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Information and Communications
Technology and Water Regulation:
Critical Perspectives
Rónán Kennedy
School of Law, Nationa...
ICTs and Behaviour
Change
 Reducing complex behaviours to simple tasks
 Guiding users through a process or experience
 ...
Benefits of ICT for
ER
 New modes of regulation
 Improved resource efficiency
 Increased effectiveness
Applications of ICT for
Water Regulation
Tracking water use
and consumer
behaviour
• http://www.i-widget.eu/
• http://www.tapitwater.com/
• Water Buddy iOS app
Tracking and
forecasting water
levels
• http://www.waterp-fp7.eu/
• http://icewater-project.eu/
• UrbanWater (http://urban...
Flow project
• http://watermapmonitordev.appspot.com
Reducing water use
• Smarter irrigation
• Water trading (abstraction rights)
• Australia
• Chile
• UK
• USA
Smart water
metering
• United Kingdom –
• Trials by Thames Water and others
• Full coverage by 2020?
• Rollout in Ireland ...
Identifying water
quality hotspots
• http://epa.ie/water/wm/bathing/splash/
Identifying water
quality hotspots
• http://creekwatch.researchlabs.ibm.com
Use by Regulated
Firms
SiteVu by Central Solutions
Future
Developments?
Benefits of ICT for
ER
 New modes of regulation
 Improved resource efficiency
 Increased effectiveness
Disclosure as a
Regulatory Tool
 Public distribution of information as a driver for
change (‘reflexive’ regulation)
 His...
Rationales for
Disclosure
 Signal to stock markets
 Social impact (‘naming and shaming’)
 Benchmarking against peers
 ...
Difficulties with
Disclosure
 Replicating the weaknesses of command-and-control
 Strategic reporting and gaming the syst...
Improving
Disclosure-Based
Regimes
 Standardised methods and metrics
 Making behaviour change a norm
 Use as an element...
Information in
Environmental
Regulation
 Often flawed and incomplete
 ICT expanding the scope and span of control?
 Mea...
Models in the Policy-
Making Process
 Fundamental to constructing policy context:
 Catalyst for policy
 Structure for r...
Difficulties with
Models
 Scientific literacy of audience?
 Accuracy and currency of models?
 Data: Accurate? Verifiabl...
ICT and Regulation
 Benefits: cheaper, more, quicker, better, new
 Improvements:
 Better informed
 More targeted
 Mor...
E-government
Perspectives
 Focus on the citizens as consumer
 Sees government activity as single step decision-
making
...
E-Regulation
 “The use of ICT within regulators and those who
deal with them, such as NGOs, as an integral part
of the pr...
Difficulties with E-
Regulation
 ICT not neutral or deterministic
 Impact on existing imbalances?
 Disempowering extern...
ICT and Legal
Processes
 Legal processes neither simple nor linear
 Not easily modelled by logic or expert systems
 Ris...
“Get It Right First
Time”
 Design principles:
 Flexibility
 Rule of law
 Human rights
 Open, re-usable data
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Information and Communications Technology in Water Regulation

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Environmental Protection Agency National Water Event 2013---Protecting and Improving Ireland's Strategic Water Resources

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Transcript of "Information and Communications Technology in Water Regulation"

  1. 1. Information and Communications Technology and Water Regulation: Critical Perspectives Rónán Kennedy School of Law, National University of Ireland Galway ronan.m.kennedy@nuigalway.ie Image: European Space Agency
  2. 2. ICTs and Behaviour Change  Reducing complex behaviours to simple tasks  Guiding users through a process or experience  Providing content tailored to individuals  Suggesting behaviour at opportune moments  Eliminating tedium of tracking  Observing the behaviour of others  Providing positive reinforcement
  3. 3. Benefits of ICT for ER  New modes of regulation  Improved resource efficiency  Increased effectiveness
  4. 4. Applications of ICT for Water Regulation
  5. 5. Tracking water use and consumer behaviour • http://www.i-widget.eu/ • http://www.tapitwater.com/ • Water Buddy iOS app
  6. 6. Tracking and forecasting water levels • http://www.waterp-fp7.eu/ • http://icewater-project.eu/ • UrbanWater (http://urbanwater-ict.eu/)
  7. 7. Flow project • http://watermapmonitordev.appspot.com
  8. 8. Reducing water use • Smarter irrigation • Water trading (abstraction rights) • Australia • Chile • UK • USA
  9. 9. Smart water metering • United Kingdom – • Trials by Thames Water and others • Full coverage by 2020? • Rollout in Ireland – • Begins July 2013 • 1 million households by end 2016 • Charges from January 2014?
  10. 10. Identifying water quality hotspots • http://epa.ie/water/wm/bathing/splash/
  11. 11. Identifying water quality hotspots • http://creekwatch.researchlabs.ibm.com
  12. 12. Use by Regulated Firms SiteVu by Central Solutions
  13. 13. Future Developments?
  14. 14. Benefits of ICT for ER  New modes of regulation  Improved resource efficiency  Increased effectiveness
  15. 15. Disclosure as a Regulatory Tool  Public distribution of information as a driver for change (‘reflexive’ regulation)  History:  1930s: financial regulation  1960s/70s: environmental law, health and safety  Now: widely used
  16. 16. Rationales for Disclosure  Signal to stock markets  Social impact (‘naming and shaming’)  Benchmarking against peers  Faster regulatory response  Overcoming individual bounded rationality
  17. 17. Difficulties with Disclosure  Replicating the weaknesses of command-and-control  Strategic reporting and gaming the system  Accuracy of information  Intractable individual habits  Unpredictable results  Difficulties in analysing cost/benefit  Muddying the rule of law
  18. 18. Improving Disclosure-Based Regimes  Standardised methods and metrics  Making behaviour change a norm  Use as an element of or alternative to conventional regulation?
  19. 19. Information in Environmental Regulation  Often flawed and incomplete  ICT expanding the scope and span of control?  Measurement often imprecise  Costs difficult to estimate  Methodologies rarely produce useful figures  More information is not necessarily better
  20. 20. Models in the Policy- Making Process  Fundamental to constructing policy context:  Catalyst for policy  Structure for regulatory decision-making  Mechanism for collaboration  Often codified in software
  21. 21. Difficulties with Models  Scientific literacy of audience?  Accuracy and currency of models?  Data: Accurate? Verifiable? Consistent?  Over-optimistic or over-simplistic use  Models as proxy for real debate  Risk of manipulation
  22. 22. ICT and Regulation  Benefits: cheaper, more, quicker, better, new  Improvements:  Better informed  More targeted  More iterative  More transparent and democratic
  23. 23. E-government Perspectives  Focus on the citizens as consumer  Sees government activity as single step decision- making  Significant gap in research on “e-regulation”
  24. 24. E-Regulation  “The use of ICT within regulators and those who deal with them, such as NGOs, as an integral part of the process of measurement, assessment and feedback which is central to regulation.”  Cannot simply re-use private sector experiences
  25. 25. Difficulties with E- Regulation  ICT not neutral or deterministic  Impact on existing imbalances?  Disempowering external actors  Brake on change:  Institutional  Organisational  Procedural
  26. 26. ICT and Legal Processes  Legal processes neither simple nor linear  Not easily modelled by logic or expert systems  Risk of destructive feedback cycle  ICT as embedded and entrenched infrastructure
  27. 27. “Get It Right First Time”  Design principles:  Flexibility  Rule of law  Human rights  Open, re-usable data
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