requirement (IFR) study in 2000, once the project commenced.


EPUPA DAM CASE STUDY (pp. 473-484)

Peter Tarr, Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment, Windhoek, Namibia

E-mail: Peter.Tarr@saiea.com

Abstract: This case study illustrates how neighbouring countries (Angola and Namibia) can collaborate on an E/A for a project on a shared river (the Cunene), which is also their common boundary. The case study was also highly controversial, and thus illustrates the tensions that can result from a process that is charged with emotion and where stakeholders adopt entrenched positions from the start. Although the project has not been implemented, the E/A had a considerable and fundamental role in the decision-making process with regard to which dam site to pursue.


WATER SUPPLY CRISIS AND MITIGATION OPTIONS IN KISUMU CITY, KENYA (pp. 485-500)

Basil Tito Iro Ong’or and Shu Long-Cang, College of Water Resources and Environment, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing, China

Contact: Basil Tito Iro Ong’or, e-mail: basil_iro@hotmail.com

Abstract: Acute water shortage (absolute scarcity), declining quality and poor sanitation has been an enigma in Kisumu city despite its proximity to the second largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Victoria. This paper is an attempt to examine and propose solutions to the complex issues affecting adequate and efficient water delivery and sanitation services. A questionnaire method was adapted. Weak implementation of by-laws, societal attitude, corruption, outdated technology, a poor financial base and managerial skills have been cited as some of the causes. Combinations of alternatives for both short-term and long-term measures to meet the projected water gap are recommended herein.


IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE HYDROLOGICAL REGIME AND WATER RESOURCES IN THE BASIN OF SIATISTA (pp. 501-518)

Evangelos A. Baltas, Department of Hydraulics, Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

E-mail: baltas@agro.auth.gr

Abstract: This paper examines an assessment of the impact of climate change on hydrological regimes and water resources in the basin of Siatista, a sub-basin of the Aliakmon river basin, located in Northern Greece. Initially all acquired hydrometeorological data of the study area, as well as the hydrometric data at the outlet of the basin, were analyzed and processed. A monthly conceptual water balance model was then calibrated using historical hydrometeorological data for determining changes in streamflow runoff under two different equilibrium scenarios (UKHI, CCC) referring to the years 2020, 2050 and 2100. It was found that by applying the two scenarios there will be a reduction of the mean winter runoff values, a serious reduction of summer runoff, an increase of maximum annual runoff and a decrease of minimum annual runoff values, an increase of potential and actual evapotranspiration, leading to a decrease of soil moisture, a reduction of snow accumulation and melting due to temperature increases, resulting in a decrease of spring runoff values and a shifting of the wet period towards December, resulting in severe prolongation of the dry period.


WATER DEMANDS FOR BIOENERGY PRODUCTION (pp. 519-535)

Olli Varis, Helsinki University of Technology, Water Resources Laboratory, Espoo, Finland

E-mail: olli.varis@hut.fi

Abstract: The pressure to shift increasingly to renewable energy sources is escalating. The Johannesburg World Summit of Sustainable Development of 2002 defined in its Plan of Implementation that the global share of renewable energy sources should be increased substantially. Today, renewables account for 13.1% of the world’s primary energy production. Eighty per cent of all renewable energy comes from biomass and 16% from hydropower. These two sources will thus be set under particular growth pressure in future years. This paper assesses the water needs of current and future bioenergy production and concludes that it is one of the major water consumers of this planet, although much neglected in global water assessments. The pressure to increase the share of bioenergy in the global account puts a considerable strain on water resources in all continents, but the challenges will be most pronounced in Asia and Africa.


FUNDAMENTALS DETERMINING PRICES IN THE MARKET FOR WATER ENTITLEMENTS: AN AUSTRALIAN CASE STUDY (pp. 537-553)

Henning Bjornlund, and Peter Rossini, Centre Regulation and Market Analysis, School of Commerce, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Contact: Henning Bjornlund, e-mail: henning.bjornlund@unisa.edu.au

Abstract: Prices paid in the market for water entitlements within the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District in Australia have increased by 15% p.a. over the 10-year period from 1993 to 2003. This is less than half the increase that has taken place in the market for water allocations during the same period. Regression analyses show very few relationships between commodity prices and prices of water entitlements, with only wine grape prices having a significant positive influence on price. Correlation analyses show strong negative correlations between commodity prices and the price of water entitlements, especially with dairy products, which is the main high value industry within the district. The major factors influencing the price of water entitlements are: the price of water in the allocation market, the level of seasonal allocation, vine grape prices and interest rates. There is some evidence to suggest that high value producers have been willing to pay increasing prices as supply has declined in order to protect their long-term investments in permanent plantings and other capital investments such as dairy equipment and cattle. The negative correlation with dairy prices indicates that dairy farmers have had to accepted to pay higher prices despite a relative fall in commodity prices; the increase in the price of water has therefore come out of irrigators’ profit margins and not out of increased income.


CONFERENCE REPORT
International Workshop on Hydropolitics and Impacts of the Aswan High Dam, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt, Cairo, 14 Febrero2007

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