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River Basin ManagementOpportunities and RisksDon Blackmore | 3 May 2013Global Water Challenges
The reform agendaPolicy | Institutional | Instruments | Tools
Ratio of maximum annual flow tominimum annual flow for selected rivers15.5MURRAYAUSTRALIA4705.2DARLINGAUSTRALIA54.3HUNTERA...
Evolution of Water Management inAustraliaPioneering and Discovery Phase1880 – 1920Delivery Phase 1920 – 1985Management Pha...
Dams - How Many?40,000 over 15m since 1950• One every 2 days
Trans-boundry RiversCurrently 261• Covering: 145 nations45.3% land surface of earth80% available freshwater
Water Treaties3600 Water related treaties since AD 8056 minor water related skirmishes1 major conflictOne new country
Murray-DarlingIndusGangesMekongNileEuphratesThe clash ofPERCEPTION vs FACTThe Basins – Murray-Darling / Africa & Asia
Driving Philosophy:You can’t manage what youcan’t measure and describeThe Murray-Darling BasinMust move fromperceptions to...
Ganges River Basin
The River – South Asia MonsoonsA highly variable hydrologyDifficult to manageProne to drought and flood
Ganges Water Balance0100200300400500600Baseline High Dev.Annualvolume(km3)Total flowActive storageConsumptive useGroundwater
FactThe next 20+ major dams will have little impact onmainstream Ganges floodsMajor hydro electric benefits existSurface i...
The Mekong
Areas affected by salinity intrusionBaseline results
Mekong Water Balance0100200300400500Baseline High Dev.Annualvolume(km3)Total flowActive storageConsumptive use
FactChina dams deliver a much needed increase in low flowand mitigate salinity intrusion in the delta. They alsoprovide sc...
The Australian Story
1. Diminishing water securityClimate change and droughtUrban population growth2. Over-allocation of resourcesRapid and poo...
The reform agendaPolicy | Institutional | Instruments | Tools
The Murray-Darling Basin70% of Australia’sirrigated agricultureHowever...Serious over-allocationof water between1960s-1980...
Elements of the reform agenda
National water policy reform (1994-2004)1994 COAG water reformsInstitutional reform (rural and urban)Property rights and w...
Trading volumes
Managing through drought: Alloc vs trade
Water productivity improvements in ChinaCities now take almost all the water…. but agricultural outputrelatively steady
Irrigation benchmarking
India is taking up the challenge“Resilience of ecosystems to become a central plank of policy”“20% increase in water use e...
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan (2010-11)Defines ‘Sustainable Diversion Limits’For 20 River Valleys in MDB (in different Sta...
Building the newintegrated modelling systemfor Australia
CLIMATELAND USEECOLOGICALASSETSDAMS &WEIRSIRRIGATION CITIESIMSIntegrated modelling system (IMS)for rural and urban water m...
Murray-DarlingIndusGangesMekongNileEuphratesThe clash ofPERCEPTION vs FACTThe Basins – Murray-Darling / Africa & Asia
Credit: NASA/Trent Schindler andMatt RodellPunjab is a GlobalHotspot in GW over-exploitation
Global water challenges River Basin Management Opportunities and Risks
Global water challenges River Basin Management Opportunities and Risks
Global water challenges River Basin Management Opportunities and Risks
Global water challenges River Basin Management Opportunities and Risks
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Global water challenges River Basin Management Opportunities and Risks

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Global Water Challenges: River Basin Management Opportunities and Risks

A presentation by Don Blackmore
(The presentation has been modified from the original version to remove any copyrighted material)

Water Land and Ecosystems
High Level Dialogue New Delhi
3 May 2013

Published in: Technology
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Global water challenges River Basin Management Opportunities and Risks

