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Water Resource Planning: integrating natural and built infrastructure

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Matthew McCartney

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  • 1. Water Resource Planning: integrating natural and built infrastructure GTZ project Matthew McCartney
  • 2. Water infrastructure for development Water infrastructure is a cornerstone of development and of water security Water resource projects provide the basis for regional development with “significant direct and indirect benefits for poor people” (World Bank, 2004). Least developed countries are the most poorly served Climate change adds further urgency to investing in water infrastructure
  • 3. However… 43 687 1,104 1,277 2,486 3,386 4,717 5,961 14,275 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 Ethiopia SouthAfrica Mexico Thailand China Brazil Australia NorthAmerica Ghana m3/capita Not a simple relationship – some countries with greater infrastructure development have greater poverty Water infrastructure is often highly contested Significant debate about what sort of infrastructure is best for poverty alleviation
  • 4. And worse…. y = -27.51ln(x) + 62.462 R² = 0.9149 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Malariacases/1000people Distancefrom thereservoir (km) Dams, reservoirs, irrigation systems can undermine peoples’ livelihoods (i.e. create poverty)
  • 5. Natural ecosystems provide services • Livelihoods and wellbeing of many poor people are dependent on these services • Construction of built infrastructure can damage or destroy ecosystem services by draining/flooding wetlands or disrupting seasonal patterns of river flow.
  • 6. There are always trade-offs Optimise Overall Benefit Impacts •Livelihoods •Health •Biodiversity Irrigated Agriculture Domestic Water Supply Hydropower Industry Floodplain products Dam operation options Fisheries Recession Agriculture Floodplain Grazing Legislation • local/national laws • international obligations Water availability • hydrological regime Engineering • reservoir storage • outlet structures Social/economic conditions • livelihoods adaptation to dams Development drive • political imperatives Key Objective Variables Decisions Constraints Desired ecosystem condition • present/future condition
  • 7. Provisioning services Regulatory services Cultural services Supporting services Natural basin Crops Hydropower Industrial Regulation of water balance Erosion control Climate regulationSoil formation Nutrient cycling Recreation Crops Hydropower Industrial Regulation of water balance Erosion control Climate regulationSoil formation Nutrient cycling Recreation Intensively utilized basin Crops Hydropower Industrial Regulation of water balance Erosion control Climate regulationSoil formation Nutrient cycling Recreation Multifunctional “green” basin Striking a balance
  • 8. The issue How can ecosystem services from “natural infrastructure” be integrated into investment planning and decisions for “portfolios” of infrastructure development to improve water security outcomes for poor people and developing countries? The reality Water infrastructure development for poverty reduction = a social-ecological optimisation problem, complicated by unknowns, uncertainties, contested facts and complex systems. Decisions are shaped as much or more by politics and political economy as scientific knowledge.
  • 9. Potential Research . • Methods to quantify and value ecosystem services • Tools for guiding investment in “portfolios” of built and natural infrastructure (understanding of trade-offs etc.) • Knowledge useful for decision making and building consensus within political-economic realities (for negotiating). • Strategies for managing uncertainties and risk to increase resilience to climate change and variability
  • 10. Quantifying regulating functions Monthly flow upstream and downstream of the Luswishi floodplain 0 20 40 60 80 100 1-Oct-80 1-Nov-80 1-Dec-80 1-Jan-81 1-Feb-81 1-Mar-81 1-Apr-81 1-May-81 1-Jun-81 1-Jul-81 1-Aug-81 1-Sep-81 Flow(m3s-1) Daily flow with and without floodplain Without floodplain (simulated) With floodplain (observed) Some ecosystems act like natural reservoirs and regulate flows: • decrease wet season flows • increase dry season flows Method (based on reference FDC and spatial interpolation technique) enables generation of a flow series “without” the ecosystem This enables quantifiable comparison of flow with and without the ecosystem.
  • 11. Flow analyses 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 1 10 100 Peakfloodflow(m3s-1) Return period (yrs) FloodFrequency With floodplain (observed) Without floodplain (simulated) Extrapolated Impacts of Luswishi floodplain on floods Return Period (yrs) Flood magnitude (m3 s-1 ) With floodplain Without floodplain 2 47 73 10 65 105 25 71 115 50 75 122 100 79 128 200 82 133 BFI Mean annual minimum (m3 s-1 ) 1-day 10-day With floodplain 0.994 2.96 3.04 Without floodplain 0.886 2.02 2.13
  • 12. Combining ecosystem services and water productivity concepts Expanding the water productivity concept? Natural Basin Increasingly modified Basin Benefits from natural components Benefits from modified basin components Sum of benefits Total productivity (i.e. overall benefits) Quantifiable Non-quantifiable Benefits Wateruse DepletingusesNon-depletinguses
  • 13. Objectives alternative infrastructure investment paradigm water resources development incorporating the priorities of poor people… sustainable water security growth reducing disaster risk climate resilience knowledge and tools for real-world decision making how to “do development” without ruining things?
  • 14. Thank you
  • 15. • There are always trade-offs – some people benefit and some lose • Divergence of values, needs and interests of different groups • Biases and subjectivity in valuations and interpretations of “facts” • Disagreements in which cultural, social, economic and ecological dimensions are intertwined • Unequal power and influence of actors Why decision-making about water infrastructure is difficult
  • 16. Physical Storage Continuum
  • 17. Aim: maximizing productivity/benefits Natural Basin Increasingly modified Basin Benefits from natural components Benefits from modified basin components Sum of benefits Total productivity (i.e. overall benefits) All change needs to be considered in relation ecosystem services and trade-offs
  • 18. Range of physical storage options