Third World Centre for Water Management

Journals

Volume 26, Issue 2

Special Issue: Improving Water Policy and Governance

ONLINE ACCESS TO THIS ISSUE


FUTURE WATER GOVERNANCE: PROBLEMS AND PERSPECTIVES (pp. 129-139)

Asit K. Biswasa,b and Cecilia Tortajadaa,b

aThird World Centre for Water Management, Atizapan, Mexico; bInstitute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore

Contact: Asit K. Biswas, e-mail: akbiswas@thirdworldcentre.org

Abstract: One development can be predicted with complete certainty; the world in 2030 will be significantly different from what it is in 2010. Water governance, which is a broad concept, must also adopt to these changes. While there are no usable indicators for water governance that exist at present, some general indicators for governance of individual countries are available. These are of limited value for the water profession. It is argued that at least 10 to 12 good, independent and objective case studies of good water governance would be very useful to learn what were the enabling environment and critical factors that contributed to their success and could allow others to significantly improve their current practices and processes.


WATER GOVERNANCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: AN UNFINISHED AGENDA (pp. 141-155)

Eglal Racheda and David B. Brooksb

aInternational Development Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt; bFriends of the Earth Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Contact: David B. Brooks, e-mail: david.b.brooks34@gmail.com

Abstract: All aspects of the fresh water situation in the Middle East and North Africa are underlain by the scarcity of fresh water in the region compared with the demands for it. However, physical scarcity has been worsened by institutions that may once have been adequate but that are increasingly failing to meet modern needs for water to be extracted in ways that are ecologically sustainable, used in ways that are economically efficient, and distributed in ways that are socially equitable. Despite this discouraging picture, the thesis of this article is that, in response to both internal and external forces, water-related institutions in MENA are slowly changing in ways that seem likely to improve the situation. Of three key goals identified early in the article—greater attention to demand management, wider stakeholder participation, and adoption of pro-poor strategies—modest gains are evident on the first two, but little on the third.


WATER SUPPLY OF PHNOM PENH: AN EXAMPLE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE (pp. 157-172)

Asit K. Biswasa and Cecilia Tortajadab

aThird World Centre for Water Management, Mexico, and Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore; bInstitute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, and International Centre for Water and Environment (CIAMA), Zaragoza, Spain

Contact: Asit K. Biswas, e-mail: akbiswas@thirdworldcentre.org

Abstract: During the 1980s, after years of centralized management and a culture of inefficiency and corruption, the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) was dysfunctional. Unaccounted for water routinely surpassed 70%. During the 15-year timeframe between 1993 and 2008, it experienced a metamorphosis; with enlightened management and dedicated and competent staff, the Authority has been completely turned around. Its annual water production increased by 437%, the distribution network by 557%, pressure of the system by 1260%, and its customer base by 662%. Unaccounted for water was reduced from 72% to 6.19%. Its profit increased consistently as has the amount of taxes paid to the Cambodian Government. This paper is a summary of an independent evaluation that examines how this remarkable transformation has been achieved.


SERVICE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT: EVIDENCE FROM THE INDIAN WATER SECTOR (pp. 173-191)

Surender Kumara and Shunsuke Managib

aDepartment of Policy Studies, TERI University, New Delhi, India; bGraduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University, Aoba-Ku, Sendai, Japan and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Hayama, Kanagawa, Japan

Contact: Shunsuke Managi, e-mail: managi.s@gmail.com

Abstract: The conventional measures of benchmarking focus mainly on the water produced or water delivered, and ignore the service quality, and as a result the ‘low-cost and low-quality’ utilities are rated as efficient units. Benchmarking must credit utilities for improvements in service delivery. This study measures the performance of 20 urban water utilities using data from an Asian Development Bank survey of Indian water utilities in 2005. It applies data envelopment analysis to measure the performance of utilities. The results reveal that incorporation of a quality dimension into the analysis significantly increases the average performance of utilities. The difference between conventional quantity-based measures and quality-adjusted estimates implies that there are significant opportunity costs of maintaining the quality of services in water delivery.


