Hashemi - evolving integrated water resources management
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  • 1. Evolving the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Paradigm: To reassess the underline policy assumptionsMukhtar Hahsemi  Scientific Advisor, Office of Applied Researches , IWRMC, Ministry of Energy, Iran
  • 2.  Evolving the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Paradigm: policy shift towards integrated and sustainable management of water resources in the region.Evolving the Towards implementing IWRMIntegrated Water The concept of IWRM was envisaged by the International Water Resources in 1960s (Braga, 2001) but these principles were updated in 1992 in DublinResources and later were adopted at the UN conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio deManagement Janeiro, 1992. They provide the basis for an integrated approach to water management. Global(IWRM) Water Partnership (GWP) has been a driving force behind the internationalisation of the concept. GWP (2000) defines IWRM as:Paradigm: IWRM is the art & science of blending the right proportions of regular interaction and interdependentTo reassess the underline policy groups of items into a whole. The concept of integratedassumptions water resources management in contrast to traditional fragmented management is concerned with the management of water demand as with its supply. (GWP,A Regional Outlook 2000)WANA countries are characterised by scarce IWRM is a holistic and integrated approachwater resources and its availability is declining based on the sustainability criteria: equity,to a crisis level. Accordingly, water is the most economic efficiency and environmentalimportant and binding constraint for any future sustainability. GWP (2000) elaborates that thedevelopment in the region. Freshwater shortages in word ‘management’ refers to both management andthe whole region is accelerating due to many factors development and indicates that the decision is madeincluding wasteful use of the resources, poor at the lowest possible level. There are certainmanagement and lack of investment in developing anomalies in the IWRM definition and approach. Forwater sector for different uses such as agriculture, example, there are ambiguities about the meaning ofdomestic or industrial. In WANA countries, most of the lowest possible level of decision making. A waterwater is used for agriculture in an unsustainable way. resources system consists of three interactingWithout proper demand management policies components:together with the reduction in water use by thissector, a disastrous economic and social consequence Physical (infrastructure and technology) and naturalwill follow (e.g. Mubarak, 1998; Wang et al 2006). environment;Population growth and urbanisation are two Institutional; andphenomena in which put a great deal of Socio-economic.pressure on water and land resources. In thelast decades, a tremendous rate of urbanisation Neglecting a particular aspect of the system posescoupled with a great deal of industrialisation have great challenges to the sustainable management ofendangered the biodiversity in the WANA region and this precious resource. Hence, the water resourcecaused environmental degradation. In addition, this system is not only about the natural system and thehas brought a higher standard of living and expansion infrastructure and technology, but it is inter-relatedof modern technology. Hence, there has been a with institutional and socio-economic subsystems as well. Page 2
  • 3.  Evolving the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Paradigm:There has been a lack in implementing IWRM integration may have four characteristics orworldwide despite its adoption by national dimensions as shown in Table 1.governments around the globe (Biswas, 2004).The 2006 World Water Forum (WWF) report Also, There is a need for an integratedoutlines major problems with implementing the research policy. The sectoral approach to researchIWRM Paradigm; including institutional barriers and is non-integrated approach to deal with waterlack of capacity building measures (WWF, 2006). In resources issues. There are 26 different UN agencies2009, the Fourth world water Forum was held in dealing with water and water related issues. MoreIstanbul, Turkey. According to the World Water recently, they have come under the banner of UNAssessment Programme report, the institutional Water. The main issues in reassessing the IWRMaspect is still an important limiting factor in the paradigm within a strategic research framework areimplementation Process (WWAP, 2009). Many framed.scholars have called for reassessment of the IWRMconcept (e.g. Biswas, 2004; Falkenmark and The criteria for a sustainable water policyRockstörm, 2006; Falkenmark et al, 2004; and In the 1970s, the concept of sustainableLlamas and Martinez-Santos, 2005). For example, development (SD) came into the domain ofBiswas (2004) asks whether IWRM is a universal academia and since then it has been promotedconcept applicable to diverse cultural and religious by different United Nation agencies and hassettings. Hence how to implement IWRM in diverse become a policy worldwide. The 1987 Worldcultures and settings is an important question. Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) report, also known as the BrundtlandMany countries have clear policy towards Report (named after the former Norwegian Primeimplementing IWRM backed up by legislative Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland), brought themeasures. Numerous researchers are involved in a concept of sustainable development into prominence.variety of IWRM research themes but their efforts The report defines sustainable development as:are dispersed and there is lack of communicationsbetween different research groups as well as betweenpolicymakers and the research communities. Theimpact of non-water polices are greater on thestatus of water resources (World Bank, 2007). Forexample, the agricultural self sufficiency policy has agreat impact on the way water resources aremanaged. Water is a multidisciplinary, multi-sectoralissue and it forms the basis of the human existence: itrelates to eradication of poverty and hunger.Multidimensional aspects of water policyintegrationHence, Policy integration has been proven tobe useful in environmental and waterresources management as sectoral polices haveproven to be ineffective. IWRM provides an interfacefor policy integration which is challenging and hasbeen beset with both technical and conceptualproblems. But integration is a multidimensionalphenomenon including strategic, structural,procedural, facilitative, functional and methodologicalintegrations (Morrison et al, 2004). Water policy  Page 3
  • 4.  Evolving the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Paradigm: Four Dimensions Five Criteria for sustainability of integration (sustainable development Principles of IWRM In terms of policymaking (Morrison et al, (Gasparatos et al, 2008) 2004))1- a multi- 1- integration of social, Holistic approach An integrated and inter-sectoral policy-jurisdictional economic, environmental and making Framework that can assess thespatial institutional issues and their impact of non-water policies on waterorganization interactions and policy and display their inter-linkage interdependencies;2-participatory 2- creating a participatory a participatorycoordination of environment; empowerment approach Creating enabling environments fordifferent policies; participatory decision-makingstakeholders,civil societiesand actors3- collaborative 3- predictions of future trends Using a systemsdecision- making and the impact of policies and analysis approach Institutional design criteria to evaluate andfrom the development plans on (policies, scenarios, monitor planning and implementation of theparticipatory sustainability; management options strategies adopted through the policy-approach 4- dealing with uncertainties by (measures) and making process taking conservative and strategies). See Box 1. precautionary measures4- agreement 5- to foster ecocentric ethics supporting the socio-based on and equity (intergenerational economic welfare of Policy appraisal mechanisms to indicate therationality and intergenerational); people i.e. performance and the impact of water eradicating poverty; policy empowering women; sustaining the environmentTable 1. Governing principles in water resources management and their policy implications (adopted form Hashemi andOConnell (2011) as if they are in ‘infinite supply’ which is a linear approach or “the one- way society” approach (Braga,”development that meets the needs of the present 2001).without compromising the ability offuture generations to meet their Box1: basic definitions (Source: Hashemi and OConnell, 2011) Inown needs” (WCED, 1987: 43). the • Policy: a political (governmental) statement outlining the lastThe word “needs” is used twice vision. Goals and objectives of IWRM plansin the above sentence and some • Scenario: a futuristic outlook of development such ascritics have argued that the assumptions under which development occurs; these areanthropocentric nature of the exogenous to the water system such as population growthBrundtland report is a paradox or climate change that cannot be controlled orand accused her of taking a determined by the water systempolitical stance in her approach • Management option: a measure or an action taken toby putting human needs at thecentre of sustainable improve the performance of the water system, thesedevelopment (Barr, 2008). Braga measures can be legal, institutional, technical, social,(2001) points out that the economics, ecological.explanation of the meaning of • Strategy: a collection of management options to bethe term given by WCED (1987) considered under different anthropogenic and naturalis rather ambiguous and argues climatic scenarios.that the sustainability of naturalsystems is a measure of how they come into decades there have been many contributions to theequilibrium during naturally occurring changes. sustainable development debate(e.g. Barr, 2008; Khan,However, humans have used these natural resources 1995; Hediger, 2000; Pearce 1988; Pearce et al, 1989 among others), notably Khan’s (1995) triangular Page 4
  • 5.  Evolving the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Paradigm:model of sustainable development (social, economic land and water management (Amezaga, 2006 andand environmental sustainability) and Giddings et al’s Calder, 2005). Calder (2005) argues that many(2002) nested sustainability model based on tradeoffs land and water policies failed because of theamong social, ecological and economic objectives. “mismatch between the public and scientificGasparatos et al’s (2008) review on the SD debate perceptions of the biophysical impacts ofcame up with a consensus on five criteria for changing land-use, that policies were more oftensustainability which forms the basis of a holistic based on ‘land and water myths’ than modernsustainability assessment (Table 1.) science.” (Calder, 2005; p.309). Calder (2005) proposes an Integrated Water and LandThe missing policy links Resources Management (IWLRM).Falkenmark et al (2004) call for the 5. A fifth omission is the idea of ‘virtual water’redefinition of ‘water science’ intersecting which is not usually considered in the traditionalestablished applied and pure sciences such as IWRM concept. The idea of