  1. 1. River Basin ManagementOpportunities and RisksDon Blackmore | 3 May 2013Global Water Challenges
  2. 2. The reform agendaPolicy | Institutional | Instruments | Tools
  3. 3. Ratio of maximum annual flow tominimum annual flow for selected rivers15.5MURRAYAUSTRALIA4705.2DARLINGAUSTRALIA54.3HUNTERAUSTRALIA16.9ORANGESOUTH AFRICA3.9POTOMACUSA2.4WHITE NILESUDAN2.0YANGTZECHINA1.9RHINESWITZERLAND1.3AMAZONBRAZILRATIO BETWEENTHE MAXIMUM andthe MINIMUMANNUAL FLOWSRIVERCOUNTRY
  4. 4. Evolution of Water Management inAustraliaPioneering and Discovery Phase1880 – 1920Delivery Phase 1920 – 1985Management Phase 1985- Present
  5. 5. Dams - How Many?40,000 over 15m since 1950• One every 2 days
  6. 6. Trans-boundry RiversCurrently 261• Covering: 145 nations45.3% land surface of earth80% available freshwater
  7. 7. Water Treaties3600 Water related treaties since AD 8056 minor water related skirmishes1 major conflictOne new country
  8. 8. Murray-DarlingIndusGangesMekongNileEuphratesThe clash ofPERCEPTION vs FACTThe Basins – Murray-Darling / Africa & Asia
  9. 9. Driving Philosophy:You can’t manage what youcan’t measure and describeThe Murray-Darling BasinMust move fromperceptions to fact“Sufficient certainty”enables the hard questionsand tradeoffs to be tackled
  10. 10. Ganges River Basin
  11. 11. The River – South Asia MonsoonsA highly variable hydrologyDifficult to manageProne to drought and flood
  12. 12. Ganges Water Balance0100200300400500600Baseline High Dev.Annualvolume(km3)Total flowActive storageConsumptive useGroundwater
  13. 13. FactThe next 20+ major dams will have little impact onmainstream Ganges floodsMajor hydro electric benefits existSurface irrigation is of low valueConjunctive water use—huge opportunity—can bedelivered now, a.k.a. the Ganges water machineGlobal Circulation Models have not agreed on theoutcome of climate changePerceptionMajor dams will deliver multiple benefits, includingthe control of Ganges floodsMore surface water for irrigation is goodClimate change will have a catastrophic impactGanges
  14. 14. The Mekong
  15. 15. Areas affected by salinity intrusionBaseline results
  16. 16. Mekong Water Balance0100200300400500Baseline High Dev.Annualvolume(km3)Total flowActive storageConsumptive use
  17. 17. FactChina dams deliver a much needed increase in low flowand mitigate salinity intrusion in the delta. They alsoprovide scope increase irrigation diversion with littleimpact on fisheriesThere is significant scope in energy and irrigationdevelopment provided they meet international standardsPerceptionHydro electric dams in China will have a negative effecton lower ripariansThere is little space for development without significantenvironmental tradeoffsMekong
  18. 18. The Australian Story
  19. 19. 1. Diminishing water securityClimate change and droughtUrban population growth2. Over-allocation of resourcesRapid and poorly managed expansion of irrigation(1960s-1980s)Uncontrolled groundwater useDrier climate since 1950s3. Environmental degradationSalinityToxic algal bloomsDecline in native fish, birds and floodplain vegetationAustralia’s top 3 water issues
  20. 20. The reform agendaPolicy | Institutional | Instruments | Tools
  21. 21. The Murray-Darling Basin70% of Australia’sirrigated agricultureHowever...Serious over-allocationof water between1960s-1980s10500 The Cap0800016000240003200020s50s80s(GL)QLD VIC NSWMDBC TOTAL
  22. 22. Elements of the reform agenda
  23. 23. National water policy reform (1994-2004)1994 COAG water reformsInstitutional reform (rural and urban)Property rights and water markets/tradingEnvironmental flow provisionsGroundwater managementWater included in National Competition Policy2004 National Water InitiativeReview and update of 1994 reformsNew powers and role for Commonwealth (Federal)GovernmentNew Commonwealth Water Act (2007)Water for the Future fund ($12.9 billion)Murray-Darling Basin Plan
  24. 24. Trading volumes
  25. 25. Managing through drought: Alloc vs trade
  26. 26. Water productivity improvements in ChinaCities now take almost all the water…. but agricultural outputrelatively steady
  27. 27. Irrigation benchmarking
  28. 28. India is taking up the challenge“Resilience of ecosystems to become a central plank of policy”“20% increase in water use efficiency of irrigation”“National Aquifer Management Programme”“ cut energy losses and stabilise groundwater”“convert watershed management programme into a productivity enhancing instrument”“management of liquid and solid waste promoted together with recycling and reuse”“Indian cities and industries have to reinvent their water trajectory”“paradigm shift in flood management away from building more embankments”State Water Regulatory Authorities – “autonomy and accountability”Model Bill for Protection, Conservation, Management and Regulation of Groundwater
  29. 29. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan (2010-11)Defines ‘Sustainable Diversion Limits’For 20 River Valleys in MDB (in different States)Covers surface- and ground-watersWill consider climate change risksProtect environmental ‘assets’Floodplain forests and wetlandsEnvironmental flowsWater quality and salinityPolitical and social implicationsState ‘Water Sharing Plans’ must be accreditedSocial impacts must be consideredBased on ‘best-available’ science(evidence-based policy)
  30. 30. Building the newintegrated modelling systemfor Australia
  31. 31. CLIMATELAND USEECOLOGICALASSETSDAMS &WEIRSIRRIGATION CITIESIMSIntegrated modelling system (IMS)for rural and urban water management
  32. 32. Murray-DarlingIndusGangesMekongNileEuphratesThe clash ofPERCEPTION vs FACTThe Basins – Murray-Darling / Africa & Asia
  33. 33. Credit: NASA/Trent Schindler andMatt RodellPunjab is a GlobalHotspot in GW over-exploitation

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