MUNICIPAL WATER SUPPLY MANAGEMENT IN BANGKOK: ACHIEVEMENTS AND LESSONS (pp. 193-217)

Mukand S. Babela, Aldrin A. Rivasa and Seetharam Kallidaikurichib

aWater Engineering and Management, School of Engineering and Technology, Asian Institute of Technology, Pathumthani, Thailand; bInstitute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Contact: Mukand S. Babel, e-mail: msbabel@ait.asia

Abstract: Providing reliable and safe drinking water through a piped water system in Bangkok has enormous challenges owing to the city’s physiographic and demographic characteristics. However, with its commitment to good corporate governance principles and practices, the implementation of required measures by the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) has resulted in significant improvements in water supply services in Bangkok. At present, almost 100% of the population are provided with reliable and safe tap water through the state-run utility which has achieved a remarkable financial performance. The article presents and discusses the factors responsible for the achievements by the MWA to draw lessons for public policy and good practices which can be replicated in other urban areas, especially in developing countries. Moreover, areas for further improvement are suggested for better performance and quality of water services.


IS ACCESS TO WATER AS GOOD AS THE DATA CLAIM? CASE STUDY OF YUCATAN (pp.219-233)

Jorge Guardiolaa, Francisco González-Gómeza and Ángel Lendechy Grajalesb

aDepartment of Applied Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universidad de Granada; bCentro de Investigaciones Regionales Dr. Hideyo Noguchi

Contact: Jorge Guardiola, e-mail: jguardiola@ugr.es

Abstract: Access to water is fundamental for people’s survival. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that 13% of the world’s population lack access to water. Moreover, this figure more than likely underestimates the real dimension of the problem, mainly due to definitions of access to water being too lax and not capturing the real dimension of the problem. In order to illustrate this phenomenon, an example of the situation of access to water in the Mexican State of Yucatan is examined based on original fieldwork. The study shows that the problem of access to water in this state is indeed underestimated. This is unlikely to be an isolated case, which leads us to recommend that action be taken to obtain a more accurate picture regarding the reality of access to water.


CHALLENGES FOR WATER GOVERNANCE IN RURAL WATER SUPPLY: LESSONS LEARNED FROM TANZANIA (pp. 235-248)

A. Jiméneza,b and A. Perez-Foguetb

aIngeniería Sin Fronteras-Asociación para el Desarrollo (ISF-ApD), Madrid, Spain; bResearch Group in Development Co-operation and Human Development (GRECDH), Barcelona, Spain

Contact: Alejandro Jiménez, e-mail: alejandrojfp@gmail.com

Abstract: This paper focuses on the identification and analysis of key issues that impact the governance of rural water services in sub-Saharan Africa. Tanzania was selected as a representative case study. The analysis was based on a combination of relevant literature review, extensive fieldwork and action research case studies, which were carried out between 2005 and 2009. A number of weaknesses that continue undermining strategies for poverty eradication were identified at different administrative levels (from local to national): low quality of water services; lack of sustainability of constructed infrastructure; difficulties for targeting the poor; and inadequate internal information systems. Some initiatives to overcome these challenges were piloted and implemented at the district level. Policy recommendations presented entail new paradigms for the provision of rural water supply: adoption of water supply as a service that is monitored and supported by the government; needs-based allocation of projects at community level; and improving guidance for local government decision making are proposed.


GOVERNING TO GROW ENOUGH FOOD WITHOUT ENOUGH WATER—SECOND BEST SOLUTIONS SHOW THE WAY (pp. 249-263)

David Moldena, Jonathan Lautzea, Tushaar Shahb, Dong Binc, Mark Giordanoa and Luke Sanforda

aInternational Water Management Institute, Pelawatte, Battaramulla, Colombo, Sri Lanka; bInternational Water Management Institute, Anand, Gujarat, India; cState Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, PR China

