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Non-Integrated Water Resources Management

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Presented by Mark Giordano

Integrated Water Resources Management provides a set of reasoned principles that, if followed, would lead us to an improved water future. This promise plus the backing of important international organizations has allowed IWRM ideals to acquire a near monopoly on water management discourse. This is unfortunate because, while the potential benefits of IWRM are large, its implementation comes with its own set of economic, political and time costs, costs which are not always considered in IWRM policy advocacy. Failure to recognize these costs can sometimes result in outcomes counter to the goals of water sector reform. The ubiquity of IWRM in policy discussions means that lower cost and potentially more effective options are sometimes not considered. This presentation highlights these points by describing the sometimes neglected costs of IWRM implementation, particularly in developing country contexts and provides a set of case studies (in India, Central Asia and China) examining solutions to water problems whose methods run counter to IWRM.

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Non-Integrated Water Resources Management

  1. 1. Non-Integrated Water Resources Management Mark Giordano International Water Management InstitutePresentation at 6th Botin Foundation Water Workshop Photo: David Brazier/IWMI 13-14 November, 2012, Madrid Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  2. 2. SummaryIWRM principles are a reasonable guide, but1. They are not appropriate for all times and circumstances, sometimes resulting in policy failure and2. the dominance of the IWRM discourse has shut out alternative thinking.There are non-IWRM alternatives that should beconsidered in any policy discussion Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  3. 3. IWRM principles• Integration• Decentralization• Participation• Economic and financial sustainability• Basin as the unit for decision making Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  4. 4. IWRM principles in practice• Overall water policy and law• Water rights• Pricing in allocation• Participation in decision making• Basin as the scale of managementUsually encouraged by a donor Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  5. 5. What can happen? The case of Sri LankaProcess:• Water policy reform funded by USAID/ADB• 115 Consultations• Working groups to identify problems and propose institutional solutionsInitial result: full package adopted• Policy and law• Tradable water rights• Pricing• RBOs Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  6. 6. What can happen? The case of Sri LankaResponse:• Protests that process not open• Failed to understand cultural norms• Done to satisfy donor demandsCurrent state:• 20 years later and still no policy• No coordination to solve current drought Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  7. 7. Are there alternatives to IWRM?• Ignore the basin: Reducing transboundary conflict in central Asia• Don’t charge for water: Combating groundwater overdraft in India• Forget rights and participation: Reallocating to higher value uses without devastating agriculture in China Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  8. 8. The problem in Central Asia• End of Soviet rules• Hydropower-irrigation competition Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  9. 9. IWRM solution: Rebuild basin scale cooperationBut already codified at thehighest levels and 20years later no progress Summer/Winter Flow, Narin River Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  10. 10. Non-IWRM alternative: Unilateral Aquifer StorageStore winter releasesunderground indownstream countriesIncrease storage even morethrough summer pumping Sokh Aquifer, Uzbekistan Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  11. 11. Result• 50% of the current upstream/downstream issue could be solved• Provides a new option for enlarging the negotiating space,• especially when coupled with other alternative ideas Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  12. 12. Are there alternatives to IWRM?• Ignore the basin: Reducing transboundary conflict in central Asia• Don’t charge for water: Combating groundwater overdraft in India• Forget rights and participation: Reallocating to higher value uses without devastating agriculture in China Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  13. 13. The problem in Gujarat, western IndiaFree electricity to encouragegroundwater use and freegroundwaterOverdraft Safe Semi-critical Critical Over exploited Saline Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  14. 14. IWRM Solution: Price at marginal cost• Farmers organize and agitate• Political suicide or inaction• Electricity industry nearly bankrupt• Poor rural power supply• Groundwater disaster Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  15. 15. Non-IWRM alternative: Intelligent subsidy, plus some pricing• Separate power feeds for farm and non-farm use• Give villages 24 hour metered, three-phase power supply for domestic uses, in schools, hospitals, village industries• Target high-quality power supply on 30-50 days of peak irrigation demand• Support on-farm storage, reward groundwater recharge, subsidize drip-irrigation Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  16. 16. Result in Gujarat• Actually implemented!• Halved subsidy to agriculture• Reduced groundwater overdraft• Spurred rural non-farm enterprises• Negative impacts on marginal farmers• Rolling out in other states Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  17. 17. Are there alternatives to IWRM?• Ignore the basin: Reducing transboundary conflict in central Asia• Don’t charge for water: Combating groundwater overdraft in India• Forget rights and participation: Reallocating to higher value uses without devastating agriculture in China Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  18. 18. The problem• Rapidly urbanizing population and industrial growth mean new water demands• Urban uses have higher economic value• Worries about food security and farmer welfare Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  19. 19. IWRM Solution:Water rightsPricing Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  20. 20. Non-IWRM alternative for Zhanghe Irrigation DistrictTop-down approach with water reallocated to citiesFarmers “induced” to respond with construction of 1000s of smallreservoirs to capture runoff and return flow.Research provides ways to grow more rice with less water throughalternative wetting and drying and extension gets the message out. Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  21. 21. ResultCities now take almost allthe waterBut agricultural outputrelatively steady Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  22. 22. Similar result in India Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  23. 23. Conclusions1. Ideas of IWRM are fine, but costs of IWRM implementation must not be forgotten2. IWRM principles should not have a monopoly on potential solutions.3. There are imperfect alternatives to the IWRM package and its components that can solve real world water problems4. An implemented, imperfect solution is usually better than an unimplemented ideal. Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  24. 24. Citations• Karimov, Akmal, Mark Giordano and Aditi Mukherji. Forthcoming 2012. Of transboundary basins, IWRM and second best solutions: The case of groundwater banking in Central Asia. Water Policy• Shah, Tushaar and Shilp Verma. 2008. Co-management of electricity and groundwater: an assessment of Gujarat’s Jyotirgram Scheme. Economic and Political Weekly, 43(7): 59-66.• Molden, David, Jonathan Lautze, Tushaar Shah, Dong Bin, Mark Giordano and Luke Sanford. 2010. Governing to Grow Enough Food without Enough Water—Second Best Solutions Show the Way. Water Resources Development, 26, 249–263.• Celio, Mattia, Christopher Scott and Mark Giordano. 2010. Urban–agricultural water appropriation: the Hyderabad, India case. The Geographical Journal 176, 39–57. mark.giordano@cgiar.org Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
  25. 25. Final slide Title Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org

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