virtual water tradeagricultural, medical, social, economic, ecology postulated by Allan (2003) is already being usedand environmental, water law and geophysical and many countries depend on imports ofsciences. Public health (sanitation and water supply), agricultural produce and virtual water. Virtualequity issues (poverty elimination) and environmental water “ is a measure of the total water used insustainability (conservation of aquatic resources) are producing a good or service (Frontierthe main drivers for some of the UN policies such as Economics, 2008)”. The embedded water in foodthe Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and and other products is considered to be virtualhence water is seen as part of larger societal and waterecological issues. Traditionally, renewable water 6. The fisheries sector has been overlooked in riverresources (Blue Water) have been considered in basin management policies.traditional water management. Some other importantaspects have been omitted which can be considered 7. The role of belief (culture, religion) has beenas missing policy links which are neglected in IWRM neglected which has a direct bearing on policyplans. decision-making process.There are seven omissions: Evolving IWRM: A reassessment of policy1. Soil moisture and water consumed by plants assumptions (Green Water) normally disregarded in water Considering the above conceptual constraints, the balance of the system. IWRM concept needs to be reshaped if to provide a valid interface for sustainable policymaking processes:2. Wastewater (gray) and return water is overlooked in estimating water resources 1. Redefinition of the scope or focus of IWRM potential. - this means that an equitable allocation strategy3. Environmental services (ecological functions) of should not only consider blue water (as at water. Many researchers agree that a share of present) but consider the whole water balance water resources should be allocated to the (Blue and Green Water or so called the ‘ever- environment for the purpose of maintaining the green’ revolution: Falkenmark and Rockstörm, health and viability of water-dependent 2006). This means that we need to understand ecosystems (including estuaries) at catchment the physical processes affecting green water (e.g. level (Robins et al, 2005). vapour flow and green soil flow) and be able to include these concepts in the water balance4. The impact of land-use change on Blue Water components of the water resources models. resources is an important factor not only for Hence, there are many technical challenges to water resources but for the land resource as initiate the new green revolution. Technology well. There is an explicit inter-linkage between will have an important role to play. It has to  Page 5
  • 6.  Evolving the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Paradigm: adjust to new paradigms and take an adaptive and proposes an Integrated Water and Land water innovative technical strategy. On the social side, Resources Management, IWLRM. Falkenmark et the green revolution is a difficult proposition to al (2004) call for redefinition of ‘water science’ lead and control and depends on decision making intersecting established applied and pure sciences at both micro (e.g. farmers) and macro (e.g. such as agricultural, medical, social, economic, market forces) levels. The first green revolution ecology & Environmental, water law and lifted hunger from many parts of Asia and the geophysical sciences. Public health (sanitation and new green revolution is required (shift of water supply), equity issues (poverty elimination) agricultural policy towards rain-fed or dryland and environmental sustainability (conservation of agriculture) to solve the work hunger problem. aquatic resources) are the main drivers for some Expanding blue water consumption (that is of the UN polices such the Millennium irrigation) is not a sustainable option. Development Goals (MDGs) and hence water is seen as part of larger societal and ecological2. Redefinition of the scale of IWRM - at issues. The concept of ecohydrology might be a present the river basin is considered to be the useful basis for a sustainable land use ideal unit for IWRM. ”. A depoliticized river management programme. Application of this basin concept approach has been postulated by concept entails three steps as described by IWRM and the need for establishing Gouder de Beauregard et al (2002): interconnections within an ecological unit has been taken into consideration. Nevertheless, • A comprehensive ecological study of the decisions on natural resources such as water are catchment (climate, soil science, vegetation, ultimately political and have political, financial and human occupation) ecological costs. Some parts of the basin have to • Implementation of a water quality catchment pay the price of the decisions. It is argued that modelling system to assess the fluxes of the environment has endured the cost due to pollutants. The outputs of the model will unsustainable practices. Since most of the blue contribute to a land use management policy and renewable resources are used in agriculture (this long term management strategies is true in the developing world), and since agriculture is an important economic sector with • Implementation of technologies to restore the a vital social role, a smaller physical unit (at ecosystem catchment or watershed level) can be used to 4. Virtual water as part of water security reflect what happens at the farming level. policy. The concept of ‘virtual water’ should be3. Ecohydrology concept as an interface for included in formal water policy assessments to Land and Water linkage. The impact of land- appreciate the real potential of