Contact: David Molden, e-mail: d.molden@cgiar.org

Abstract: As economies develop and societies change, emerging sets of challenges are placed on water resources and its governance. Population growth and economic development tend to drive the demand for more water, and push river basins into situations of scarcity. Agriculture, globally the largest user of water, is a major driver of water scarcity, and also the sector that has to bear the consequences of scarcity. Yet governance arrangements the world over have difficulty coming to grips with the management of agricultural water within the larger water resource context. The four major agricultural water governance challenges are: to manage transitions from abundance to scarcity; to deal with the large informal sectors of the agricultural water economy; to adapt to the changing objectives of society; and within each of these challenges, to craft context-specific solutions. This paper presents examples of these challenges and uses them to derive a conceptual framework to help us understand present agricultural water-use contexts, and to develop context specific solutions. The framework is based on two important and shifting contextual dimensions: the degree of scarcity within a basin, and the degree of formality in water use. Looking at agricultural water governance within this framework shows that some standard prescriptions for water problems may not always be appropriate and that ‘second best’ solutions can in fact be the best way forward. The challenge for governance is to facilitate the development of these solutions.


IRRIGATION MODERNIZATION IN SPAIN: EFFECTS ON WATER QUANTITY AND QUALITY—A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH (pp. 265-282)

S. Lecinaa, D. Isidorob, R. Aragüésb and E. Playánc

aAger ingenieros, ingeniería rural y civil S.L.  Zaragoza, Spain; bSoil and Irrigation Department, Agrifood Research and Technology Centre of Aragon, Government of Aragon, Zaragoza, Spain; cDepartment of Soil and Water, Aula Dei Experimental Station, Zaragoza, Spain

Contact: S. Lecina, e-mail: lecina@iies.es

Abstract: This article analyses the effects of irrigation modernization processes on water quantity and quality, taking the Ebro river basin (NE Spain) as a case study. The objective is to contribute to needed in-depth analysis and discussion regarding the optimization of water use in agriculture. A conceptual approach based on water accounting concepts has been applied. Results show that irrigation modernization linked to an increase in land productivity involves additional water depletion if the location of the irrigated areas and the quality of the irrigation return flows allow their re-use. Additionally, modernization reduces the volume of return flows and pollutant loads and increases the quality of the receiving water bodies. The modernization of water management will be required to maximize economic, social and environmental returns from the investment in new irrigation infrastructure.


A SPATIAL PLANNING PERSPECTIVE FOR MEASURES CONCERNING FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT (pp. 283-296)

J.M.M. Neuvel and W. Van Der Knaap, Spatial Planning Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Contact: W. van Der Knaap, e-mail: wim.vanderknaap@wur.nl

Abstract: As a reaction to flooding events, various governments in Europe addressed the need to create more physical space for water. Experiences in the Netherlands have shown, however, that the development and implementation of these measures can result in local opposition. Based on an examination of such conflicts, it is argued that spatial planning should not only be regarded as an instrument for regulating the land required for flood reduction, but also as an important substantive perspective through which participation can be facilitated and through which water management objectives can be balanced with other spatial claims on the landscape.


WATER GOVERNANCE: SOME CRITICAL ISSUES (pp. 297-307)

Cecilia Tortajada, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore; and International Centre for Water and Environment (CIAMA), Zaragoza, Spain

E-mail: sppct@nus.edu.sg

Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of the issues discussed at a special international workshop on water governance. While it is generally accepted that good governance for the water sector is essential, it is also clear that its implementation requires qualitative and quantitative factors, which may vary from one country to another. In order to objectively assess the opportunities and constraints of implementing good water governance practices, a group of selected international experts were invited to address this complex issue.


WATER GOVERNANCE: A RESEARCH AGENDA (pp. 309-316)

Cecilia Tortajada, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore; and International Centre for Water and Environment (CIAMA), Zaragoza, Spain

E-mail: sppct@nus.edu.sg

Abstract: This paper summarizes the discussions held during a brainstorming session on water governance organized as part of the First Global Water Policy Dialogue of the Institute of Water Policy of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, and the Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico. The objective was to formulate a priority research agenda on water governance which would focus on vital issues ahead such as linkages and drivers of change in the water sector and the type of institutions and instruments that are and will be needed in order to face the increasing challenges in the sector.


CONFERENCE REPORT
Third International Workshop on Water Quality Management
, Zaragoza, Spain, 9-11 November 2009

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