water resources. use change on blue water resources is an National food security is a distinct agricultural important factor not only to water resources but policy of many countries. The impact on this to the land resource as well. There is an explicit policy on water resources systems is to allocate inter-linkage between land and water more water for irrigation. UN and international management (Amezaga, 2005 and Calder, 2005). agencies have other goals such as hunger Therefore, this can be considered to be a fourth alleviation and eradication of poverty which major omission in blue water resources means greater food productions and hence more management. Calder (2005) argues that many water for irrigation. The idea of virtual water land and water polices failed because of the trade is not new as many countries depend on “mismatch between the public and scientific imports of agricultural produce. Allan (1997, perceptions of the biophysical impacts of 2003) has postulated the idea of ‘virtual water’ as changing land-use, that policies were more often a viable policy for most of the WANA region and based on ‘land and water myths’ than modern need to be considered in agricultural policy and science.” (Calder, 2005; p.309). Calder (2005) regional developments plans. There is a greater Page 6
  • 7.  Evolving the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Paradigm: need for research into the usefulness of virtual 2000). In the 1990s a serious debate was water by considering water security. Water initiated. These tended to be statement of security is increasingly becoming an important policies by local authorities and were non issue in WANA region as food security is statuary measures and did not include nationwide essentially a water security. policies for implementation. However, this voluntary approach initiated consensus between5. Considerations for the role of belief and different stakeholders. By year 2000, a full culture. Biswas’s (2004) questioning of universal document was produced by EU as ICZM Strategy applicability of the IWRM paradigm and whether followed by EU ICZM Recommendation in 2002. is it applicable to cultures, religions and so on is The ICZM may also be linked to other vitally important as public and stakeholder complementing concepts such as Integrated participations is postulated to be a key to Coastal Area and River-basin Management implement of IWRM plans. Culture is a larger (ICARM) which is not a new or alternative medium than ethics or religious beliefs and as management but focuses on the remaining issues seen, in decision making, actors’ beliefs are very or the gaps which exists due to sectoral and important. Most religions have the same value- institutional divisions of responsibility laden perspectives with regard to the precious (UNEP/MAP/PAP, 1999). resource. Daniels & Endfield (2009) argue that the action taken by the decision makers’ are influenced by their perceptions. Policymaking is more than just “a struggle over ideas” it is about struggle over ideas and values within a cultural context (Hashemi and OConnell, 2011). Legitimacy is an important issue for any public policy debate. So the interplay between public The Way forward: an integrated research policy and legitimacy is a vital component in a policy policy analysis. Many great civilisations have emerged from6. Establishing Water-land-sea interface by WANA region which has a diverse and rich linking IWRM and ICZM. There is a lag of culture and history. Most of the countries share concern for coastal waters in river basin natural resources including water resources. War legislation, policies and strategies and vice versa. over water has not materialised and these shared In addition, there is a lack of public and political resources should provide an opportunity for greater awareness of importance of coastal ecosystems cooperation and policy integration at regional level. and their links to river basin and vice versa. Low lying coastal area is vital for the development of The disparity and dynamic nature of water scarcity in nature and society since they contain more than a changing world requires an integrated research 60 % of the human population, yielding 90% of policy into the IWRM concepts that can cater for the the global fisheries and produce about 25% of mentioned paradigm shift and the change of global biological productivity, (UNESCO-IHP- boundaries of research inquiries. OIC, 2004). Integrated Coastal Zones The role of research community is vital with two Management (ICZM) have been promoted for main objectives: (1) to draw the national research more than 3 decades (Vallega, 1999) which strategy and (2) to attain a sustainable and viable provides a unique policy opportunity to elaborate research portfolio with appropriate funding the sea-land interface by providing an integration mechanisms; achieving financial sustainability of platform for other policy directives relative to scientific endeavours. the coast. The Council of Europe began promoting integrated Coastal Zones A dialogue within the research communities is Management (ICZM) back in 1973 (Jewell et al, essential to enhance communications and to  Page 7
  • 8.  Evolving the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Paradigm:remove institutional barriers. This will create aplatform for a wider dialogue among policy makers,the scientific community and the public at large.Researchers can become facilitators in difficult publicpolicy debates and create a foundation forparticipatory decision making processes. It isanticipated that this Policy Brief will contribute tothe dialogue about the role of the scientificcommunity in bridging the gaps between science andpolicy domains. Page 8